Thursday, June 28, 2012


This post is a continuation of a post from earlier today - if you haven't read it, this one won't make much sense, so click here to read part one of this story.

So the sermon that morning was based on this verse - 1 Thessalonians 4:11

"... make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you"

The pastor talked about how many people are looking for fulfillment and just keep searching for a "perfect" or "dream" career, many times at the expense of what may be right in front of them to do.  It is interesting, because we still reference this sermon and concept.  We honestly think that in many ways our generation has too many choices and too many expectations.  In reality, most of us just need to pick something that we believe God is asking us to do and do that with all of our hearts and to the absolute best of our ability to glorify him.  I'll get off my soapbox now.

As we walked out of the service, John turned to me and said, "I want to pursue Chick-fil-A."  

I was shocked and a little unnerved, because I had no idea what that would mean for our future.  John took some time to work at the CFA I had been a part of to become a bit more familiar with it all.  He says, and I would echo, that everyone should have an opportunity to work behind the counter of a "Quick-Service" restaurant.  It is humbling and eye-opening to see how people treat cashiers waiting on them, and it is a great opportunity to learn how to serve.

He started filling out the application during the two weeks of time that we were moving all of our stuff into a storage unit indefinitely and then preparing to head to Ghana for a month and then Costa Rica for six weeks after that.  He turned in his application with a cover letter explaining our travels and his desire to be a CFA Owner/Operator.  When we returned from our trips, we started pursuing CFA full-time by working as Grand Opening Supervisors in January 2007.  We started interviewing, and by March 1st, we were interviewing together at the CFA Home Office.

That day was full of shocks.  It was shocking how much fun we were having at the interview.  I am always shocked and blown away by how wonderful everything at the CFA Home Office is.  I like to refer to it as "Corporate Disney World."  Everyone is so kind.  After lunch, we were shocked when they offered us a store - our free-standing location in Little Rock.  We had really thought we might get a mall store, but we really never fathomed they would offer us a Grand Opening opportunity.

I should stop right here and clarify several things.  First off - our story is freakish, even by CFA standards.  This was not the norm then, and so many things have changed in the past five years that this would not happen the same way now.  We were in the right place, at the right time.  We knew the right people, and somehow, the found us to be the right people.  Ultimately, we can see that God orchestrated this, hopefully to his glory and our good.  We do not know any magic secrets for getting your own CFA - though this question is certainly asked all. the. time.  (I take particular annoyance with the people who say, "If you can get a CFA, it must not be that hard."  Yes, people have said that to us.)  All of the time, I tell people to go onto the website and start there.

The night after we were awarded our restaurant, we went out to dinner to celebrate.  About 40 minutes into dinner, we realized that we had barely spoken to one another.  Shock was still the dominant emotion.  So much was going to take place and so quickly, since the restaurant was slated to open in late June.  Here are pictures of our restaurant being built.


The rest is history.  I actually blogged a few times in 2007, which you can read here, here and here.  The first couple of years were really hard.  Good.  But hard.  Owning your own business and starting out at 25, which was John's age when the store opened, is no joke.  The learning curve was steep.  Our motto was (and sometimes still is), "Fake it til you make it."

But, God has been beyond faithful.  He provides great people - both employees and guests.  He allows us to provide opportunities for others and create a work atmosphere that people want to be a part of.  We are thrilled to be partnered with such an incredible brand and company that also wants to honor the Lord.  I have also been amazed at the ways that John has grown into his own skin in this job.  I am so proud of who he is and how he does things, and I am amazed at the amount of wisdom that five years of doing it has given him.  I am excited to see what God will continue to do in and through us and in the people around us on this adventure.

Five years certainly flew by - here's to seeing what God has in store for the next five and beyond!


Mom Spenst said...

Congrats on your 5th anniversary with the store! It doesn't seem possible that it has been that long. Spending time with you- business operators- now is very different-much more peaceful than it was that first year after the store opening. I have seen significant changes. Keep up the good work!!