HOW YOU Que-n?
They are also generating waves of organic business growth with their own unique brand of chicken barbeque and savory home-style cooking. It seems evident that when you have a product that is backed by quality, passion, and is firmly founded on a famed and well-guarded family recipe, people are going to keep responding – and they have with GUSTO, even in this land of porcine pride.
The BEST NC Eastern Barbeque Around Town
After receiving overwhelming responses at football parties and other small gatherings where their food made a lasting impression, Queen and Ernest came to realize that they had a very marketable product on their hands. The people had spoken loudly, and seven years ago, the Harris family decided to heed the desirable yet challenging call of entrepreneurship by jumping in a food truck and hitting the roads of the Triangle, NC.
Ms. Queen explained that operating out of a food truck at the time was the simplest and least expensive route to start selling their product and getting their name out there.
Initially, she mentioned that they faced a difficult business hurdle in their inaugural year, because food trucks had not yet gained their current popularity.
However, she mentioned that it didn’t take long for food trucks to explode on the local scene, and Chick-N-Que’s product was made known and was very well received. Queen went on to say that while every day may not have been profitable early on, there was great value in constantly getting their name out to the public. Since food trucks have steadily increased in popularity, the Harris family now finds themselves working through the pleasant challenge of meeting the steadily increasing demand for their expertly cooked birds, including chicken, turkey, and their imagination- inspiring ostrich burgers that have given them a standout spot amongst the perennial eateries at the North Carolina State Fair.
GREAT FOOD & ORGANIC GROWTH
While adapting to the demands of growth, the family expanded to a second food truck within their first three years, and they are now in the process of implementing a third coming to the scene to allow them to be at multiple events at the same time.
Out of another basic need for a home base commissary for the food truck and their catering operation, the entrepreneurial family also saw the opportunity to expand to a brand new restaurant in downtown Rolesville, NC and opened their doors in January, 2015.
“Satisfied customers are the key,” says Ms. Queen. At present, Ernest and Queen mentioned that they are now in the process of receiving USDA certification so that they can package and wholesale their chopped chicken barbeque in their uniquely popular eastern style sauce. After acutely realizing their niche and their place in the market, the folks at Chick-N-Que are que’n very well for themselves with a bright future on the horizon. Queen states that “Giving back to the community is a great honor and privilege for us.” Recently the Harris family has wrapped up their second set of Food Truck Entrepreneurship Seminars partnering with Vance Granville Community College and Small Business Administration at the Franklin Campus. It seems as though the Harris family has tapped in the genuine and humble roots of success in the local food industry, and the operation seems destined to be carried on by future generations for years to come.
A FAMILY AFFAIR
While the mouth-watering barbeque from Chick-N-Que speaks volumes for itself, there is
little doubt that the good people behind the birds make the business operation the attraction that it is today. Ernest’s stated the key to their success is that “Chick-N-Que is very much a family affair, and at any given time, there may be three generations working together, with the fourth generation already in training.” The recipe that worked for them so well is a Harris family original, and has been passed down and perfected throughout the generations. This passion for the original family product, along with their drive, inspiration and direction from their religious faith, continue to guide the Harris Family to new and exciting frontiers.
PADGETT NC ASKS THREE WISE QUESTIONS
1. What advice would you give if you could go back to when you first started?
Research the market and find your niche. Be passionate! Don’t allow money to be your first motivation. Every day may not be a profitable day, but continued exposure is the gateway to success.
2. Why did you decide to go out on your own and start a business from the bottom up?
Entrepreneurship is just in our blood!
3. If you could have lunch with anyone living or dead, who would it be?
We gain our drive, direction, and inspiration from our Christian faith. We don’t believe that any one person has the answers.
To find out more about all things Chick-N-Que, including the daily locations of their food trucks, restaurant hours, and other special event notices: