Chicken salad lovers can rejoice, as the Chicken Salad Chick franchise is coming to Destin.



"It's something we are all familiar with and grew up eating," said new franchise owner Mark Singletary. "I think it's the perfect fit for this market."



For those who are not familiar with the Chicken Salad Chick, the restaurant has roots in Auburn, Ala., where it began as a home business for founder Stacy Brown. As a full-service deli, Chicken Salad Chick offers more than a dozen types of made-from-scratch chicken salad.



With recipes inspired by her friendsí various tastes, Brown told The Log that each chicken salad recipe is named after a woman, such as the Kickin' Kay Lynee, which features a combination of buffalo sauce, ranch, bacon, shredded cheddar cheese and jalapenos, or the Fancy Nancy that balances Fuji apples, pecans and seedless grapes.



"Everybody likes their chicken salad a different way," Brown said. "We've come a long way since the Classic Carol, which was our original."



Brown, who owns Chicken Salad Chick along with her husband Kevin, opened the first location in 2008 and has seen a growing demand ever since. She told The Log that what started out as an "itty bitty take out spot and drive through" has grown to include franchise locations in Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina.



"We started out with 40-pounds of chicken salad on our first day of business and we sold out in two hours," she said. "The next day we made 80-pounds of chicken salad and those same people that came the first day were back again with friends. We sold out in two hours, again."



With daughters that had attended Auburn University, Singletary told The Log that he was very familiar with the Chicken Salad Chick brand and when he found an opportunity to be part of the concept, he jumped in feet first.



Destin's Chicken Salad Chick will be located at 36150 Emerald Coast Parkway in the old Kitchenique space at City Market. To learn more about the Chicken Salad Chick visit www.chickensaladchick.com.



While he has never operated a restaurant before, Singletary, a veteran newsman, said his business experiences will serve him well as he prepares for either a June or July opening.



"I've packed up all my bags and moved to Destin," said Singletary, who had previously lived in New Orleans. "You can't live in New Orleans and not love food."



"The jalapeno chicken salad will make your eyes roll back," he said with a chuckle.