Mary Brown’s Chicken & Taters: 100% Canadian
Yes, Mary Brown is
a real person.
Mary Brown is a lady from Virginia, U.S.A., who had a secret recipe for the most scrumptious southern fried chicken. Her family absolutely loved it, and one day, her husband decided they just couldn’t keep it a secret any longer. So in 1969, Mary Brown’s chicken and taters were introduced to Canadians. Lucky Canadians.
Mary sold her fried chicken recipe in 1969 to two Canadians, Pat Tarrant and Cyril Fleming, who opened their first store as “The Golden Skillet.” A year later, they changed the name to Mary Brown’s Chicken and Taters.
In 2007, Greg Roberts, a Newfoundland chartered accountant and entrepreneur, bought the company from Tarrant and Fleming. By 1972, Roberts had grown the chain to about 67 stores with locations in Oshawa, Mississauga and Ontario. The chain then expanded to Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and back to the Maritimes. Today, there are also locations in British Columbia, Yellowknife and Northwest Territories, for a total of 156 Mary Brown’s in Canada.
In 2018, Mary Brown’s
was rebranded to include a maple leaf in it’s logo.
Franchising is a huge part of Mary Brown’s success.
Mary Brown’s franchise model allows franchisees to own their own business, and many have gone on to open more than one location, some as many as five. Franchisees are given a four-week training course prior to opening their store. A dedicated team supports the franchisee in the opening and then field operations and marketing teams carry on to provide support and planning. Regular conference calls are used to explain marketing initiatives and regional directors are always available to come into stores to help with any challenges or issues that might come up.
In 2007, a Mary Brown’s opened in Florida,
our first venture into that market.
What’s in the future for Mary Brown’s?
The goal is to reach 200 stores this year. The expansion will be mostly in Ontario and British Columbia, and possibly in the international market.
Communications and Marketing
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Is there a picture of the REAL Mary Brown?