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What Ever Happened To Minnie Pearl’s Chicken?

It’s nothing new for celebrities to have their name and their hands in a variety of different businesses. Some own liquor brands, others like to dive into fashion, and many open their own restaurants. While the celebrity may be famous and successful, it doesn’t mean the new business will be. One prime example is none other than the debacle, Minnie Pearl’s Fried Chicken, a fast food fried chicken restaurant that was created to compete against KFC.

Born Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon, known by her stage name Minnie Pearl, was an American comedian who appeared at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee for more than 50 years. Later on she gained fame on the hit television show, Hee Haw. Her celebrity status was booming, and in the late 1960s, entrepreneur John Jay Hooker and his brother Henry Hooker persuaded Minnie and gospel singer Mahalia Jackson to lend their name to a fried chicken chain that would rival Kentucky Fried Chicken. The two agreed, and soon the public stock of the restaurant chain was worth $64 million. However, there were a few problems.

Unlike KFC, which was molded and cared for under the watchful eye of Colonel Sanders, Minnie Pearl’s Fried Chicken was built on an idea and money. There was no chicken recipe in this chicken business. Instead, the brothers focused on franchising the idea before even opening up a store. Every store had their own menu and way of cooking chicken… read more >

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