A LOVE STORY...
To be honest, our story doesn't start with us dreaming about opening a fried chicken restaurant. We're entrepreneurs at heart and wanted to build a brand together. We believed (and still do) without a shadow of a doubt that as a team, with our shared knowledge and experience, we could and would build something that would have an extraordinary impact.
First, there was love. Fried chicken came later. First, you should know that neither of us has ever worked in any other industry. Todd began washing dishes at a country club at 14 and Laura, the retail counter of a neighborhood restaurant at 16. We both worked in restaurants throughout our teens and then on to The Culinary Institute of America for formal training.
After school, Laura worked as a chef for many years before finding her calling in brand building and culinary marketing. She eventually returned to the CIA as the national director of Food Enthusiast Programs. Todd rose up through the ranks as a chef for Aramark Corporation at Citizens Bank Park and Lincoln Financial Stadium before becoming a prominent role as senior research and development chef at Campbell Soup Company.
In 2014 Laura, while working for Le Cordon Bleu U.S. as Director of Consumer Marketing, the company closed its doors. The time was right. We knew it was now or never. We emptied our savings, 401K, borrowed from family and friends and spent the next year working to open what would become Love & Honey Fried Chicken.
At first, all we knew was… restaurant. But what kind? Small, yes, because it was all we could afford. What type of food? Our friends were the ones that decided for us. Todd had been playing around with creating a signature fried chicken recipe – but not for any reason other than it was something we just loved to eat. Who doesn't? "It's the fried chicken. That should be the restaurant," our friends insisted. "But we went to culinary school. We're classically trained chefs. This is just something we make for fun." The more we thought about it, we realized that at the time, the southern-style fried chicken market for something more than fast-food was pretty bare. What if we brought the skills and techniques of professional chefs to comfort food like fried chicken? It clicked. Our friends were right.
Fast forward five years to a growing, thriving brand. Love & Honey Fried Chicken has become a neighborhood favorite, receiving local and national praise in the press. Our chicken is hand-breaded and fried to order. We pay attention to details. Three sweet pickles on the Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich - why? So that there is a pickle in every bite. That's the love part. The love we have for each other is how this all started, but when it comes to our business, love is the thought and the attention we give to each item, each order, and each customer.
Todd & Laura Lyons