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Chicken salad restaurant chain circles expansion into Fairfax County

The Southern fast-casual chain Chicken Salad Chick has signed a deal to open locations in Fairfax County (courtesy Chicken Salad Chick)

A fast-casual chicken salad company is planning a move into Fairfax County, but exactly when and where it will stake its claim remains to be seen.

Chicken Salad Chick, which bills itself as the only fast-casual chicken salad concept in the U.S., has signed a development agreement with a local family to open eight new franchises in Fairfax and Arlington counties over the next five years, the business announced yesterday.

The franchises will be owned and operated by Devon Chamberlin — a mental health professional whose experience includes working in Fairfax County Emergency Services — and her father, Patrick Cavanaugh, and father-in-law, Barry Chamberlin.

All of them were born and raised in Northern Virginia, according to Chicken Salad Chick.

“After being a consumer of the brand for over a decade, it is a dream come true to have the opportunity to bring something so beloved to our community,” Devon Chamberlin said. “…People connect through their hearts and their stomachs, and we seek to do just that. I’m beyond grateful to run this operation as a family business and bring Chicken Salad Chick to the community.”

The first of the eight locations is slated to open in Arlington next spring, but an exact Fairfax County location isn’t ready to be announced yet, a Chicken Salad Chick spokesperson told FFXnow.

Founded in Auburn, Alabama in 2008, Chicken Salad Chick was born out of a desire by its founder, Stacy Brown, to craft the perfect chicken salad. It is now headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, and has more than 200 restaurants in 17 states.

In addition to various chicken salads, whose flavors range from Fruity Fran to spicy Jalapeño Holly, the menu offers sandwiches, salads, and signature soups that change for each day of the week.

Chicken Salad Chick CEO Scott Deviney says the company sees “tremendous growth opportunities” in Virginia, where it has five currently operating locations with another 14 in development. The existing restaurants are in Christiansburg, Hampton, Mechanicsville, Richmond, and Roanoke.

The Southern company’s northward expansion won’t stop with Northern Virginia, according to Deviney.

“As we make our way toward Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania, we are gaining brand awareness and fueling our mission to become America’s favorite place for chicken salad,” he said. “That mission is shared by Devon, Patrick, and Barry who bring immense enthusiasm, knowledge, and expertise to our brand. We can’t wait to see the positive impact they’ll have throughout their community.”

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