Take a walk down memory lane with us to reflect and celebrate on our 19 years serving Arizona’s West Valley.
Bruce, our fearless leader, got his start with Chick-fil-A back in 2000 in a mall store in Texas after a successful career in the United States Air Force. He’s a trailblazer; all about new relationships, new starts, and new ideas. He started off his career with Chick-fil-A running by winning Rookie of the Year in 2001! It didn’t take long before he was selected for an opportunity to open the first free-standing Chick-fil-A in Arizona.
As Chick-fil-A Goodyear opened in October of 2003, Bruce was the first Operator to give the first 100 people to walk through the doors at the grand opening free Chick-fil-A for one year! Chick-fil-A Inc. adopted this idea and while it has changed over the last 18 years, it’s still an exciting and fun part of opening each new restaurant across the nation.
One of our first employees, here from the beginning, is our Talent Director, Jessica Harrel. She started when the Goodyear location opened and has served with Bruce as a manager, director, and now Talent Director for 18 years! Bruce and Chick-fil-A Goodyear have had the pleasure of watching her get married, earn her Bachelor’s degree, and have three amazing kids!
Another first…In August 2007 Bruce opened a second location just down the road in Avondale, making him the first two-unit Operator in Arizona. It’s been fun having the two stores as neighbors, sharing and helping each other grow.
Fun fact: Did you know that the Avondale location was once a Krispy Kreme?
Over the years, Chick-fil-A Goodyear and Avondale have put our community first, by hosting and attending events, partnering with schools for Citizenship Awards, feeding lots of hungry school sports teams, sending out Cow to fundraisers and events, hosting family nights, and being a place to come and gather for some great food and fellowship. Some of our favorite events have been Cow Appreciation Day, where guests dress up like a cow to get free chicken; our partnership with the circus that brought zany fun to guests during the summer; and supporting big events like NASCAR at PIR and ASU football games.
No matter the event, Chick-fil-A Goodyear and Avondale team members have loved getting to connect with the community to bring a smile to each person they meet.
We’re not afraid to take the first step. Our team is proud to be a place for innovation and improvement, testing new products for Chick-fil-A Inc. like the Spicy Chick-n-Strips, outside ordering in the drive thru, and our new drive thru door.
Chick-fil-A is a first job for quite of a few team members. We see our stores as a launching pad into their futures. Scholarships are near and dear to our hearts at Chick-fil-A, and Bruce is especially passionate about those scholarships . Chick-fil-A offers a great scholarship program and Bruce has made it a priority to encourage all of our team members to apply, whether it be for a first time college student, or an adult degree completion. Over the last 6 years we have had over 100 team members win scholarships to aid in their higher education journey.
In 2019, during a visit from some of Chick-fil-A’s executive team, we surprised team members by announcing the winners! The team members invited were told they wanted feedback about the Spicy Strips test. It’s not everyday you get your scholarship award handed to you by the Chief Operations Officer!
2020 was a tumultuous year for our nation and the world. We experienced so many firsts that we had never even imagined. Our own little world was turned upside down May 31st when had a fire at our Goodyear location.
A small electrical fire caused immense smoke damage leading to the restaurant closing. We moved our entire team under one roof to serve guests at our Avondale location wanting to ensure everyone remained employed while we dealt with the aftermath of the fire.
Some good did come out of a terrible circumstance, our team grew closer and our remodel started sooner than scheduled!
Thanks for taking a walk with us down memory lane!
It’s good to look back on our time serving families in Goodyear and Avondale. In 2023 we will celebrate 20 years serving Arizona’s West Valley! Things may look and feel different each year, but we continue to deepen relationships in our community and look forward to serving another 20 years. You can count on us to keep pressing forward, taking first steps, to make our community and the people’s lives we come in contact with better.