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Restaurant industry veterans Paul and Jenny Bellanca, along with operational partner Chip Harwick, have taken over ownership of the Cowboy Chicken in McDonough, Ga., according to an announcement.
Cowboy Chicken is a fast-casual brand known for its wood-fired rotisserie chicken and handmade side dishes.
Paul, in a phone interview Thursday, said he has a special connection to the McDonough location of Cowboy Chicken and was excited when it came available for sale.
“It was where I actually tried Cowboy Chicken for the first time,” said Paul, who grew up in Peachtree Corners. “I dined in that restaurant, and said, ‘Wow, this is so good. I have to bring it to Florida where I live.’”
Under their company Florida Fine Foods, Paul and his wife Jenny also have a development agreement with Cowboy Chicken to expand the concept into the greater Orlando area. One is expected to open next month in Kissimmee, with another location in the works for Daytona Beach and two locations in Orlando.
Then, Paul said they hope to expand in the Atlanta area.
“I’m looking in the Sandy Springs and Smyrna areas. Maybe Brookhaven,” he said.
Previously, the Bellancas owned and operated six Krispy Kreme locations in Orlando, Kissimmee and Winter Park. In 2017, they were honored as Krispy Kreme’s top franchise, according to the announcement.
Harwick, who lives in McDonough and previously worked with the Bellancas as Krispy Kreme franchise partners, said in the announcement that “Jenny, Paul, and I have a proven track record of working together to exceed the expectations of our guests, and we look forward to continuing Cowboy Chicken’s honest family values and commitment to authentic, wholesome food with metro Atlanta.”
Cowboy Chicken was founded in 1981 in Dallas. It currently has 17 locations, according to its website.