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  • Mount Pleasant Tribune

    Making mooo-ves: local Chick-fil-A celebrates 1st anniversary

    By Nicole Kimball,

    Making mooo-ves: local Chick-fil-A celebrates 1st anniversary Nicole Kimball Tue, 06/04/2024 - 19:16 Image
    • Byron Patton receives award for saving a life with the Heimlich TRIBUNE PHOTO / NICOLE KIMBALL
    • Brandon Minter shares a hug with the man he saved in a wreck
    • Xander Lynn and Lisa Avance receive award for saving baby locked in a car TRIBUNE PHOTOS / NICOLE KIMBALL

    Though it was a sweltering Saturday morning on June 1st, family and friends braved the early summer heat to gather in the Mount Pleasant Chickfil- A parking lot to celebrate the local store’s first anniversary.

    The restaurant chain Chick-fil-A is known nationwide for their chicken sandwiches, excellent customer service, and the phrase “my pleasure.”

    Mount Pleasant has always been a Northeast Texas hotspot for chicken and hispanic cuisine, but residents have been asking the city to bring in a Chick-fil-A for years.

    Manager and operating partner of the Mount Pleasant Chick-fil-A, Kelsey Knight, has been running the local joint since day one. She explained to the Tribune that her father is the one who passed the opportunity to her, “I was here for the grand opening. I was working a full -time job in HR, which was wonderful and I’m grateful for it, but I had the opportunity to move my boys out here to the country and throw my everything into this, which has been such a gift.”

    During the first anniversary celebration, the morning started with a flag raising with the Mount Pleasant High School band playing the American Anthem, the Tiger Dolls offering face painting, and guest speakers talking about the journey over the past year and the support of the community.

    Kelsey explained that the team started with 140 people with Chick-fil-A experience and that she found their insight valuable. She gushed about the younger employees that she has trained, “You can’t teach caring for people. You can’t teach someone to have the courage to pull someone out of a vehicle to give the Heimlich. That just exists. And we try to provide an environment to foster that love for our community and go above and beyond when we can. Do we fail? Yeah. But we try really hard. So it’s been incredible from the beginning.”

    Community and Outreach Director for Chickfil- A, Melanie Knight, is a Mount Pleasant native and a relative of Kelsey. She echoed similar sentiments as she looked back at the year, “The community has just been fantastic in supporting us and our staff, our team members here.”

    Kelsey’s mention of the Heimlich is a true story. During Saturday’s celebration, there were several awards given to Chick-fil-A employees– and it wasn’t just awards for employee of the year or outstanding teamwork.

    Byron Patton saved the life of a gentleman in the drive-thru, pulling the man out of the vehicle and performing the Heimlich maneuver.

    Nick Minter was on his way back to work when he saw a man in a wreck and was having a medical emergency. Minter made sure the man was okay and helped him.

    During the week of Memorial Day, employees Xander Lynn and Lisa Avance helped a mother, whose baby was locked in a car. Not only did they help the mother and baby, but they also called the police and ensured the baby was taken care of. They also provided fresh food for the mother and kept her and the baby calm.

    These individuals were all given Life Saving Awards for their actions. Kelsey, somewhat tearful, expressed her gratitude not just to those employees, but to all her staff, “Thank you all for everything that you guys have done for us this past year. I’m so grateful for you guys.”

    The rest of the anniversary day was marked with face painting with the Mount Pleasant High School Tiger Dolls, a cow scavenger hunt across the town, and a pajama bingo night.

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