Jeff and Kim Hall, owners of Chick-fil-A, are finally home.

They are both seven generation Alabamians, with a love for Fort Payne. Jeff grew up visiting Fort Payne, and claims he would rather live and work here than anywhere else, including Hawaii.

The Halls met working in the food industry, which Jeff says is key to their successful marriage.

Working in the food industry, especially management and ownership, is very demanding and both having an understanding of those demands has made life easier.

When Jeff took Kim on their first birthday date, he brought her to Fort Payne. That was it, she was also hooked. They have spent years working their way to calling Fort Payne home.

Jeff has built and owned several successful restaurants and Kim has managed several successful restaurants. In fact, they both got started when they were as young as 12 and 16. Jeff was 12, obviously this was back in the “good ole days” before labor laws!

When they heard Chick-fil-A was opening in Cullman, Kim applied and was hired as their general manager. After a couple of years as general manager in Cullman, Kim applied to become an owner/operator of Chick-fil-A.

Over 15 years after starting her tenure with Chick-fil-A, Fort Payne was approved as a location for a Chick-fil-A.

They had waited on this opportunity for 12 years and now they are home.

Jeff says it was always like Fort Payne was calling them.

It’s hard to explain the appreciation and love Jeff and Kim have for this town. They had opportunities to locate a Chick-fil-A elsewhere, but they did not want to. They were set on Fort Payne.

We are so thankful Chick-fil-A was approved and Jeff and Kim were committed to Fort Payne. There are big businesses and industries who will not even consider moving to a town without a Chick-fil-A, so the economic impact is huge for our area.

I have always loved the customer service at Chick-fil-A. We could all benefit from a little Chick-fil-A customer service training, myself included. If you haven’t ordered online, try it and look for more information on their catering service later this year.

— Jennifer McCurdy is director of the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce. You can email her through the chamber’s website at

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