A crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo launched to help bring the beloved Southeastern quick-service restaurant, Mrs. Winner’s Chicken & Biscuits, back to Memphis with the help of local residents. In 30 days, a family with a strong affinity for the brand is hoping to raise $30,000 from supporters in the community to be a part of Mrs. Winner’s return to the city.
The family behind the campaign is husband and wife duo Rachel and Poul Pedersen. The couple, and Rachel’s father, Thomas Bell, are banding together in this venture to open the restaurant. Rachel, who currently helps market Mrs. Winner’s on social media, fell in love with the brand and its visions to revive it to the former glory days. Seeing firsthand on social media the customer pleas for a Mrs. Winner’s return to Memphis, she set out to become one of the first new franchisees after Mrs. Winner’s closed 115 locations around the Southeast in 2010.
Together, the family will invest a majority of the funds needed to open the franchise restaurant but seek additional help from Memphis community members in order to start cooking Mrs. Winner’s home-style fried chicken and made-from-scratch biscuits once again.
“We are crowdfunding a Mrs. Winner’s restaurant because we believe in the power of hard work, the entrepreneurial spirit, faith and the American Dream, which are all philosophies that mirror the Mrs. Winner’s brand,” Rachel Pedersen says. “We want the Memphis community to be involved in bringing this treasured brand back to the city where I know firsthand how much it has been missed.”
In exchange for donations between $5 and $10,000, The Pedersen family will provide unique rewards corresponding with contributions, including invitations to Mrs. Winner’s grand opening celebration where one attendee has the chance to win free Mrs. Winner’s from their new store for life, free Mrs. Winner’s meals, catered Mrs. Winner’s parties, donors’ names inscribed in a gold plaque in the new restaurant, and more. The funds raised will go towards securing the lease of a prime real estate property and aid in the hiring process of local employees.
Founded in 1979, Mrs. Winner’s was once a staple in the [quick-service] fried chicken and biscuits market. During the early years, the company surged to 184 restaurants throughout the Southeast. After struggling through multiple ownership transactions and financial missteps, Mrs. Winner’s closed all of its company-owned stores and filed for bankruptcy in 2010, leaving only a handful of restaurants open. In 2012, current CEO John Buttolph acquired the rights to the company and is working to rebuild the brand back to what it once was. There are currently 13 Mrs. Winner’s locations throughout Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee.