Chick-fil-A Steps Up To The Plate
A few years ago I wrote about one of Delaware’s few Century Farms, T.S. Smith and Sons in Bridgeville. I remember it for two reasons: First, Charlie Smith (one of the sons) deposited me in a huge apple crate and fork-lifted it – and me – high into the air so I could get a photo of the solar panels that power their warehouse-size refrigerator. (Another photo shows him at the controls, laughing, as I nervously snapped away.) The second reason is those apple doughnuts they make during the harvest season. I’ve since made friends with Charlie, their publicist Greer Stangl … and those doughnuts.
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So imagine my surprise when I discovered that the owner of Rehoboth’s brand new Chick-fil-A is none other than Zach Hayes, Charlie’s nephew. His grandma created the doughnut recipe! Zach is friendly and easygoing, and is not shy about discussing the company’s controversial stance on same-sex marriage. Chick-fil-A’s published opinions angered and hurt gays, lesbians, their families and friends, and it is for this reason that Dan Cathy, president and COO, reached out to Shane Windmeyer, a recognized LGBT leader and executive director of Campus Pride; an organization staunchly at odds with Chick-fil-A’s opinions.
As he and Windmeyer developed a friendship, they reviewed Chick-fil-A’s list of grant funding; immediately stopping the flow of money to groups they agreed are divisive and anti-LGBT. Windmeyer writes, “Cathy expressed regret … when he heard of people being treated badly in the name of Chick-fil-A.” He [Cathy] also “confessed that he had been naïve to the issues at hand and the unintended impact of his company’s actions.”
As Zach and I spoke over coffee and spicy chicken biscuits, I observed numerous same-sex couples enjoying Chick-fil-A’s food. Were the company’s attempts at righting a wrong public knowledge? If not, maybe they should be. On the local level, Hayes has reached out to influential members of the LGBT community, urging them to read Windmeyer’s article and emphasizing that his hiring is fair and all-inclusive.
This column is certainly not a political forum, and all I’m suggesting is that chicken sandwich lovers who were put off by Chick-fil-A’s actions consider revisiting the facts as they are today. For fast-food, Chick-fil-A puts out a pretty good product, and it seems a shame to miss out because of what could turn out to be outdated sentiments.
[Source: “Dan and Me: My Coming Out as a Friend of Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A.” Shane L. Windmeyer, M.S. Ed. Posted 1/28/2013, 12:58 p.m. at Huffpost Gay Voices.]
The Rehoboth Foodie is the author of the popular iPhone and Android travel app, Rehoboth In My Pocket. Arrive as a Visitor, Live Like a Local! Contact at foodie@RehobothFoodie.com.