Eurest is launching a new concept called “Cool Chix” at the more than 1,600 corporate cafes the company manages.
The women-inspired chicken nugget concept, which debuts Monday, was developed by two of Eurest’s female culinary leaders using products from women-owned suppliers.
At the heart of Cool Chix are scratch-made chicken nuggets coated with a whole-grain, all-purpose baking mix from Miffy’s Foods out of Portland, Ore., owned by Miffy Jones. Lillie’s of Charleston, started by Tracey Richardson and her sister, Kellye, is supplying the seasonings and sauces.
The Cool Chix launch is timed to coincide with Women’s Equality Day, which falls later in the week on Aug. 26.
“We wanted to celebrate women-owned businesses and do something that would honor these two women in particular,” said Meredith Galit, director of culinary standards for Eurest. She and Kim Egan, Eurest’s director of strategic culinary projects, worked with the two suppliers to develop and brand Cool Chix.
Compass Group, the parent company of Eurest, started a Diverse Supplier Accelerator Program that both Jones and Richardson went through in 2021. The 12-month program provides one-on-one coaching and training to grow minority-owned and small food businesses to set them up for national distribution.
Cool Chix will rotate in as an entree station at the Marketplaces Eurest operates at B&I locations. On offer are the chicken nuggets and two sauces from Lillie’s product line: Creamy Lemon Pepper Ranch and Hot Mustard BBQ. Sides include coleslaw prepared with a recipe created by the Richardsons’ dad, biscuits made with Miffy’s biscuit mix and mac ‘n cheese.
At the Cool Chix station, customers can also choose from an assortment of retail snacks from other women-owned businesses. There are cookies from Partake Foods (Denise Woodard), B’cuz Granola Bites (Channie Metchick), and Sweet Street Desserts (Sandy Solmon).
Both Miffy’s and Lillie’s support other Eurest initiatives as well. Jones’ baking mixes are sweetened with fruit instead of sugar to boost nutrition and reduce food waste. And Lillie’s has a new retail product that Eurest is trying to incorporate into its Marketplaces.
“I have been a longtime fan of the products at the heart of Cool Chix and knew putting them together would be a winning combination,” Galit said. “They also have great stories behind them, and the story of this concept is all about celebrating women entrepreneurship and the incredible influence women have on the flavors we love and food we experience.”