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Colbie’s Southern Kissed Chicken Opens Its First Location in Delaware

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Photo courtesy of Colbie’s Southern Kissed Chicken

After its first location took off in New Jersey, Colbie’s Southern Kissed Chicken brings its signature nuggets and tenders to Delaware.

Colbie’s Southern Kissed Chicken is bringing mouthwatering, hand-breaded chicken dishes to Newark.

Craig Colby, Colbie’s Southern Kissed Chicken owner, opened Delaware’s first franchise location in Newark this past September, offering dine-in service and curbside pickup. The owner is enthusiastic about the opening and giving his hometown community the opportunity to try some of his favorite recipes.

Of course, Colbie’s is known for its chicken with a wide selection of chicken sandwiches, wraps and sides. Plus, there are the owner’s favorites: chicken tenders and nuggets.

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Photo courtesy of Colbie’s Southern Kissed Chicken

“I like the hand-breaded chicken nuggets. I think it’s the perfect ratio of bread to chicken,” Colby says. “It’s the breading that sets our chicken apart, so I want to get as much of that as possible.”

The eatery’s fan favorites include the Original Chicken Sandwich and the Big Piece sandwich. The Big Piece was named after former Philadelphia Phillies baseball player Ryan Howard, who is a friend and partner of Colbie’s Southern Kissed Chicken. Colby expects the Original Chicken Sandwich to be a hit with new customers.

“I think guests just want to try the Original on their first visit to see what makes us special,” Colby says. “It is hard to beat how simple the Original is, so once someone tries it, it will be a repeat performer.”

As a University of Delaware alumnus and Newark resident, serving his hometown community is something that Colby is thrilled about.

“The hand-breaded tenders will be huge with the college crowd,” he says.

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Photo courtesy of Colbie's Southern Kissed Chicken
Delaware-restaurant
Photo courtesy of Colbie's Southern Kissed Chicken

Prior to opening, the pandemic raised many obstacles in the restaurant industry, and Colbie’s was no exception. Facing a challenge in staffing, Colby says the issue should come to an end as soon as the country recovers from the pandemic and gets back to normalcy. However, keeping up with the quickly changing job trends adds obstacles.

“Our industry is also changing quickly in respect to labor and pay. The labor rates are increasing, not only in our industry, but everywhere,” Colby says.

Planning a consistent budget has also been a struggle with increasing rates of a variety of supplies. The budgets created by Colby today “could be obsolete next week,” he says.

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Photo courtesy of Colbie’s Southern Kissed Chicken

“These costs are all passed through to us in every item we buy, whether it is food or steel for the building,” the owner says. “Budgeting the building and producing a proforma income statement are both a moving target as prices increase so rapidly.”

Business aside, Colbie’s Southern Kissed Chicken team has become stronger and closer because of the COVID-19 complications, which Colby has referred to as “the silver lining to the pandemic.”

“We have learned to pivot over and over again and change the way we do business,” he explains. “We have also learned to do more with less.”

Despite the issues faced by the restaurant due to the pandemic, Colby has hopes that his new Colbie’s Southern Kissed Chicken location will be as busy as his first restaurant in Mount Holly, New Jersey.

“Our location in Mount Holly, New Jersey is very well received and extremely busy,” Colby says. “I expect this to translate to our Newark, Delaware location.”

Colbie’s Southern Kissed Chicken
481 Stanton Christiana Road. Newark; 455-7404

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