Clucking great deal

By Geoff Lee

December 13, 2016 12:00 AM

GIVING BACK Tyler Jarvis, owner of two Mary Brown's restaurants in Lloydminster, said any customer who brings in a non-perishable food item from Dec. 12-16 will get a free Big Mary chicken sandwich. On Saturday, Big Marys will be sold for just $3.99 with all cash proceeds to the food bank as well. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO

Cluck, cluck, what’s up?
‘Tis the week to give and get at Mary Brown’s Famous Chicken & Taters in Lloydminster.
Customers who bring in non-perishable food items for the local Salvation Army Food Bank at either of their two locations from Dec. 12-16 will get a free Big Mary chicken sandwich.
In addition, all of the franchise’s signature Big Mary sandwiches will be priced at just $3.99 plus tax on Saturday Dec. 17 with all sale proceeds going to the food bank.
“It’s tough this time of year before Christmas for a lot of people,” said Tyler Jarvis who owns both franchises at 5001 18 St. and at 4303 40 Ave.
He said he felt the local food bank might have suffered because of previous food drives to help Fort McMurray fire evacuees earlier this year.
“With Christmas and what’s going on in our local economy, I just felt it was important to try to give back,” said Jarvis.
“We decided to do it a month and a half ago and lo, and behold, the food bank is in desperate need so it just worked out
He said he called the food bank first to see if they had a need and they told him absolutely with Christmas approaching.
“That’s what we’re up to—I’ve been planning to give away a bunch of food and have a day when the product is a little cheaper and dedicate the sales of that to the food bank,” he explained.
The stores are asking customer to bring in anything that the food bank can use to fill their hampers.
“If they bring in five boxes of Kraft dinner or some soup cans, the donation will get them a Big Mary,” said Jarvis who noted there is no minimum donation.
Jarvis doesn’t know what to expect this week in way of customer response, but after issuing a news release on Dec. 6 about the campaign, he’s prepared to be swamped with donations and Big Mary sandwich giveaways.
“We’ve actually already had some people come in this week,” he said last Thursday when he placed his chicken order.
“I’m just going to order way too much,” he said with a laugh.
Darlene Giles, creative director at Mary Brown’s corporate office in Ontario said it’s a wonderful thing that the Lloydminster outlets are doing.
She noted a lot of their 138 franchises are either doing something related to food banks or to other charities.
“Overall, Mary Brown’s is really big on community and on community support—it’s a big part of who we are,” said Giles who calls these programs a win-win.
“We get to help the community through the food bank and the people who come in get to try our fabulous sandwich.”
She says the Big Mary is probably the best chicken sandwich in the industry and is made from scratch.
“It 100 per cent white meat, whole chicken breasts that we bread and marinate by hand in store,” said
She also said Jarvis is one of the company’s finest franchise owners.
“He’s always coming up with great ideas,” she said.
Jarvis sold a condo in Lloydminster to buy his first franchise on 18th St. in 2012, after he graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a degree in psychology.
“I graduated from university and I decided I wanted to get into business and chicken was there, so I did chicken,” he said.
“Mary Brown’s is an excellent franchise-they treat you well.”
The Vermilion native literally paved his way through university with summer jobs at ASL Paving in Lloydminster where he took university transfer courses.
Jarvis bought his second franchise at 40th Ave in 2014 with his dad as a silent partner and is thinking of buying his third one.
“We’re waiting for the economy to come back and push forward,” he said.

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