Huey Magoo’s coming to Brookhaven
Published 8:00 am Saturday, September 10, 2022
Huey Magoo’s, a chicken tender restaurant, is opening a location in Brookhaven according to the company’s website. Brookhaven’s Building Inspection office confirmed the location will be in the vacant lot between O’Reillys and Bumpers on US51.
Former Ole Miss students Matt Armstrong and Thad Hudgens founded the company in 2004. McComb native Kristi Powell Orr along with her parents Buddy and Stacey Powell, the franchisees, and Aaron Jenkins, director of operations, acquired the exclusive rights to open Huey Magoo’s in Mississippi.
They started to open 20 stores in Mississippi beginning in 2020. McComb’s location opened in December of 2020 and Pearl’s opened in April of 2022. COVID along with other factors have slowed things down. Orr currently lives in Brookhaven and said the Ole Brook location should start construction any day now, dependent on rain.
“We hope to have it complete by January or February of 2023. We are at the mercy of weather and delays,” she said. “We are going to go as fast as we can.”
Orr’s parents became involved in Huey Magoo’s in 2019. Her father Buddy Powell stumbled across the restaurant on the internet. At the time, he was a franchisee of Golden Corral in McComb and was looking for a restaurant where he could open multiple units. Huey Magoo’s was the opportunity he had looked for.
They hopped on a plane and flew to Orlando, Florida. Orr said they decided if the food was good they would become franchisees.
“The food is good and here we are. It took a while to get rolling,” she said.
Huey Magoo’s may be known for chicken tenders but it is a cut different from the other fried tender places. She said the quality of food is the biggest difference.
“It is a big concern for customers now. What are we actually eating? We serve what we have branded as the filet mignon of chicken,” she said. “It is a true filet while other places might just cut the breast into tenders. You get the true tenderness with our chicken. Our breading and sauce has a flavor profile to complement that.”
Brookhaven was selected as one of the 20 locations because she noticed the town shares a lot of shoppers with McComb. The city of Brookhaven and residents wanted Huey Magoo’s in town. The support and response of the people made it the next obvious choice for a location.
Orr lives in Brookhaven and has other ties to the town through her brother and her husband’s families. She has realized over the years working in the restaurant industry is rewarding because of the people.
“I serve food for a living but I’m in the people business. When I work in McComb I know most of our customers there,” Orr said. “It is a family atmosphere and you experience it every day. I’m excited to do it every day with the people I love. I’m ready and excited to be ingrained in the community.”