Moultrie Observer

Local News

November 9, 2012

Chamber job swap focuses on food industry

MOULTRIE — The annual job swap sponsored by the Moultrie-Colquitt County Chamber of Commerce’s Agribusiness and Rural Development Committee was held this week. The job swap is an opportunity for businesses to share ideas and to see the importance of agriculture in the community’s economy.  

The participants for this year’s job swap were Lauri Jo Bennett of Lauri Jo’s Southern Style Canning and Britt Young, owner of the Chick-fil-A of Moultrie, according to a press release from the chamber of commerce.   

Prior to Chick-fil-A, Young was a pastor in both Texas and Florida, the chamber said.  As a big Chick-fil-A fan, he found he also liked the company’s business strategy and the possibilities it held for his family.  An opportunity opened up in March of 2008, and Young moved to Moultrie to open Chick-fil-A and bring a new brand and restaurant to the community.  

Bennett was a special education teacher at Colquitt County High School and had a passion for making jellies and salsa, according to the chamber release. In 2009, she decided to take a leap of faith and start her own business.

Bennett and Young spent the day learning the ins and outs of each other’s businesses. Bennett personally oversees all aspects of production — from selecting fresh, choice local produce, to the final processing and shipping, the chamber said. She shops with local farmers and grows much of the produce on her land. She creates natural, homemade and mostly gluten-free jellies, jams, pickled goods and more. She has stores in both Norman Park and Tifton, and her products are now sold in 42 states.

Young got hands-on experience in making blueberry pepper jelly with blueberries harvested from Rock Ranch, owned by Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy.

Young gave Bennett a tour of the Moultrie Chick-fil-A and trained her in the Chick-fil-A methods to prepare the chicken for cooking, create their made-from-scratch meals, and customer service. Young attributes teamwork, leadership, and attention to detail as essential to the success of Chick-fil-A. He said that every employee is a part of a team and that teamwork leads to a winning business.  

This job swap was unique because it gave two owners in food service the opportunity to discuss their similarities in production, systems, profitability, people, and especially, their shared passion for what they do, the chamber said. 

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