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Friday 24th May
The KFC Story
The KFC story began in 1896 in the Sander’s family kitchen. Harland Sanders was six, his father had just died and his mother was forced to go to work, leaving young Harland at home to take care of his younger brother and sister and to cook many of the family meals.
Despite trying his hand at several kinds of work, the Colonel always loved to cook and was always experimenting with various combinations of seasonings. At the age of 40, he bought a motel and cafe at Corbin, Kentucky. It’s here that Harland perfected his secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices, for which he soon became famous. In fact, he became so renowned for his unique recipe that in 1935 the State Governor made him a Kentucky Colonel.
His popularity continued to grow until the early 1950s when a new highway was planned to bypass the town of Corbin and he was forced to sell the business. After paying his bills, he was virtually broke and reduced to living on his $105 social security cheques. However, this did not deter him. At an age when most people are happy to retire, confident in the quality of his fried chicken, the 65-year-old Colonel began travelling the country to spread the word about his unique recipe.
By 1964, Colonel Sanders had more than 600 franchised outlets in both the US and Canada and was able to sell his interest in the US Company for two million dollars. He continued to be involved in the business until he eventually lost his battle with leukaemia in 1980 at the age of 90.
Today, there are more than 9,000 KFC stores in 86 countries around the world. Not bad for a 65 year-old gentleman who was once living off his social security cheques!
To view a timeline of the KFC Story check out Milestones.