View Full Version : Trezelle Jenkins finds success

05-04-2005, 08:01 AM
Sorry if this has been posted before, but it's an older article.

'Least he's successful now, right?


Chicago-style chicken a success in Ferndale
Former NFL player, ex-Ford engineer run Metro Detroit eateries

By Kathy Krolicki / Special to The Detroit News

DETROIT -- What do a former NFL football player and an ex-Ford engineer know about making fried chicken? Plenty, according to Metro Detroit carry-out connoisseurs. Harold's Chicken Shack opened its doors in Ferndale three years ago, and has quickly become a local favorite.

"I think what customers like about our product is the uniqueness. All of our chicken is cooked to order and hand-seasoned, almost like what Mom used to make," said Dora Jenkins, a former Ford engineer who owns the business with her husband, Trezelle Jenkins.

The chicken's popularity recently earned it accolades in The Detroit News' Michigan's Best Reader's Poll, where it placed third for the Best Fried Chicken, and also took first place in a Detroit News Taste Panel blind sampling of carry-out chicken.

Harold Pierce founded Harold's Chicken Shack in Chicago during the 1950s. There are currently about 50 independently owned stores in Chicago. Trezelle Jenkins, a University of Michigan grad who played football for the Kansas City Chiefs and the New Orleans Saints, grew up loving the taste of the chicken in Chicago.

"I knew the owner of the local shop by my home. When I moved to Michigan I wanted to bring a taste of Chicago with me, so I began to inquire about opening a Harold's here," said Trezelle Jenkins.

The young couple have put a lot of sweat equity into the business since opening their first store in Ferndale in 1999. Site Selection Magazine named Michigan the No. 1 state in the nation for new and expanded business facilities in 2001, and the Jenkinses became part of that statistic when they opened their second location on Grand River in Detroit last year.

Harold's Chicken Shack has proved popular with both locations, averaging about $350,000 in sales annually. Company officials are predicting more than $750,000 in combined sales for this year.

"We have found that often times when customers try our chicken, they become regulars, stopping by three or four times a week," Trezelle said.

In addition to fried chicken, Harold's also sells fish, shrimp, liver and gizzards, along with side dishes such as okra, poppers, cheese sticks, coleslaw, macaroni salad and the ever-popular homemade desserts. The stores also provide catering for businesses, churches and schools.

In building the business, the Jenkinses both agree that the biggest challenge has been developing a good staff.

"It takes about six to nine months to get a good staff up and running," Trezelle Jenkins said.

Staffing concerns won't stop the dynamic duo from expanding their business, though. They hope to open more Harold's locations down the road.

Kathy Krolicki is a Metro Detroit free-lance writer.

05-04-2005, 08:02 AM

the Talking Can
05-04-2005, 08:07 AM
well, he got his payday and moved on to chicken....good for the gigantic bust...

05-04-2005, 08:18 AM
That is a man who did a good job of taking advantage of the small opportunity afforded to him by having a contract the size of an NFL contract.

05-04-2005, 08:20 AM
Nice to see that the Talking Can has finally admitted and acknowledged his two greatest character traits.

05-04-2005, 08:29 AM
Is it actually accurate to call him a former "NFL player"?

A former NFL check recipient, perhaps. "Player" - no.

05-04-2005, 08:30 AM
So I wonder what kind of business Ryan Sims will open when his bust status is finally official? :hmmm:

Skip Towne
05-04-2005, 08:34 AM
Good for him. Glad to see it.

Rain Man
05-04-2005, 08:47 AM
This gets my vote as "Most Surprising Thread Title of 2005."

As an aside, do you think his wife looks at him every morning as they head to the chicken shack and thinks, "WHY? WHY? Why couldn't you hold against an outside speed rusher?"

05-04-2005, 08:56 AM
Kinda like an alcoholic opening a tavern.....

05-04-2005, 08:58 AM
FWIW, I posted that picture about 2 years ago as a trivia question.

Nobody got it right.

05-04-2005, 08:59 AM
Hey, I for one am glad he figured something out. A lot of guys aren't cut out for the NFL, at least he is running his own business and being successful and not turning into Lawrence Phillips.

05-04-2005, 09:07 AM
bastard should have to repay some of the bonus we paid him....
and we should get credit against current and future salary caps.


and all CP members should get discounts at his eatery for putting up with his ass.

05-04-2005, 09:36 AM
What Cochise said

Good for him.

05-04-2005, 09:38 AM
and all CP members should get discounts at his eatery for putting up with his ass.

Discounts? Hell, I want some free chicken.... and collard greens.

siberian khatru
05-04-2005, 09:40 AM
"I always said Trezelle Jenkins would be a success," Chiefs GM and President Carl Peterson said. "I just never said what he'd be a success at."