Kentucky Fried Chicken is one of the most iconic brands in the world. It’s right up there with Coca-Cola and McDonalds.
Colonel Harland Sanders, the iconic face of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), is a household name and a symbol of success in the culinary world. But do you know the fascinating story behind the man who turned a simple fried chicken recipe into a global empire?
Join us as we delve into the legend of Colonel Sanders and uncover the incredible journey that took him from humble beginnings to fried chicken fame.
Growing Up In Henryville, Indiana
Harland David Sanders was born on September 9, 1890, in Henryville, Indiana. From a young age, he faced numerous hardships and setbacks. At the age of six, his father passed away, leaving his mother to take care of the family. To help support them, young Harland began cooking meals for his siblings.
As he grew older, Sanders developed a passion for cooking and entrepreneurship. He worked various jobs, including as a farmhand, streetcar conductor, and railroad worker. Along the way, he honed his culinary skills and experimented with different recipes, especially his famous fried chicken.
In 1930, at the age of 40, Sanders opened a small roadside restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky. It was here that he perfected his secret blend of 11 herbs and spices and mastered the art of pressure frying chicken, this created a uniquely delicious taste. The reputation of his fried chicken grew, attracting locals and travelers alike.
How Harland Became A Colonel
As the popularity of his chicken soared, Sanders received a tremendous boost when he was named an honorary Kentucky Colonel in recognition of his contributions to the state’s cuisine. This title would later become an integral part of his brand.
With the onset of World War II and the increasing popularity of interstate travel, Sanders faced challenges as his restaurant struggled to compete. In 1952, at the age of 62, he took a leap of faith and embarked on a mission to franchise his recipe.
Sanders traveled across the United States, donning his iconic white suit, black string tie, and white moustache. His charismatic personality and genuine passion for his chicken won over potential franchisees. The concept of KFC was born, and soon the Colonel’s face became synonymous with finger-licking good chicken.
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, KFC experienced exponential growth, both domestically and internationally. Sanders sold his interest in the company in 1964 but remained the brand ambassador, continuing to appear in KFC advertisements and commercials.
KFC The Worldwide Brand
Today, KFC is one of the most recognized fast-food chains worldwide, with thousands of locations in over 145 countries. The Colonel’s legacy lives on, and his original recipe is still used to make the iconic fried chicken enjoyed by millions.
The legend of Colonel Sanders is not just about fried chicken; it’s a testament to the power of perseverance, passion, and the ability to turn failure into success. Despite facing numerous rejections and setbacks throughout his life, Sanders never gave up on his dreams. His commitment to quality and his secret recipe transformed him into an international icon and an inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs.
So, the next time you indulge in a crispy piece of KFC chicken, remember the man behind the legend, Colonel Harland Sanders, whose determination and finger-licking good recipe changed the culinary landscape forever.
This story just goes to show that if you are focused enough on “one thing” you can eventually breakthrough, maybe not today or tomorrow but you will do it. Colonel Harland Sanders suffered many setbacks throughout his life, he was broke for most of it, he went bankrupt and couldn’t provide for his family, he even contemplated suicide at one stage.
Whatever problems you have, if terminal illness isn’t one of them, you can recover. Remember, there are people out there with worse problems than you getting on and doing it. Go for it, and don’t look back.
Have a great day.
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