Spelman College is known for graduating brilliant and successful black women, and alumna Ashley Derby is no different. The Atlanta native will soon open the very first Chick-fil-A location in downtown Los Angeles, but making history is not new to her. In 2011, Derby became one of the youngest Chick-fil-A franchise owners in the nation at age 26.
Derby started working at Chick-fil-A as a team member when she was 15 years old so she could earn extra money to buy a car. She continued to work at the fast food restaurant while attending college and with some encouragement from one of her managers to pursue leadership roles with the company, she changed her major from theater to economics.
After graduating, Derby spent three years completing development and management programs with the company and became the owner and operator of a Chick-fil-A location in near the University of Southern California. Now she's ready to open a new spot in downtown Los Angeles.
“The energy in downtown L.A. is palpable,” Derby said in a press release. “I cannot wait to become a part of this growing neighborhood, and I look forward to welcoming our guests with hand-crafted food and hospitality.”
Derby will leave her post at the University of Southern California location to oversee operations at the new location where she will employ approximately 80 full-time and part-time employees.
Congrats Ashley! Keep shining!