A hand-breaded, perfectly seasoned boneless chicken breast sandwich made the Cathy family one of the richest families in the United States.
Because of this delicious chicken sandwich, three family members are on the annual Forbes 400 list: Dan, Don "Bubba," and Trudy Cathy White. Today, I will reveal the story behind the richest woman in the Cathy family, who lives in Hampton, Georgia.
Who is Trudy Cathy White?
Trudy Cathy White is a beloved leader and communicator, and is best known for being the only daughter of the Chick-fil-A founder. She started to work at her family business when she was 19 and became an owner-operator of a new Chick-fil-A restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama- making her the youngest owner.
She married the man that she hired to help her run the business.
At that age, she was still attending Samford University, so she needed help running her business, so she hired John White. She recalls hiring him, saying, "When he came in, I knew I needed to hire him. Of course, it didn't hurt that he was good-looking." A few years later, he married her, and they had been working together since that date.
She is driven to serve others.
The couple served for 20 years with the International Mission Board, at least half of those years as missionaries in Brazil, planting churches and helping needy children.
They also created Impact 360 Institute and Lifeshape, enabling Christian students to live out their faith with conviction. Like her father, she is driven to serve others. Her passion for developing others inspired her to serve as a director of WinShape Camps for Girls, a summer camp founded by her parents in 1985.
"I have a deep passion for developing others and creating a safe place for young people to learn and grow."
Today, she serves as an Chick-fil-A ambassador, attending new store openings and representing them at corporate events. When she is not working, she writes books. Her book, A Quiet Strength, details the life and legacy of her mother, Jeannette Cathy, who passed away in 2015 at 92.
She has been married for 40 years and lives in Hampton, Georgia. She has four children and 15 grandchildren.
The story behind the brand
A long time ago, two brothers had a great idea.
In 1946, Truett Cathy and his brother Ben opened a local diner in Hapeville known as The Dwarf Grill, which they later changed to The Dwarf House. Three years later, Truett Cathy lost his two brothers, Ben and Horace, in a plane crash.
Losing his two brothers inspired Truett to be more focused on building a legacy. As a result, the restaurant became an enormous success, encouraging Truett to open the first Chick-fil-A location in Atlanta in 1967.
Since the beginning, Truett has stood out by being transparent about his religious beliefs. For example, he kept his restaurant closed every Sunday to allow his employees to attend church and spend time with their families.
Today, Chick-fil-A is one of the country's fastest-growing quick-service restaurant chains. Yet, despite this brilliant success, the family is still family-owned and operated. In 2013, Truett left his position as chairman, leaving his son, Dan Cathy, at the helm. Truett Cathy died in 2014.
Forbes estimates that Trudy Cathy White has given away less than 1% of her wealth, so my question for you today is, if you had her money, what causes would you support?