Photography by Nikki Guest
Meet Cynthia Cavin, owner/operator of Chick-fil-A Katy Mills. Two years ago she opened the doors of her restaurant, the third of its kind in Katy, and embarked on a lifelong dream of owning her own business.
Around the same time she married Hershell Cavin and became stepmom to three fun-loving children, Jackson, Emma and Madeline. Her family attends Second Baptist Church and posed (with the exception of Madeline) at Katy Heritage Park for the cover of this issue – along with the iconic Chick-fil-A cow mascot.
To most people, the challenges of having so much on their plate would seem daunting. But to her family, friends and especially Chick-fil-A, Inc., it is no surprise that these major life events have proven to be a great experience… and she wouldn’t have it any other way!
She earned a degree in accounting from Texas A&M and spent 17 years with KPMG, one of the largest professional services companies in the world. Experiencing success there was nice, but she started to feel that something was missing. “Around year 14 I realized that while my job was rewarding, it was not my passion,” explains Cavin. “I knew that my passion was people and serving people.”
At the same time her brother-in-law, also an operator with Chick-fil-A, suggested she explore the possibility of joining Chick-fil-A. Her business experience and people skills aligned with the faith-based company’s goal of providing quality food items and being a positive influence in the lives of others. It was a perfect fit.
“I dove right in,” says Cavin. “I learned as much as I could about Chick-fil-A, and it resonated with me on a personal level. I love what I do!” She credits the CEO of Chick-fil-A, Inc., Dan Cathy, as a true model of a servant leader. “It is an honor to work for a company with a CEO who sets the example of serving others each day – no matter who it is; it’s just how he is wired. I am extremely thankful to have this opportunity to work with such a wonderful organization.”
The story of Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy and the leadership of the Cathy family is inspiring. In 1946, Cathy opened his first restaurant, Dwarf Grill in Hapeville, Georgia. He founded Chick-fil-A in the 1960s, and today it is still privately held and family owned with a wonderful corporate purpose: “to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”
Chick-fil-A has a 66-year tradition of supporting local charities, providing college scholarships for team members, supporting leadership and enrichment programs, as well as youth and education programs. With over 1800 locations in 39 states, there is plenty to celebrate, including the recent 50th anniversary of the famous boneless Original Chicken Sandwich. The Chick-fil-A cows shown in those well-known “EAT MOR CHIKIN” ads will reach a 20-year anniversary in 2015.
Chick-fil-A Katy Mills hosts regular in-store special events that encourage quality family time. For example, every Tuesday night from 5:30 – 7:30 pm is Family Night, and features a variety of entertainment options and fun arts and crafts projects designed for kids of all ages. A complimentary ice cream topping bar is always at the ready to provide a special treat for guests. Additionally, every Thursday morning from 9 – 11 am, parents and younger children gather for a story time, face painting and balloon event that includes free coffee for the adults.
“This is something we really enjoy doing,” says Cavin. “We always try to make these events special occasions that bring families together for a fun time. Parents can leave the cooking to us and the kids can be entertained or do something creative.”
Interspersed throughout the year, Chick-fil-A Katy Mills also holds special events such as Family Date Night and Spirit Nights for schools, as well as partnering with local organizations for off-site events. In honor of Armed Forces Day, the store collected items that were sent to deployed military. Just around the corner on August 21, local seniors will be hosted on Senior Citizen’s Day. Additionally, Chick-fil-A Katy Mills has events related to partnerships with the Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Circus, the Astros, the Dynamo and the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.
For coffee lovers, Chick-fil-A Katy Mills will be serving Thrive Farmers Coffee, a specialty-grade coffee and iced coffee, starting August 4, 2014! Also, Chick-fil-A cares about the environment, and all napkins, tray liners and Kid’s Meal bags are made from 100 percent recycled material. Foam cups can be recycled where facilities exist.
“Katy is such a great place to have a business and to live,” says Cavin. “I really like the small town feel with so many big city amenities.” People who enjoy good food and positive corporate values can rest assured that Cavin surrounds herself with a great team who love to serve the community. “When our guests thank us for making their day brighter, they know that it is our pleasure!” she says.