When it comes to Nashville hot chicken, Joe Dodd has a recipe for success. His special ingredients are what helped him transform his food truck business into two King of the Coop brick and mortar restaurants. He just opened the Wesley Chapel location earlier this year.

What You Need To Know

  • Local restaurant owner started a nonprofit organization to help others succeed

  • Coop Cares Foundation teaches the ins and outs of the restaurant business

  • Learn more about it here

"I love it," Dodd said, laughing while talking about his delicous chicken. "I eat way too much of it."

Dodd's business succeeded despite COVID, but he says watching other business owners struggle was frustrating.

"It really struck a nerve," Dodd said. "You never want to see people go out of business."

That's what gave him the idea for a nonprofit. Dodd wanted to give back to the community that has supported him, so he launched a foundation. Then, he got a good friend to help lead it. 

"King of the Coop has not been in business that long," said Brian Frey, president of Coop Cares Foundation. "It's barely two years, so for somebody to just arbitrarily want to start a foundation to give back to the community, I think it speaks volumes to who he is."

The foundation is focused on uplifting others through the love of food. Dodd wants to use culinary arts as a way to teach about all facets of the restaurant business.

"People need help, and I want to be one of the people that lends a hand," Dodd said. 

During the first week of school, volunteers at the foundation handed out free breakfast sandwiches to teachers and students. The foundation will also partner with another group to help homeless children.

And that’s just the beginning.

Dodd wants to start his own culinary school one day. The King of the Coop is working hard to help fellow restaurant owners become kings and queens of their communities.

"No matter how small your business is, you're never too small to make a difference," Dodd said. 

You can find more information on Coop Cares Foundation by clicking here.