News Column

Chick-fil-A in Business of Giving Back

Dec. 27, 2012

Rhonda Simmons, Culpeper Star-Exponent, Va.

Culpeper businessman Rick Combs is known for quietly giving back to his community and not expecting anything in return.

The Chick-fil-A franchise proprietor donates 25 chicken sandwiches every other month to Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services and 100 chicken sandwiches monthly to the Manna Ministry, a non-profit community-based outreach of Mountain View Community and Culpeper Presbyterian churches, which provide free warm meals every Monday and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

"It's our way of giving back to the community," said Combs, 51. "Culpeper has really supported us for the last five years and I will give back to the community as long as I can. And as long as I'm able to do it, I will"

In addition to giving back to local charitable organizations, Combs donates to area youth sports teams as well.

And for his selfless efforts, the Culpeper Chamber of Commerce named Combs the 2012 Small Business Person of the Year during last month's chamber banquet held at Germanna Community College's Daniel Technology Center.

"Rick and his staff do all of this with no fanfare," wrote Gary W. Lee, who nominated Combs in October. "It's time the community acknowledged his generosity."

Combs received a plaque and delivered a brief speech at the Nov. 8 ceremony.

During a recent telephone interview, Combs said he was very surprised by the public acknowledgement.

"We are just trying to do the very best we can for our customers," said Combs. "They are our priority. We strive to make them happy. We work as if we are trying to win an election and trying to please everyone."

Before opening his own franchise store, Combs worked in the corporate world for 22 years. He earned his bachelor's degree in engineering from North Carolina State University in 1984.

Combs and his wife opened the Culpeper Chick-fil-A in July 2007.

Source: (c)2012 the Culpeper Star-Exponent (Culpeper, Va.) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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