Armstrong graduate opens Latin Chicks

By Randee May, Staff Writer

Starting a business may seem outrageous when considering all the work behind it, let alone two. Armstrong alumna, Mary Githens gives us an inside look of what it takes to get the ball rolling.

Githens graduated in December of 2009 with a degree in Economics, she had her mind set on the restaurant industry for a long time.While Business Administration had been her first choice, she would have to choose economics because it was all Armstrong had to offer and she had to stay in Savannah with her sister.

“My family isn’t here,” Githens said. “They’re all in Peru, including my brothers, and that makes it hard.”

Even with the hardship of not having her family in Savannah to support her, Githens didn’t falter in her dreams.

“I always wanted to start a business, specifically in the food industry since I’m from Peru. My business partner and I, who is also an alumni of Armstrong met in my last class before graduation.”

After taking a trip to DC and talking for hours, the two started a business together called ‘Latin Chicks.’ The name took a while to come up with, as would any proper consideration when choosing a name.

“We were thinking about Latin names. We didn’t want it to be just a Spanish name because we wanted it to be open to everyone. The main thing is chicken, but we serve other things too, like churros.”

While it may not be the exact reason behind the name, Githens said, “my partner will tell you that he likes Latin chicks.”

Location was also something that Githens had to consider. It was thanks to her old job at Bank of America that she managed to find the location of Latin Chicks.

She thought the area around the Victory location of BofA was a perfect area for a restaurant and had hoped that a location near there would open up. As she drove around on lunch one day she managed to find an empty building at 5205 Waters Avenue.

“I knew right then that this was the spot,” Githens said.

However, one location was not enough for Githens and her partner, they wanted to expand and become a chain. With Oglethorpe Mall in their sights, they would soon open up a location in the food court.

“We always picture a lot of things before they come up. Seeing our vision before it happens helps build up the business.”

Githens went on to say that if someone was to consider their own business that they should have a special passion for it.

“You can’t just give up, even if it’s hard. You can’t be afraid. The first year is rough and you have to be fully committed. It’s not just about being the boss.”

Remembering the place that helped her get to where she is now, Githens said she wanted to find a way to give discounts to the students of Armstrong.

“We will be having our fifth year anniversary on Saturday, Oct. 18. at 6 p.m.. There will also be a band called Grupo Son del Coqui.”