2014 Best New Startup: Hot Chicken Takeover

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Saying it’s been a big year for Hot Chicken Takeover is almost an understatement. From a pop-up location in Olde Towne East, to a winter home inside the North Market, and a successful Kickstarter campaign that means HCT on the go, the spicy chicken that started with a loyal cult following is growing more popular by the day.

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Owner Joe DeLoss – who was also voted one of the top entrepreneurs for 2014 – and his wife brought the southern-fried deliciousness to Columbus after a trip to Nashville. The chicken is flanked by traditional sides like cole slaw and mac & cheese and best washed down with sweet tea.

While it’s definitely about the chicken, it’s also about the community. Whether at OTE or North Market, HTC is eaten at communal, picnic cloth-clad tables. When waiting an hour and a half for the Nashville version, DeLoss noticed the colliding of worlds and how chicken brought everyone together and sought to recreate that ambiance in the capital city. HTC is also serving the community by employing individuals that need assistance getting back in the workforce.

The Top 10 New Startups of 2014

1. Hot Chicken Takeover

4. Devoted
10. OH! Chips