“They pitched the concept on Thursday and by Friday the entire city was shutdown.”

INSPIRED Beginnings

One Saturday afternoon, Molly was inspired to create a unique flavor of Chicken Salad. She made the sandwich for her husband, Ivan and didn’t think much of it. However, after his first bite, Ivan knew this was no ordinary sandwich. “What is this?!”, he exclaimed, frantically taking another bite. Ivan was floored and confidently exclaimed (loudly but muffled with food still in his mouth) that it was the best sandwich he ever had. Crazy thing is, before trying Molly’s creation, Ivan didn’t even like Chicken Salad!

Over the next year, Ivan and Molly tried dozens and dozens and dozens of different flavor variations and painstakingly analyzed every single ingredient in an attempt to create the perfect chicken salad. From hard-to-find, custom jams to the world’s most magnificent mayonnaise to passionate discussions about the perfect size of chicken, Molly left nothing to interpretation.  After a full year of research and development, Molly had created not one, but several unique and amazing chicken salad flavors. 


The Pitch


Ivan knew his wife’s creations were special and held a deep conviction that they needed to be presented to the world. After almost a year of development, Ivan and Molly were proud to finally present the menu to their Board of Advisors for their catering company, The Vanilla Orchid.

Molly, Ivan, and the entire Board of Advisors met to try the finalized menu and see the business presentation. Everyone raved over the food and quickly made plans for launching and growing the concept. Sadly, Covid-19 had already begun to spread quickly in the U.S. They pitched the concept on Thursday and by Friday the entire city of Austin, TX was shutdown. 



The following months of 2020 were possibly the most difficult ever witnessed by the entire food & beverage industry. Restaurants across the globe were closed to reduce the spread of Covid-19 forcing owners to layoff workers, forgo rent payments, and leading many to close permanently. Vanilla Orchid lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in planned events and had to quickly pivot from serving large, upscale events, to delivering family meals and boxed lunches to hospital workers. With the world in disarray, the entire Vanilla Orchid team showed courage, care, and love for their community in the best way that they could. 

But Molly and Ivan’s conviction for their Chicken Salad Shoppe concept remained. So after a lot of thought and even more prayer, they decided to move forward with launching Chicken Salad Shoppe albeit, in a different way than originally planned. While restaurants were closing permanently all around the city, Molly and Ivan took the leap of faith to launch their concept as an online restaurant. And in the summer of 2020, officially launched Chicken Salad Shoppe.  

The Future...

The future of Chicken Salad Shoppe is bright. Molly, Ivan, Matt, Yukyung, Jarrod and team are constantly creating and perfecting even more creations and their dreams of Chicken Salad Shoppe go way beyond just an online store. Stay tuned….



Austin has been very kind to Chicken Salad Shoppe! See below for articles, updates, and news about Chicken Salad Shoppe

EATER Austin

Austin Chronicle

KXAN Studio 512

CultureMap Austin