Sherwood volunteer firefighters are selling their popular chicken franchise

Like KFC, the recipe is a secret, but this secret is obtainable for a price.

Want to buy a tried and true business that offers mouth-watering chicken that Sherwood residents rave about?

Well then, the Sherwood Volunteer Firefighters' Association has a chicken franchise that is up for grabs. For the last 40 years, the organization has given Colonel Sanders a run for his money at the annual Robin Hood Festival where hundreds of half chickens are snatched up for public consumption.

Ditto for the Great Onion Festival held each October, where the firefighters' chicken has been sold for the last 25 years with an estimated 700 halves of chicken sold at this year's event alone.

But now the volunteer firefighters' membership is getting older (and just plain burning out) and is looking for a buyer to continue the tradition.

'Either somebody buys it or it's (gone),' said Joe Martin, president of the Sherwood Volunteer Firefighters' Association.

Longtime Sherwood resident and Old Town business owner Odge Gribble said the firefighters' chicken is one of the most popular food items to purchase at the festivals.

'It's really, really good, and most everybody buys the half,' said Gribble. 'A line will form and it (is) amazing how much chicken they sell.'

'We've roughly discussed probably $7,500 (for the franchise) and the payments are negotiable,' he added. 'We'd offer those terms to a non-profit.'

In addition to the recipe, the buyer will receive,all the needed equipment including eight large barbecue racks; the trailer to haul the racks in and the right to refer to the savory poultry as 'firemen's chicken' or something similar, a name that carries a cache among many Sherwood chicken lovers.

Martin attributes the chicken's popularity to its flavor, which is based on the blend of spices that originated from a recipe put together by a former volunteer firefighter.

Not many organizations around the area can lay claim to such a popular food tradition.

'I would think we're pretty unique,' said Martin. 'I don't know what others have done.'

In fact, Martin said many people are dying to know what's in the recipe, including one persistent woman who was told she'd either have to become a volunteer firefighter or marry one to discover the ingredients.

'She said she'd marry one,' Martin recalled.

While the proceeds from the chicken once helped pay for social events like parties and salmon fishing trips, the money now funds two annual $500 scholarships given to students in the Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue fire district coverage area who plan on studying fire science in college.

Anyone interested in purchasing the franchise should contact Martin at 503-625-7918.

Contract Publishing

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