History / Our Story

So, how did Lee’s become famous in the first place? Dig deeper and learn the story behind the recipe.

Illustration of year 2011

2011

FORTY-FIVE YEARS OF FAMOUS FLAVOR

Lee's celebrates 45 years in the restaurant business with its best years yet to come.

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2010

GOING GLOBAL

Lee's opens three new stores across the globe in Amman and Irbid, Jordan.

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2003

A NEW VISION

The franchise hits its stride as it is purchased by Lee's Famous Recipes who begins moving toward aggressive growth opportunities.

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1996

HOMESTYLE HEADS NORTH

Lee's opens a new store in Duncan, British Columbia, Canada.

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1991

QUARTER-CENTURY OF CHICKEN

Lee's celebrates its 25th anniversary with Lee Cummings as its national spokesman.

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1982

FAMOUS RECIPE'S FIRST FARMHOUSE

Lee's introduces its new farmhouse store design in Jacksonville, Florida.

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1981

FIFTEEN YEARS & GOING STRONG

Lee's Famous Recipe marks its 15th anniversary the same year Shoney's Inc. in Nashville, Tennessee purchases the rights to the company.

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1972

THE GREAT TASTE GROWS

Company pilot and director of operations Jerry Sullivan helps open 55 new restaurants for the company and becomes the franchisee for store number 100 in Sanford, Florida.

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1967

UP & RUNNING

Lee's opens new stores in Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio and Kalamazoo, Michigan.

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1966

AMERICA'S FIRST TASTE OF FAME

Lee Cummings and Harold Omer open “Harold's Take Home” restaurant in Lima, Ohio where Lee introduces his Famous Recipe chicken.