Huckleberry Chicken - A passion for the authentic flavour of the Deep South!

A concept created by entrepreneur, Luigi Forgione over five years ago, Huckleberry Chicken is a chain of five independently owned fast food outlets located around North London and Hertfordshire. Opening the first site in the town of Ware in October 2011, Luigi and his team sought to create a business that offered something a little different. He started by explaining:

“The idea behind Huckleberry Chicken was simple – we wanted to offer high quality chicken, meat, salads and wraps that highlighted our love of flavours from the Deep South. Using our own secret recipe, we’ve been able to develop an extensive offering, which we’re constantly expanding on, recently creating our own healthy peri-peri menu, having launched a popular baguette and wrap selection and now offer our customers a range of delicious desserts.”

As the Huckleberry Chicken brand has seen rapid growth over just a few years, with plans for a further two openings this year and a franchise model created, Luigi needs to be confident that the training provided to his staff is appropriate for them to deliver the consistency and quality associated with the brand. He continued:

“We have become known for more than just our wonderful flavours. Our customers know that when they order from our menu, they will receive their food with an excellent consistency, using quality ingredients and cooked perfectly, no matter what store or time of day they choose to visit.”

In order to deliver this consistency, all Huckleberry Chicken stores needed to be kitted out with equipment that was simple and easy to operate, yet able to produce a consistent quality, a uniform finish and wonderful flavours to a host of different ingredients. Sourcing this equipment has been relativity straightforward, according to Luigi:

“Knowing that we were going to need a host of different equipment for our stores, we were on the lookout for a reliable equipment distributor that would not only be able to supply us with the technology we needed, but also help us with planning the design and layout of each store and deliver innovation to help keep our menu fresh and exciting. We were introduced to the team from Jestic Express around six years ago, as we planned the first store in Ware. The company’s portfolio of equipment was just ideal, covering everything from quality frying ranges through to equipment to help my team with preparing raw ingredients and holding cooked products ready for service, something that would be vital to us during busy periods.”

Working closely with the experts from Jestic Express from the very start has allowed Luigi to continue opening new sites, each with a consistent design, specification and flow that his team have become accustomed to. When it comes to the specifics of the equipment, Luigi adds:

“Our current menu offers our customers a range of different products to suit their tastes and as such we use many different types of equipment on a daily basis. Working with the Jestic Express team, we’ve specified the latest Henny Penny pressure fryers which produce a wonderful finish and succulent texture on our strips, wings and goujons and a Henny Penny Evolution Elite open fryer range to cook our chips and sides. The equipment from Henny Penny really is fantastic kit. The pre-programmed menus, help us to deliver consistency, while the automatic filtration and oil top-up maintains the quality at all times. Back of house, we use an Ayr King breading table, ensuring our fresh chicken gets an even coating of our famous, but secret blend of herbs and spices, while front of house, a range of Winston hot holding drawers allows us to hold our food at the optimum temperature and humidity until it is ready to be served. This technology alone has significantly helped our business maintain service standards during peak trading hours.”

As happy as Luigi is with the equipment from Jestic Express, he concludes by saying that the service and relationship with a supplier is as important as the quality of the equipment:

“We work very closely with the experts from Jestic Express, whether specifying new equipment, developing menus or designing a new store. I regularly visit the Jestic Express development kitchen in Kent, where I can find out more about the latest technology or simply work with the Jestic Express Culinary Team to come up with new ideas and offerings for my customers. It’s not just from a new product point of view either, with Jestic Express offering an excellent aftersales service on all the equipment supplied. I am confident that should anything occur with any of the appliances in my stores, I can pick up the phone to the technical services team. If the fault cannot be rectified remotely, a factory trained engineer will arrive promptly and can often fix an issue on the first visit. Not only does this help to ensure my business continues to run smoothly but also gives me great peace of mind and reassurance. I would not have any hesitation to recommend Jestic Express, both in terms of the quality of the equipment the company supply and the level of service provided.”

For further information on Huckleberry Chicken, please visit To find out more about the franchise offering with Huckleberry Chicken, please email Rod on

For further information on the full range of equipment or the services offered by Jestic Express please visit or call 0845 504 8060.

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