By Jake Holland
Stephen Council is no stranger to fried chicken. The 19-year-old Medill sophomore grew up in southern Virginia, where his father would sometimes make it, juice and grease dripping right off the bone. It wasn’t until a cold December night last year, however, that Council toyed around with the idea of cooking up his own.
He was studying for finals with his friend and Communication sophomore Erin Zhang, and it was approaching midnight in Northwestern’s Main Library. They bemoaned the lack of late-night dining options — Fran’s and Lisa’s, sure, and Burger King off campus, but not much else.
Rather than study, Council and Zhang hopped on a Google Doc and hammered out a business plan. In a couple of hours, they had everything — the concept, the name, the sauces. Later that month, the two went home and experimented with sauces and chicken styles. By the time the New Year rolled around, everything was set. tendr was born.
“We bought that fryer for $30, and we’ve probably fried $1,300 worth of chicken in it,” Council says, smiling. “It was almost like we had to make it worth it. We thought, ‘Why not do this?’”