VIDEO — Nederland man eats at Chick-fil-A for 1,000 days; celebration takes on national flair

Published 1:08 pm Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Someone else’s challenge on Wednesday became a Southeast Texas celebration.

“A saw this deal on Facebook — this guy from New Jersey had gone (to Chick-fil-A) 100 straight days or something. I said, ‘This is Texas. One hundred straight days would be nothing.’ So I started it then.”

James Stinson, of Nederland, had already been eating at Chick-fil-A quite regularly. But on that day, he made it his mission to visit a Chick-fil-A every day (except Sundays when the restaurant chain is closed) for 1,000 days.

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And on Wednesday morning at Chick-fil-A on Memorial Boulevard, James Stinson and his wife Libbie sat down to James’ 1,000th breakfast.

“I love these people,” James, 74, said. “The reason I come here is the people and the food. They just have great people working here.”

While Libbie didn’t participate in the challenge, she has been present for many of the visits.

“She’s his sidekick, so she’s always here,” said Becky Tschirhart, who co-owns Chick-fil-As in Port Arthur and Groves with her husband, Mike.

Prior to the Stinsons’ arrival, staff decorated their table to commemorate the day, and also laid out a large assortment of items as gifts.

“We have a lot of swag from our corporate office,” Mike said while pointing to T-shirts, socks, water bottles and a multitude of other things. “They’re really proud of what they’ve done and really happy. And we just wanted to care for them by giving them some memorabilia.”

But the biggest item will make the next 1,000 visits much easier — Be Our Guest cards that allow for a multitude of free items.

“It’s good for any breakfast or dinner item. In honor of the 1,000th visit, we’re giving them 1,000 of those cards,” Mike said.

In addition, at the Stinsons’ table was an autographed copy of “A Legacy that Lasts,” which was written by Trudy Cathy White. She is the only daughter of Chick-fil-A founders Jeannette and S. Truett Cathy.

“The book has to do with legacy and how to live out that legacy through the family,” Becky said. “James and Libby are in their 70s and they have children and grandchildren. They’re really involved in their lives, so I think they’ll appreciate the book.”

James said he and Libbie travel often, but only to places that have a Chick-fil-A. They once had to drive 40 miles for the nearest one.

Following the cheers, claps and cowbells that greeted the Stinsons Wednesday when they entered the restaurant, the two sat down to breakfast. James ordered a burrito with no cheese or hash browns. Libbie had an Egg White Grill, with meat packed separately due to the start of Lent.

“I think Chick-fil-A is a great organization,” James said. “If they’re open, I’m here.”