Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona, just for fun. Advertising-free, supported by my patrons on Patreon. Thank you!

The connection with Harman's and Colonel Sanders Kentucky Fried Chicken - KFC

If you live in the Phoenix area, you've seen fast-food restaurants called KFC, which stands for Kentucky Fried Chicken. And the old guy that you see in the logo was a real person, and he really started the company, His name was Harland Sanders. It's quite a success story - he did look like that, and he dressed like an old Southern Colonel. And in the beginning he went to restaurants and sold them the rights to use his recipe, which had "eleven secret herbs and spices". Actually, what he sold was a license, as he kept the copyright for himself.

Harland Sanders in 1968, at age 77.

Harman's in the 1960s, Tempe, Arizona.

I collect old photos of Phoenix and noticed that there was a connection between Harman's Restaurant and Kentucky Fried Chicken. And it had to do with how Harland Sanders got his chicken recipe started, by selling the rights to it to restaurants.

Harman's Ranch Restaurant menu in 1962, including Kentucky Fried Chicken

In this ad from 1962, you can see that it all started with a menu item, which was the "famous Kentucky Fried Chicken". Of course, it was just one menu item, as you could get breakfast, lunch and dinner at Harman's. The "secret recipe" caught on well enough to allow Harland Sanders to start his own restaurants, which he called Kentucky Fried Chicken. A few years ago, when fried food wasn't considered anything to brag about, the name was changed to KFC. Dang, this post is making me hungry!

Image at the top of this post: Harman's in Tempe in the 1960s.

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  1. Earlier this year, I ate at the first KFC in a Harmon's in Salt Lake City. Nice little museum in the store too.

  2. have you ever seen the pic of Colonel Sanders and our own Alice Cooper together?
    and BTW -how the heck do we get "Kearnel" out of col-o-nel ??

  3. Harman's was, evidently, a chain restaurant.

    Here's more of the Sanders story (including the picture of the Colonel and Alice Cooper):