Family Business: For the second straight year, the Boggs Crew and team earn Star honor

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By Thomas Sellers Jr.

For the second year in a row, Huey’s Millington was voted the Restaurant of the Year by the readers of The Millington Star.
Huey’s flagship store opened in Memphis in 1970, and the restaurant has since expanded to 9 locations with Huey’s Millington opening its doors on May 8, 2017, at the Shoppes of Millington Farms.
Since that day, the Memphis-based hamburger restaurant has made an imprint on Millington with its trademark menu items and community involvement.
For five decades, Huey’s has been one of the best places to get a juicy hamburger. Their 6-ounce beef burger has been voted “Best Burger in Memphis” since 1984. Huey’s will continue to share its blues, brews and burgers with the Mid-South by opening its 10th location in Olive Branch, Miss., this year.
Jennifer Merkle, Huey’s Assistant Manager, said she was proud to see Huey’s receiving the recognition it deserves. “It’s great to receive this honor because I love Huey’s Restaurant,” she said. ”Huey’s is a great company to work for.”
Merkle’s experience in the business and genuine appreciation for what’s on the menu made her a welcome addition to the Huey’s team three years ago. Founder Thomas Boggs created an area favorite that his daughters now operate with Lauren Boggs McHugh as President and CEO, Ashley Boggs Robilio Chief Operation Officer and Samantha Boggs Dean as Special Projects Coordinator. Their brother, Alex Boggs, works as the Assistant Manager of Huey’s Germantown.
Stacy Graham, General Manager of Huey’s Millington, said members of the Boggs family have used their familial roots to create a uniquely warm, welcoming atmosphere that extends throughout all nine locations.
“About three fourths of our current staff members were here when we first opened,” she noted. “That’s a true testament of how important community is to us. Our staff is wonderful. We learn customers’ names and orders. They have their birthday parties here, and we even had an engagement on the patio a few months ago. That’s the kind of stuff I am proud of.
“I want the community to know we’ve made this type of customer service a priority,” Graham continued. “We do consistent orders through the Navy Base every week. They send their orders in through email and we list everyone’s names and orders individually. We do a lot of special things to keep consistent business. This community is so different from the other stores. We know eating out is a treat for our community, so it is very important to me that we provide consistent quality every single time.”
Huey’s Millington has welcomed many community organizations through its doors.
One being the Millington Central High School SPED Department that needed a place to host a work-study program for some of its students before the department’s building was ready. From sponsorships to donations, Huey’s has made itself available to Millington and Tipton County.
“We’ve donated to the STEM program at Millington Middle and we bought a robot for Brighton Elementary,” Graham said. “That’s pretty incredible. It’s something they get to build every year, take apart and put together. We’ve donated at least $10,000 out of our store alone. We try very hard to reach out everywhere – Millington, Tipton County Schools and up to Shelby Forest.”
“Our food is a staple in Memphis,” Merkle said. “It seems like it is become a staple out here, too. When you come in, you know you’re going to get a great burger and a great local beer. We have a lot of return customers, going back for 50 years now from the Midtown location.”
Many Huey’s employees are there for the long Haul. Graham noted that 15 Huey’s employees ranging from 10 to 30 years at the company were recognized in 2019. The Boggs family’s hands-on approach has been a recipe for success with customers and staff.
“It’s a fun-loving atmosphere,” Merkle noted. “We have a lot of college kids who work for us. It’s funny that they work for us as college students and then turn around and work here when they graduate. Some even work through college and keep the job once their career begins.
“Everybody loves working for Huey’s,” she added. “The atmosphere is amazing, and all the management teams work together.”
With both the employee and customers enjoying the eatery, Huey’s Millington will continue to cook up success with the recipe of service and community involvement, and hopefully win a third straight Readers’ Choice Restaurant of the Year from The Millington Star.
Alan Gary opened the first Huey’s location in 1970 on Madison Avenue in Midtown Memphis. He used his childhood nickname to name the establishment. Then in 1976 Boggs took over the operation.
Huey’s has expanded throughout the Mid-South with locations at Midtown, Cordova, Downtown Memphis, Collierville, Southaven, Southwind, East Memphis, Germantown and Millington. The next location will open in Olive Branch, Miss.
Soon 10 locations will be the home of graffiti-covered walls, flat-screen TVs and the long list of menu items like cheese fries, burgers and homemade lemon ice box pie, leaving a legacy that we’re certain would make Thomas Boggs proud.