Fluffy’s Chicken Founder is Cedar Hill Alum
(CEDAR HILL, TEXAS) Gayla Beaty, a Cedar Hill High School Class of 1992 Graduate, established Fluffy’s Chicken – 635 East Pleasant Run Road in Cedar Hill – in 2015 to bring the flavors that she learned many years earlier from her grandmother.
“Everything is made fresh daily, and the recipes are originally from my grandmother, who grew up in Oakdale, Louisiana,” Beaty said. “We wanted to have a locally owned southern fried chicken place in the community.
After a few years, I thought ‘we’re onto something’. The chicken was doing so well, so we added catfish and shrimp.”
Beyond the delicious taste, Beaty is committed to giving back to Cedar Hill – a community she has called home since 1986 when she moved to the City as a sixth grader from Oak Cliff.
Etta Mae Foundation
Beaty – a Cedar Hill citizen and the proud parent of three Cedar Hill ISD Graduates – started the Etta Mae Foundation, in honor of her late mother, Etta Mae McKinney, who was a foster parent for many children in the community and passed away in 2018 at age 60.
McKinney’s birthday was July 11, so Beaty donates 11 percent of Fluffy’s sales on the 11th day of each month to the Foundation. She also donates 11 percent of all Fluffy’s sales in July to the Foundation.
In September, Beaty and Fluffy’s Chicken hosted a fundraiser for the Cedar Hill ISD Education Foundation’s Evangeline Paige Sudhalter Memorial Scholarship. The foundation will present two $1,200 scholarships to Class of 2022 CHISD Graduating Seniors who plan to study medicine or counseling in college.
Beaty was recently honored with the Cedar Hill Strong Award by the Cedar Hill Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, Fluffy’s was voted the Best Chicken Place in Cedar Hill.
“I am so happy about my awards – I am smiling from ear to ear,” Beaty said. “To receive these honors means the world to me.”
City of Cedar Hill Has Been Supportive
Beaty appreciates the City of Cedar Hill for its commitment to local businesses in providing loans and grants when Fluffy’s sales dropped by as much as 70 percent, in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic last year.
“The City kept us going during COVID,” Beaty said. “It was very, very hard.”
Since moving to Cedar Hill in the 1980s, Beaty has seen the community grow substantially, both in size and in terms of diversity.
“Even though it’s a big town now, it still has a small town feel,” Beaty said.
During her time at CHHS, she was involved in the Choir.
After graduating from Cedar Hill High School, she attended Mountain View College and worked in the financial services and banking industry.
She opened a beauty salon and beauty supply company in nearby DeSoto.
Once she had a taste of entrepreneurship, she was ready to pursue it again.
A restaurant was a natural choice for Beaty.
“There’s something about getting in that kitchen – you forget about everything else,” she said.
Beaty is strongly considering a second Fluffy’s location, this time in Ellis County. This location will have a drive thru window, plus a dine-in option.
Her youngest son, Treylon Brown, works with her at Fluffy’s and may someday manage the business.
Her oldest son, Welmon Mays, lives in The Colony and her middle son, Tyrai Jefferson, lives in Grand Prairie.
Beaty was honored to welcome her first grandchild earlier this year.