Vicki Ueberroth has been making mouths water with her signature “Vicki’s Chicken” for the past seven years. Owner of Grand Grillin in East Lansing, she’s competed on The Food Network’s Food Court Wars, and has been the official caterer for ESPN’s coverage of Michigan State University Football for the past two years.
Her most important clients, though, never paid her a dime for her chicken. In fact, they helped launch a career that continues to grow at an incredible pace.
“I used to have an in-home daycare,” Ueberroth said. “I put together this special seasoning and made the chicken for the kids. They’re the ones that actually named it, saying, ‘We want Vicki’s Chicken.’”
Shortly after, Grand Grillin was born as she and her nephew started a food cart by the State Capitol. Her food quickly gained notoriety and she was allowed to set up shop at Spartan Stadium, where unbeknownst to her, ESPN representatives sampled her food and hired her to cater for their staff on game days.
“Our food is really fresh,” Ueberroth said. “We make everything from scratch, hand-cut our chicken, and make a lot of our own dressings.”
Looking to expand her business even more, Ueberroth began looking for a permanent location when she was coaxed by the owners of Maple Brook Golf Course in Charlotte to come check out their kitchen. Thinking it may be too far from her East Lansing home base, she was hesitant at first, but immediately fell in love with Maple Brook’s banquet hall and saw all kinds of potential.
“We were trying to find someone we could partner with,” said Jim Cicorelli, part of the group of investors that owns the golf course. “At the same time Vicki was looking at opportunities, so it was a true win/win.”
It may be a big win for the Charlotte community as well. Ueberroth brings an expanded menu to Maple Brook Golf Course, offering her signature Vicki’s Chicken (grilled, boneless, skinless chicken breast) in a variety of wraps and salads, in addition to gourmet burgers, crispy chicken sandwiches, and Vicki’s Chicken Nachos.
Ueberroth said she’s looking to cater weddings, graduation parties, open houses, birthday parties, etc. in the banquet hall in addition to providing food Tuesday through Saturday at the golf course.
“I think people will come to find that is a place to come and eat,” said Maple Brook investor Mo Jackson. “It’s not just for our golfers.”
Grand Grillin is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Check them out during a special grand opening Friday, May 12 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and sample some of the fine food Charlotte’s newest eatery has to offer.
Maple Brook Golf Course is located at 681 Lansing Street in Charlotte. For more information about Grand Grillin, visit grandgrillin.com or call (517) 881-7842.