New York-native chicken finger chain Sticky’s Finger Joint is trying out life in the ‘burbs for the first time with two New Jersey locations.
After six successful locations in the city, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Sherman is eager to see how they can adapt to a new market.
“New Jersey is a really exciting opportunity to us because it has a different dynamic than NYC,” said Sherman, who founded Sticky’s in 2011 with business partner Paul Abrahamian. “We want to use New Jersey as a testing ground to prove out our concept in much more suburban environments.”
For initial New Jersey openings, Sherman purposely set his sights away from Jersey City and Hoboken.
“While [Jersey City and Hoboken] could be good markets for us, it feels more like a borough of New York City. We really wanted to go with something that feels totally different than New York but hopefully has a little bit of brand awareness because there are people who commute to the city.”
Locating in Paramus and Bridgewater keeps the businesses close enough for Sherman to keep tabs on, even though they’re a little further from his home base.
“While it’s sexy to take your concept to D.C. or Austin or Miami, we’re really excited about New Jersey as that next step for our brand,” Sherman said, “Because we can really actively make sure that we can translate our New York experience to the customers we have in New Jersey.”
The unique chicken finger-focused concept came to Sherman and a friend in 2012, purely out of their own love of chicken fingers and dipping sauces.
“We felt like there was an opportunity in the market because no one was doing it well. Chicken fingers are a universally beloved item, but it also had so much potential with different dipping sauces. Chicken is a great canvas — any great sauces work on chicken,” he said.
At the time, Sherman worked in finance. Now, he keeps his hands “sticky” full time.
Sticky’s will open its Paramus location in May. Two months later, it will open in Bridgewater.
According to Sherman, a third location may be in the works for later in 2019, but construction hasn’t started.