From intern to running things! Amber Thomas is making Chick-Fil-A history as the owner of the chain’s first Black-owned restaurant in San Diego.

With no desire to become an entrepreneur, Thomas hopes that her journey can inspire others to think outside of the box and go for the gold.

“She wanted to be a physical therapist and she was adamant about that,” said her mother, Monica Hopkins in an interview with 10News. “She was like, ‘No, mom. I’m not going to be a Chick-fil-A owner,’ and then it just got in her blood. Her sister inspired her to be an owner and it went from there.”

The Journey

Thomas’ journey at Chick-Fil-A first began at the age of 17 when she worked at another location not too far from her current. Now, owning her own restaurant is a full circle moment. As a true hometown hero, her store sits right where she grew up — Spring Valley, CA.

“I never thought coming into this parking lot saying like, ‘Hey, one day I’m going to own and operate a Chick-fil-A in this location.’ So, it goes back to making it feel surreal. I’m still trying to register the fact that I’m here, that I’m serving this community,” she said.

Making History

By simply existing, Thomas is showing others that they too can achieve something similar.

“I’ve had so many come in and provide support and saying like, ‘Hey, it is great to see someone who looks like me running a restaurant and owning a restaurant in our community,” she shared.

Knowing what she knows now, Thomas even offered words of encouragement for her younger self.

“I would just tell her that keep doing what you’re doing, work hard, and you’ll be so proud of yourself later on down the line,” Thomas expressed.