Chicken N Pickle Named 2022 Small Business Of The Year

The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the 2022 Small Business of the Year is Chicken N Pickle! Founder Dave Johnson accepted the Mr. K Award at the Chamber’s Small Business Celebration Awards Luncheon, Wednesday, June 15 at the Marriott Muehlebach Tower. 

This is the third time Chicken N Pickle was named a Top 10 Small Business, first in 2020 and again in 2021. They also took home the Entrepreneur Award in 2018.  

Johnson recently said that winning the Mr. K Award would have special significance for him, as Ewing Kauffman previously bestowed on him another significant accomplishment: “Mr. K gave me my Eagle Scout,” said Johnson. “All those years ago he handed it to me, and winning an award named after him would just mean the world.” 

The North Kansas City-based restaurant is a family entertainment center based around pickleball. Johnson founded the business in 2016 after coming up with the idea while on vacation in the Grand Cayman Islands. He wanted to create a unique experience that gave customers something to do while enjoying food and drink. As of today, Chicken & Pickle offers live music, a unique and varied menu, fundraiser locations, lawn games, and of course pickle ball.  

With six restaurants located in North Kansas City, Overland Park, Wichita, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, and Grand Prairie, Texas, Johnson plans to open three more later this year in St. Charles, Missouri; Grapevine, Texas; and Glendale, Arizona.   "We have lightning in a bottle that every community wants, and we’ve become the 'Cheers’ of Kansas City,” said Johnson. 

The Chamber also awarded the Specialty Awards at the Luncheon. Those awards and the winners include: 

The KC Chamber Small Business Celebration has been a business community mainstay for more than 30 years. It’s recognized as one of the largest Chamber small business celebrations in the United States. The Small Business of the Year receives the coveted Mr. K Award, named for Ewing Kauffman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. To be named Small Business of the Year signifies that a company that has shown growth or sustainability of their business with strong employee relations, a record of giving back to the community, and prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Photo of Dave Johnson wearing green Chicken N Pickle shirt
Dave Johnson, Founder, Chicken N Pickle

Thank you to all our 2022 Small Business Celebration Sponsors! 

2022 Small Business Programming Presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City and Evergy. Our CEO Sponsor is Honeywell. Our Candidates’ Showcase Presenting Sponsor is American Century Investments. Our Top 10 Announcement Presenting Sponsor is UMB Bank. Our Top 10 Reception Presenting Sponsor is Bank Midwest. Our Awards Luncheon Presenting Sponsor is Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Our Executive Sponsor is CommunityAmerica Credit Union. Our Partner Sponsor is H&R Block. Our Associate Sponsors are Arvest Bank, Country Club Bank, Enterprise Bank & Trust, Mazuma Credit Union, Menlo and US Bank.