Spotlight On Local Business: Carter’s Fried Chicken


Steve and Martha King on one of their first dates in 1977 in front of Carter’s Fried Chicken.

“Everyone loves fried chicken, Don’t ever make it. Ever. Buy it from a place that makes good fried chicken.” — American Author Nora Ephron

Bainbridge is a very small town located in Southwest Georgia. It’s the town where everyone knows everyone, and a town with multiple local businesses that you simply cannot find anywhere else. Carter’s Fried Chicken is at the top of that list. I had the pleasure of interviewing the owners, Steve and Martha King who just so happen to be the parents of our very own helicopter pilot, Jeb.  Mr. Steve and Mrs. Martha opened up about not only their business, but the passion and love that comes along with it.

Mrs. Martha and one of her regular customers.

The Carters Fried Chicken Family

Mr. Steve and Mrs. Martha have been the proud owners of Carter’s Fried Chicken for fifteen years. Their cook, Bobby, has been with them for 14 years. “Bobby is the magic to Carter’s. He is what makes my kitchen work, and he knows exactly what I’m thinking before I even say it” Mrs. Martha explains in our interview. She says that he is like their adopted son, and they have grown to love him like he is their own. That’s not just with Bobby though. Mrs. Martha and Mr. Steve share their love with every employee that they have, as well as every customer that walks through their front door. Mrs. Martha can point out her regulars and knows exactly what they want way before it’s their time to order. “You never know what kind of day a person is having. That’s why we always speak to everyone who walks through that door because it could make someone’s entire day just by being nice to them.” Mrs. Martha and Mr. Steve talk about how they have helped multiple children who are raised in broken homes or the kids who don’t exactly have someone to be there for them. Their door is always open, and there isn’t a problem that they can’t fix together.

The famous “d-bone” sandwich.

What’s Good to Eat?

If you ask the people of Bainbridge what they order from Carter’s, the majority of the answers you will hear is the “D-bone”. Carter’s is famous for their pulled chicken breast sandwich topped with mayo, lettuce, and tomato. People get it in different ways: hot sauce, tartar sauce, mayo and pickles, anyway you want it. Not only do they have fried chicken, but they have a large variety of foods that you can choose from. They have shrimp, fish, and their famous “dirty wings” created by their very own cook, Bobby. Carter’s has kept the same menu items for the past fifteen years, but they are more than willing to let their creative side show and experiment something new.  Mrs. Martha explains that you can tell what the customers enjoy and what they don’t. She also says that she likes hearing feedback and suggestions from her customers. Hearing that their food is enjoyed by their customers motivates them to find other ways to expand their restaurant and their customer’s satisfaction.

The Story

Mrs. Martha started out in the restaurant business when she was eleven years old and has been apart of it ever since. Her husband, Steve, has worked a lot of jobs on the road. They have been together for about 42 years and have loved every moment of it. They started dating in 1977, and got married in 1987. They will tell you all about how they will open up their hearts and their home to kids who need to learn and feel what love is. When they first thought about the idea of running Carter’s Fried Chicken, they had multiple talks with each other and prayed about it constantly. Mrs. Martha and Mr. Steve say that none of this would be possible without God. They share during the interview that God has opened so many doors for them that hold amazing opportunities. They talk about how blessed they are with the amount of love and blessings that have been shown in this restaurant.

Steve and Martha King in front of Carter’s Fried Chicken in June 2019.

Mrs. Martha and Mr. Steve don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon, and they want to continue to show love and passion to everyone who walks through their doors at Carter’s Fried Chicken in Bainbridge, Ga.

— Alyson Matthews, Author

— Ryan Whitaker, Audio

1 Comment

  1. I recently moved to Bainbridge and relocated my family as well from Tallahassee. I enjoy Carter’s Chicken and the local family here. I love the small but sweet atomosphere here.

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