Sandy Blanchard, 38, didnt set out to have a career in the restaurant business. It happened totally by accident when she took a job in 1985 as a server earning $2.01 per hour at a Golden Corral restaurant in Gonzales, Texas.
Six months later, she was promoted to management, and shes been a boss ever since.
Blanchard grew up in Bismarck, N.D. At the age of 20, moved to Houston, where she met and married Tim Blanchard, a radio personality who now plays Buck on the Buck and James Show on KFAY, Rooster 98.3 FM.
The couple moved from Texas to upstate New York to Northwest Arkansas. Along the way, Sandy Blanchard worked in management for Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KB Toys and a golf pro shop.
When they came to Northwest Arkansas eight years ago, Sandy applied to be a server at the MarketPlace Grill in Springdale. She was hired as an auxiliary manager instead. A year later, she was promoted to service manager.
In 1997, Blanchard was dispatched to open the MarketPlace Express restaurant in Fayettevilles Northwest Arkansas Mall. She stayed there for three years, returning to the Springdale restaurant in 2000 as assistant manager. Later that year, Blanchard became manager. She oversees 115 employees.