Zach Thomas will be bringing a new Chick-fil-A store to Rockmart this fall. He currently owns a store in Marietta. 

Kevin Myrick

A Polk County native who said he always dreamed of bringing Chick-fil-A to the area is finally getting his chance.

Zach Thomas, who owns and operates the MacLand Crossing Chick-fil-A in Marietta, said he plans to open a new store in Rockmart at U.S. 278 and Chattahoochee Drive.

He said the store could open as early as this fall.

Thomas said he will have to give up his Marietta location in order to open the new store.

“Ever since I got out of the military and decided I wasn’t going to go back in, that I was going to be in business, I took an opportunity and got attracted to Chick-fil-A as a company,” Thomas said. “When I originally applied to be a Chick-fil-A operator in 2007, I applied and in that process I said I would like to open a store in Rockmart or Cedartown.”

Chick-fil-A at the time told Thomas they weren’t interested in building in Polk County, but gave him the chance instead to take over the MacLand Crossing location. He’s operated it since August 2008.

He said he continued to bring up the idea with executives within Chick-fil-A, and eventually they chose Rockmart as the next location.

Thomas said the new store will be one of the largest locations ever built for the franchise, mirroring the size and layout a store located in Peachtree City.

He said the store will be located next to El Nopal in Rockmart and the Floyd Medical Center Primary Care location.

Rockmart officials have already approved the plans for the store, according to City Manager Jeff Ellis.

“We’re tickled to death that Chick-fil-A chose Rockmart, and we’re happy for Zach and his family,” Ellis said. “It will be a true asset to our community.”

A 1999 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, Thomas is a former U.S. Army officer who served in the 101st Airborne and Rangers.