Thomas Boggs, Founder
Thomas Boggs became involved in Huey’s in 1975 at the Midtown location. Born in Wynne, Arkansas, Mr. Boggs moved to Memphis at the age of 7. He began working at the age of 14 for Davis Rexall, who Boggs credited for teaching him the basics of service and the true start in the hospitality industry. At this time, he was also a budding musician and during his music career played with Tommy Burk and the Counts, Flash and the Board of Directors, which opened for Paul Revere and the Raiders. He also played for the Box Tops.
After working in the corporate restaurant world for some years, he moved back to Memphis and started working at Huey’s as a bartender, then moved into management. Two years later, he became a partner. Huey’s was a bar then, but because of Boggs’ corporate experience with Friday’s, he saw the trend coming and began building the menu, transitioning Huey’s from a bar to a restaurant. Huey’s now operates seven locations.
Throughout his lifetime, Mr. Boggs was an active member of many boards and committees in Memphis and was always dedicated to civic and social causes. He received numerous awards including the Jefferson Award in 2002, which is given by the American Institute for Public Service, 2002 College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Alumnus Award from the University of Memphis, 2005, the Memphis Restaurant Association’s Civic and Community Leadership Award in 2007, and True Blue Tiger Award given by the University of Memphis Alumni Association in 2007. Mr. Boggs was inducted into the Society of Entrepreneurs, and in 2006, into the Memphis City Schools Hall of Fame.
Mr. Boggs died in May of 2008, but his children carry on the Huey’s legacy and continue to honor the philosophy that Boggs built his business on.
Lauren Boggs McHugh, President
Lauren Boggs McHugh is the oldest daughter to Thomas and Charlotte Boggs. Lauren started working with her father at a very early age. She and her sisters would go to work with their father while he was the manager of Huey’s Midtown and they would entertain themselves in the game room. Eventually the game room was closed, because there was a need for more dining space. By the age of 13, Lauren was making onion rings, salads, and other prep items in the kitchen. Eventually she began to work at Louie’s, Thomas’ other business interest. She was a hostess, bussed tables, ran food and waited tables.
After graduating from high school, Lauren attended University of Tennessee at Knoxville her freshmen year and then transferred to Memphis State University. She graduated in 1987 with a BA in Business and Marketing, cum laude. She waited tables all through college. In 1988, she began working for National Bank of Commerce in the Bank Card and Commercial Lending Divisions. In 1990, while working at NBC, she decided to go back and get her MBA in Management. She received her MBA in 1993.
In June of 1993, everything changed when Lauren’s dad talked her into coming on board at Huey’s. He was ready to open a third location in Cordova and he knew that Lauren would be the perfect fit as the General Manager. Huey’s Cordova opened in 1994.
After seeing the need to create tighter controls and more consistency in operations, Lauren was promoted to Vice President of Operations in 1995. By 2003, Huey’s had added five new locations. She continued to work side-by-side with her father as he was steadily teaching her the ropes in preparation for becoming the future President of Huey’s. In 2007 she was promoted to President of the Company.
Lauren currently serves on the Board of Directors for Shelby Farms Park Conservancy, Leadership Memphis, and Paragon National Bank. She is also a member of the Kiwanis Club of Memphis. She is a Graduate of Leadership Memphis class of 2007. She served several years with the Memphis Food Bank as the Co-Chair for Feed the Need and she has worked with Family Link.
She was married to her husband Steve, who recently passed away, for 22 years; together they raised their children, one daughter Katie Fisher and one son Sloan. She and her children are members of Christ United Methodist Church. In her free time, she enjoys reading, exercising and spending time with her friends and family.
Ashley Boggs Williams, Vice President
Ashley Boggs Williams is the second daughter to Thomas and Charlotte Boggs. Ashley’s first restaurant experiences were as a child, where she would follow her dad to work. At 13, she took her first job at Louie’s on Poplar, working with her sister, Samantha, in the kitchen, prepping food and washing dishes. They would ride their bikes to the restaurant to work on the weekends. Later, she served as a hostess and ran food at Louie’s.
After Louie’s closed, Ashley followed her sister Lauren to Dairy Queen at 16. She worked there while balancing cheerleading and studies at Overton High School. She started waiting tables for Huey’s at 18. They worked weekends together with their dad and always had fun! At the time, Thomas was the only food runner, bus boy, and greeter they had.
After graduating from Overton, Ashley attended The University of Alabama and graduated in the first Hospitality and Restaurant Management class at the school. During college, she would drive back to Memphis on weekends and holidays to work at Huey’s for spending money.
Ashley completed several internships during and after her college years in fine dining establishments. She worked at Cotton’s in Gulf Shores AL, and then later at Anthony’s in Martha’s Vineyard, MA. These diverse experiences afforded her the opportunity to learn the difference between fine and casual dining and she realized that casual dining had a greater appeal as a career path.
In 1990, she couldn’t say no when her dad offered her a General Manager position to open up a second Huey’s location in Appletree Center on Mt. Moriah. She worked at that location for 7 years, before opening the Downtown location in 1997, and then went to the Poplar location in 2005. She then moved to the Huey’s Corporate Offices in 2007 and became Vice President of Operations.
Ashley applies the lessons her dad taught her about giving back to the community to her life today. She has been actively involved in these organizations:
Kiwanis Club of Memphis
Levitt Shell Board
Graduate of Leadership Memphis class of 2009
Memphis Food Bank- Feed the Need Week-Co Chair
She loves working alongside her two sisters and brother Alex, and she looks forward to working with Fulton in the future. Ashley has a 10 year old son who is the light of her life. They attend Hope Presbyterian Church. Ashley also loves traveling, snow skiing, and anything that involves the sun and water.
Samantha Boggs Dean, Special Projects Coordinator
Samantha Boggs Dean is the third daughter to Thomas and Charlotte Boggs. Samantha worked alongside both of her sisters at a very early age, beginning in the kitchen at Louie’s on Poplar at the age of 11. The Boggs sisters did everything from prepping food and washing dishes to sweeping floors.
At the age of 15, her father bought her a moped so she would have transportation to her job at the Eastgate Shopping Center movie theatre. Her duties consisted of making popcorn, selling candy, serving hotdogs and nachos and cleaning the theatre. She worked there until they closed two years later.
While attending Overton High School, Samantha worked at Chicago Hot Dog and Jean Joint at the Mall of Memphis. After high school, she began working at Huey’s as a food runner and then as a server. She attended University of Tennessee in Knoxville for two years and then transferred to Middle Tennessee State University. She continued to wait tables at Huey’s during holidays and college summer breaks.
While attending MTSU, Samantha worked as an intern in Nashville at a Country Music Public Relations Firm. Her junior year in college she did an internship at a Humphreys, Price, Cochran, and Sanford, a Memphis public relations firm, for the summer. She graduated in 1993 with a BA in Public Relations and minored in Business and Public Speaking.
After college, she waited tables at Huey’s for several years and then started managing for Huey’s. Samantha was an Assistant Manager at several of the stores and then became General Manager in Midtown and Huey’s East. She opened Huey’s Collierville in 1998. She worked there for 6 years and then began working in the Huey’s corporate office handling the marketing and advertising. In 2012, Samantha moved from focusing on Marketing and Advertising to overseeing Huey’s Special Projects. She still remains involved in the Marketing and Advertising aspect of Huey’s, but now splits her time between the corporate office and the stores.
She serves on the Memphis Restaurant Association Board and is a member of Les Passees. She serves on the University of Memphis Kemmons Wilson School Advisory Board. She has been the treasurer of Evangelical Christian School PTF program at the Fisherville campus.
Samantha has been married to her husband Chris for 12 years, and they have one daughter and one son. They are members at Hope Presbyterian Church.
Wight Boggs is the wife of Thomas and an owner of Huey’s Restaurants. She served as the Memphis Restaurant Association (MRA) Executive Director from 1994 until 2007 and has worked with the MRA in one capacity or another since 1990. She created their first newsletter and the popular Dining Out in Memphis guide, which is now online.
Wight serves on the following Boards:
The Drug Court Foundation
Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality
Memphis In May International Festival
She has also served on the Boards of:
Memphis Area Women’s Council
Playhouse on the Square
Tennessee Restaurant Association
Memphis Restaurant Association
Project Green Fork
A graduate from the University of Memphis in 1980 with a BA in the College of Communications & Fine Arts, cum laude, she began her career as Editor of U. S. Glass Publications and affiliate publication Architect’s Guide. Wight owned and operated Fulton’s Restaurant in the late 1980s.
Wight is vice-president of Serving Memphis, a newly formed non-profit dedicated to facilitating connections between restaurant/hospitality workers and needed services and programs, including provided healthcare related coverage to uninsured hospitality employees. Serving Memphis was founded in memory of her late husband, Thomas, Jay Uiberall and John Robertson.
She currently spends her time as an advocate for Memphis and the betterment of its community. She volunteers at various charities and is also a Reiki Master. Along with an adventurous spirit and love for travel, Wight enjoys many outdoor activities including biking, skiing, kayaking, and walking her dog Luna.
Alex Boggs is the oldest son to Thomas and Wight Boggs and the second youngest of the Boggs siblings. He was born and raised in Memphis, TN, and grew up in Huey’s with many memories of helping at the restaurant as a child.
Alex followed his father Thomas around the restaurant starting at a very young age. When he turned nine, he began to help with prep work in the kitchen. Alongside battering onion rings, he would also help servers make drinks at this time. His first experiences with tips were when servers would give him money for his help, and he would then hide it in his shoe until the end of the shift.
When Alex turned 14, he worked as the Manager on Duty on Saturdays, where he would help seat people, talk to customers, buss tables, and run food. Then when he turned 16, he was given permanent shifts as a food runner, which he worked throughout high school.
After graduating from Christian Brothers High School, Alex started his freshman year of college at The University of Alabama in 2006. Because the love of the restaurant industry runs deep in his family, Alex decided to major in Restaurant and Hospitality Management.
In addition to his major in school, Alex also gained additional restaurant experience in college. For eight months in 2006, he worked as a short order cook at Johnny’s Pub and Grub in his college town of Tuscaloosa, AL. He also waited tables at Huey’s during summer breaks away from school. Alex completed an internship at Huey’s over the summer of 2010, where he officially learned the ropes of the family restaurant.
Alex graduated from The University of Alabama in December 2010. He worked alongside his sisters at Huey’s for a couple of years, and he now works in management at Panera Bread, learning the ins and outs of the hospitality industry.
In what spare time Alex has outside of the restaurant business, he enjoys playing golf and traveling. He recently served on the CBHS fundraiser “A Taste of CBHS”. He also plays on the Huey’s softball team and races for the Huey’s Wine Race team every year.
He has worked summers and holidays at Huey’s since he was nine years old. He has prepped in the kitchen, learned to grill and most recently has been a food runner on the floor. However, his love is being in the kitchen where he is always looking for creative new foods to prepare. He created and designed the front of the current Huey’s menu. He has an ear for music, a love for food, and is an aspiring artist. Interested in organic and locally grown foods, Fulton is happy to see Huey’s involvement with Project Green Fork and its efforts to sustain the environment. Fulton attended Grace St. Luke’s grade school and is a graduate of Christian Brothers High School.
John Fulton became an Eagle Scout in August 2010. For his Eagle Scout project he built a pergola on the Grace St. Luke’s/ Miss Lee’s preschool playground. The Eagle Scout induction took place at Teton Trek at the Memphis Zoo, one of his dad’s favorite places. Dan Eason, Bennie Howie and Bob Adrian were instrumental in helping him achieve this high honor. He is currently working at the Memphis Zoo in the Animals programs.