A new Popeyes Louisiana Chicken will open its doors to customers in Missoula on Saturday, April 30, and according to Popeyes Chief Operating Officer Matthew Colebank this won’t be the first Popeyes chicken in Montana, nor will it be the last.

"The [Malmstrom] Air Force Base opened up three and a half years ago," said Colebank. "There is a Popeyes on every Army Air Force base, even around the world, which is pretty cool. That was really the only one that you had to get on base to get to and then we opened up the Billings Popeyes which was the first free standing open to the public Popeyes in Montana. It opened February 28, last year."

Colebank says the most difficult hurdle has been in finding suitable store locations, and in helping the corporate heads back in Atlanta understand that in Montana, a town’s population can be deceptive.

"It took us a year to actually get Popeyes to agree to come to Montana. It is the distance and the population base," Colebank said. "The population base when they look at it they do not understand Montana's economy. For instance, Missoula has a population 60,000, but your daytime population is almost 300,000 now because so many people are coming in for medical facilities and things like that. That is really what we had to change out there."

Colebank says they reached that 300,000 number after a rigorous survey about the shopping habits in Missoula. Colebank says they hope to bring yet another Popeyes to Missoula soon, possibly in the new South Crossing shopping center. New locations in Helena, Butte, Bozeman, and Great Falls are also in the works.

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