I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again – the best part about having a blog/podcast is having the ability to support your own friends and show off the amazing things they are doing in the world. I’ve already been able to share the stories of Levi Holliday and Mike Adams, and now I have the chance to share the story of Chase Arnold, one of my teammates at La Salle:
More than Mac: Chase Arnold and Maria’s CLT
Chase hails from Charlotte and wears the 704 proud on his chest. A recruit out of IMG, Chase rolled up on the campus of La Salle ready to show his undying fandom to the Panthers and Hornets. Always combatting the energetic Eagles fans surrounding him with fact and logic about why Cam and the Panthers were more talented, we all quickly respected the kid’s passion and knowledge for sports. He had a Philly sports mindset.
I mention Chase’s fandom as a way of painting the larger picture of Chase Arnold. Chase came to La Salle and quickly integrated himself with seemingly every social group there was. Chase had friends within our team, on every men’s team, woman’s team, frat, sorority, and so on and so forth. Chaser was a social butterfly and the streets of Olney allowed him to fly. Chase had a “fan club” of sorts, with all of these different groups vouching for their boy. “He’s the man.” “Love that Kid.” “That’s my guy.” All phrases commonly associated with Chase.
Chase graduated from La Salle in 2018 and began working at a Marketing job in his hometown of Charlotte. Like many recent college grads (myself included), Chase found himself unhappy with the cubicle life. As a kid who was known as “everyone’s friend,” being restrained to a cubicle and being restricted from exercising his full creative mindset was a recipe for unhappiness. The burden of being unhappy at work can take a major toll on people. And when you factor in what happened next, that burden became a lot more serious.
In April 2019 Chase’s Mom, Anjali Maria Arnold, unexpectedly passed away. I’ll never forget the call I received at work that day from Joe.
Anytime you get a call from a friend randomly during the workday, a sinking feeling immediately sends chills throughout your body. I answered the call, and Joe told me the news: Mrs. Arnold had passed away.
I had met Mrs. Arnold a few times throughout Chase and I’s time playing together and the best way I can describe her is this: special. She was one of those people you meet and immediately smile and feel like you’ve gained a friend. Someone who willingly invited a full college baseball team over to her house and provided all 35+ players, coaches, and parents with amazing meals, then letting them then hang at the house for hours as a way to decompress after a long drive and game. Such a genuine, caring soul that was also one hell of a Mom.
My first thought after receiving the call from Joe was about Chase and how he was going to handle this. Chase and his Mom were very close, and the thought of one of my good friends going through this killed me. We had Chase come stay with us in Philly a few months after. We missed our friend, but more importantly needed to make sure we took his mind off of all the craziness in his life.
At this time, Chase had left his Marketing job and was figuring out what was next for him. It had been an awful few months for him, but Chase took those few months to digest everything that had happened to him and channel that negative energy into manifesting his dreams. And manifest his dreams he did.
Chase had always had a passion for cooking. And during this time of trying to channel negative energy, Chase’s entrepreneurial spirit made him realize that he could live his best life by doing what he had a passion for: cooking. As Chase told us on Skyline Spew Episode 12, his Mom made the best Mac & Cheese around. So, Chase hit the kitchen. And started whipping up the best damn mac & cheese these taste buds have ever tried.
Chase’s audience at first? His boys in Charlotte. When they started praising it, the entrepreneurial chops started churning. Chase started preparing more and more mac for his friends, family friends, even local college teams. Quickly, Chase’s culinary expertise was manifesting itself all over Charlotte. And Chase saw the vision: Maria’s CLT.
Maria’s CLT is an ode to Mrs. Arnold; a physical and spiritual reflection on a great woman. The name stemming from her middle name, the rainbow color scheme representing her favorite color(s) in the world, the slogan of “A Heavenly Experience,” and the logo having the wings of an angel. On top of all that: the best damn mac & cheese in Charlotte. Maria’s is the perfect memorial to a perfect woman.
I am so proud of Chase. My man has taken some of the worst things that can happen to a person and channeled all of that into a legitimate business, a passion, and a beautiful memorial to his late mother. In a time where the world continues to struggle and optimism seemingly declines by the day, Chase’s story truly inspires hope. Hope that through the bad times or the good times, that your heart can guide you to your true calling. That no matter how bad things get, positivity can make things better.
Chase is the Skyline Spew “Real One of the Week” for what he is doing in the Charlotte community and for truly inspiring others to live their dreams. Chase just got a truck that will allow him to serve his food all over Charlotte, and he will soon be doing orders that can be shipped across the country. Go check out Maria’s at the links below and make sure to follow them on social as well. I promise you: YOU”RE GOING TO WANT TO TRY THIS MAC & CHEESE. It truly is heavenly.
Maria’s CLT can be found at:
Check out the full interview on YouTube below or subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more!