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Success in Franchising: Doc Cohen

Lillie Burroughs sat down with Doc Cohen of Cookie Associates Limited at the IFA convention in San Diego for a conversation about a life in franchising and why franchising works. Doc has helped build his franchise concept from one store to a multi-unit set-up.

Doc currently operates a number of franchises, the main one being Great American Cookie Company, as well as Pretzel Time and Pretzelmaker. He turned to franchising for a very simple reason: he needed a job.

“I was looking for a job actually. I was an early victim corporate downsizing. I needed to have something to do and franchising looked like it would offer me an opportunity that I would not perhaps get on my own. It was a catalyst for me getting into business and becoming successful,” Doc says.

He then describes a situation very familiar to most start-up entrepreneurs: the challenge of getting financing. Doc set up his first cookie franchise in Lafayette, Louisiana, paying for it with money loaned to him by friends and the initial profits from his business. Before he knew it, another mall owner was asking him to open a second unit.

“Without even thinking about how I was going to get the money, I said ‘sure, I’ll do that,’ Doc says. ‘The second store opened six months later.’

Soon enough, Doc had made contacts with a bank in Baton Rouge and now his franchise dreams were up and running. With success came other challenges, such as finding people to trust to run his other franchise, as he couldn’t be everywhere at once.

But Doc Cohen found that the backbone of franchising made it easier to get his business off the ground.

“I was able to get the infrastructure and background and marketing support  - all of those things came from the franchisor, which is one of the distinct advantages of being part of a franchise.”

Doc has not looked back. His company now owns 29 franchises and has broken ground on its 30th unit. As Doc would say, franchising works.

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