This minority owner of the Milwaukee Bucks has built a fast-food empire, but not just any fast-food empire — the largest female owned franchise organization in the country.
Valerie Daniels-Carter started at a young age and she is now reaping the rewards. Her journey began in 1982 when she and John Daniels Jr. founded V & J Foods, Inc., according to the company’s website.
V & J Holding Companies, Inc. (V&J) is not only the largest female-owned franchise organization in the U.S. but the largest minority-owned Pizza Hut franchisee in the U.S.
All of the restaurants combined make V & J one of the largest restaurant franchise companies in the country.
After taking out a sizable loan to get started, Black Enterprise reports Daniels-Carter was able to break ground on her first Burger King restaurant in 1984 and by 1998 V & J’s portfolio included 67 Pizza Huts and 32 Burger Kings.
For Daniels-Carter the road to becoming the head of the largest minority-owned franchise company in the country was no easy feat.
“I was not the typical franchisee when I started, and I had to challenge the status quo in the franchise industry,” said Daniels-Carter in an interview with The New York Times. “I met several unnecessary delays; it was a test of endurance. I wanted to help other African-American women have a chance. When I give motivational talks today, I tell people not to let anyone keep them from their dream.”
The Milwaukee Magazine reports that Daniels-Carter has always been quite the entrepreneur with her first gig being walking her neighbors’ younger children to school.
“For $1.25 per week, I would walk a kid to and from school every day,” said Daniels-Carter. “I told them there are dogs on the path and lots of other things their kids might be afraid of and I could make sure they got back and forth safely. Thankfully, no one ever tested the waters to see if I really could fight because I couldn’t.”
Today, V & J is a 38-store operation with 12 units located in Milwaukee and 26 in Detroit.