Patricia Williams opened her first McDonald’s franchise store in 1984. Today, Williams and her daughters Nicole Enearu and Kerri Harper-Howie own every McDonald’s in the city of Compton, according to Black Business.
Williams and her daughters, who began working with her in 2000, have successfully opened 13 stores, generated almost $50 million in revenue and have employed over 700 people.
Williams’ journey started over 30 years ago. She and her husband — inspired by family members who already owned McDonald’s franchises — cashed out their retirement plans and set out to open their first store. Their risk reaped major rewards, as the McDonald’s brand grew throughout the 1980s, Williams and her husband were able to purchase a second store before making another bold business move. When her marriage ended, Williams bought her husband’s share in their business, sold their stores and opened five more.
This leap of faith required her to take out a small business loan, attend the required classes, and spend time working in the store all while raising two daughters and working as a rehabilitation therapist.
“It was a pretty intense, a three-year program and I had two young daughters,” Williams said. “But like most things in life, it was the right time and the right place. The opportunity presented itself so I jumped right on in and I haven’t regretted one moment.”
According to Black Business, neither Nicole or Kerri set out to join their mother but ultimately decided to grow their family empire and get involved by opening their own stores.
Nicole attended the McDonald’s franchise training program for owners and later became the first female, African American Chair for the McDonald’s Southern California Regional Leadership Council.
Kerri is a lawyer and started out first by providing legal and HR help to her mother’s franchise locations, but then completed a training program for children of McDonald’s owner operators called the Next Generation program.
Now, they work to uplift their community by making their stores family friendly and accessible. They also offer scholarships to local students, and fund various local and national charities through their non-profit — the Williams/Enearu Organization.