Much like their relationship, Charlie and Peggy Young’s career in franchising was destined to be. The husband and wife power duo may have only opened their Mary Brown’s franchise in 2015, but their history together goes back much further.

Originally from Newfoundland and Labrador, the two grew up together and even dated before Charlie moved out of the province to join the Canadian military. It would be 30 years before they would eventually reconnect online.

At the time, Charlie was working as a correctional officer in Kingston, Ontario and Peggy at a meat packaging plant in Cambridge, Ontario. Today, the two are happily married and successfully operating their own Mary Brown’s franchise in Kingston. Read our Q&A with Charlie below!

Why did you decide to become a business owner?

After Peggy and I reunited, we would always talk and joke about our past lives and our dream of being self-employed. We both wanted more control over our work and an investment in our future. Even though we joked about it, looking back, we just didn’t have the knowledge of what it took to open a business. There was no one in our lives who had done something like this before.

We eventually decided to cash in our savings and purchased a food truck together in Kingston. We had a lot of fun working together in an environment where we could serve guests our home cooked east coast meals. The business helped us meet so many wonderful people and it was always a pleasure to chat with our guests, hear their stories, and be invited into their lives. Every day was a new chapter with a new character.

Why franchising?

As our business grew in clientele, we wanted to expand to other locations but didn’t know where to get started. That’s when we started to look at investing in a franchise. Our hopes were that once we invested in a franchise, there would be a team in place to guide us and look after the things we could not.

Franchises are also proven to be successful. We thought that if we were going to invest our life savings into a business, we should at least go in with a sense of security!

Why did you choose to franchise with Mary Brown’s?

We searched for the perfect franchise for months but nothing stuck out. So, when a friend showed me an ad for a local Mary Brown’s that was for sale, bells went off!

We grew up with Mary Brown’s. We knew and loved the food and we admired who they were as a company. Their honesty, their promise to freshness, their hospitality, and the way they support their community, has never changed. We knew we could invest in the franchise and feel good about what we were doing. It was the right fit for us!

Looking back, it was also a missing piece in our lives and now we feel like we are a part of a bigger community. Peggy and I have big hearts, so being in a position where we own a business means we have the opportunity to help our community and that in itself is a huge reward.

The best thing about being a franchisee is…

The feeling that we built and are continuing to grow our own business. There is so much to being a franchise owner. You can’t be naïve and think you’re going to be successful as soon as you open the door. You have to work extremely hard, understand the needs of your community, and go out and interact with members of your community.

Also, there’s a sense of family that comes with being a part of a franchise system. If we have any questions we can always call other franchise owners for support. We are always there for each other because our success is their success and vice versa.

Learn more about Mary Brown’s franchise opportunity at the Franchise Canada Show in Toronto on February 23 & 24 at Toronto Congress Centre. They’ll be one of many exhibitors looking to meet with aspiring entrepreneurs in the GTA. Register today!