Every McDonald’s in the city of Compton is owned by a mother and her two daughters, NBC LX reports.
Patricia Williams and her children, Nicole Enearu and Kerri Harper-Howie, have opened 13 restaurants since the 1980s. In total, they operate 18 restaurants. Earlier this year, AfroTech reported that the family business brings in over $50 million in revenues annually.
Harper-Howie said people are stunned when they discover that Black women own franchises within one of the largest fast-food restaurants in the world.
Meet the Mother and Two Daughters Who Own 13 McDonald’s Franchises -Patricia Williams and her daughters, Nicole Enearu and Kerri Harper-Howie, have built an empire of #McDonalds franchises in the Los Angeles, California area. https://t.co/240rOHCh6p
— L. Marie Asad (@LmarieAsad) January 20, 2019
“I didn’t know Black people owned McDonald’s…I didn’t know women owned McDonald’s,” is the response she said she often receives.
The family’s entrepreneurial journey began when Patricia Williams and her then-husband decided to go into business for themselves, investing in their first McDonald’s in 1984. The two went on to buy a second store, but when they divorced, Williams bought her husband’s share. She then sold their jointly-owned stores and used the money to open up five new stores.
In 1995, Williams sold both of her stores and brought five more. The shrewd move put her on a path to owning every McDonald's in the city of Compton.
As a single mother with two children, Williams sacrificed so that her business could thrive and to leave a legacy to her daughters.
“It was a pretty intense, three-year program and I had two young daughters,” Williams told the Los Angeles-Sentinel of the McDonald's franchise training program. “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.”
In 2019, Williams retired from day-to-day operations and left the business to Enearu and Harper-Howe.
Although the sisters grew up around the business, they both had other aspirations outside of the golden arches.
Enearu, who was working for Los Angeles County, made a career change and went through the McDonald’s franchise training program for owners and purchased a store. She later went on to become the first female, Black Chair for the McDonald’s Southern California Regional Leadership Council.
Harper-Howie, who was already a successful attorney, started working in the business by providing legal advice in the human resources department. She then completed the Next Generation training program for children of McDonald’s owners who wanted to own their own store. Advocating for other Black McDonald's franchise owners, the sisters are members of the Black McDonald’s Operators Association, a diversity group to support Black owners.
Not only do the two own and run a multi-million dollar corporation but they are committed to serving their communities. They host outreach events where they place an emphasis on uplifting the Black people that they serve.
“We try to really get engaged and involved in our communities in a variety of ways just to let people know that we’re privileged to her here. I live in Los Angeles. Nicole lives in Inglewood, not far from our restaurants. We could live somewhere else but we chose to live here, “Enearu said.
As owners of 18 restaurants and counting, the sisters provide hundreds of jobs to the community.