PICKLEMANS ED PIC2Pickleman’s was 20 years in the making when it first opened on Oct. 1, 2005. Owner Doug Stritzel had worked with some of the biggest names in the sandwich and restaurant industry. He had a vision for a franchised brand that above all focused on using the highest-quality products while creating profound and unique flavor profiles people love.

Offering a wide array of products with the freshest ingredients gives Pickleman’s toasted sandwiches, pizzas, soups, salads and desserts a quality that sets them apart. Delivering and catering to business meetings, school events, sports teams, fundraisers and everything in between allows Pickleman’s to bring its services to its customers.

PET FOOD EXPRESS ED PIC1Pet Food Express offers a wide range of food and supplies, while donating time and money to animal shelters throughout the state to find pets their forever homes.

When a parent tells a child they’re not allowed to have a dog or cat, most just grumble and accept the goldfish alternative. But Michael Levy, president and founder of Pet Food Express, couldn’t accept a life without furry friends. Growing up in New York City, he began bringing home stray cats when he was nine years old to foster them until they could find a forever home, and then he started a dog walking business at age 11.

Years later in 1976, while attending college in San Francisco, he started a dog training business to supplement his student loans. And in 1980, he opened a second location that included a storefront. “It was a retail location, but I thought of it as a dog training location,” Levy says. “I just expanded my dog training and didn’t initially think of myself as a retailer.”

MARCOS FRANCHISING ED PIC1Marco’s Franchising LLC is confident its authentic Italian pizza will win over anyone who tries it, which is why it plans to expand to all 50 states and overseas for years to come.

Founder Pat Giammarco was born and raised in Italy until he was nine years old when his family moved to Toledo, Ohio. He followed in his father’s footsteps in the restaurant industry when he opened the first Marco’s Pizza in his hometown in 1978. Giammarco’s pizza is unique and has become a success because he stayed true to his roots and uses only the best and freshest ingredients. “In Italy, they take pride in what they serve, whether you go to a restaurant or to someone’s house,” Giammarco said in a statement.

NATIVE edpic1During his days as a student at Arizona State University, Dan Chaon and his friends often found themselves partaking of a 10-cent chicken wing special at their local Native New Yorker restaurant. Today, Chaon is the president and COO leading the Gilbert, Ariz.-based casual dining restaurant franchise through a rebranding meant to both revitalize the company while remaining true to the welcoming atmosphere and tasty food that attracted him to it years ago.

Since joining the company in 2010 following the passing of co-founder Floyd Anderson, Chaon has established a number of initiatives that will further establish it as a leader in its home state and grow it into new markets. There are 20 Native New Yorker locations in Arizona and one in Washington state; 18 of the total 21 locations are franchisee-owned. Anderson’s wife Judy and four daughters remain involved in the company as principals and owners.

LEONS edpicsAmid a cross-provincial recession, Leon’s Furniture Limited an­nounced bold plans to continue growth in its established markets and expand into new provinces. The company plans to open four to five new corporate stores and one to three franchise stores each year for the next five years. This could result in a 50 percent increase in its retail network. During a contractual period when many are tightening their belts, some may find the move a bit odd. But as Leon’s President and CEO Terrence T. Leon explains, it is all strategy.

“[Some] might wonder why we are doing this now, in the midst of an uncertain economy that has made consumers so cautious,” he states. “The most fundamental reason is our faith in the Canadian economy, which despite present difficulties will invariably return to higher levels of growth. In the meantime, Leon’s has been presented with an ideal opportunity to lease or acquire new store locations at favorable costs.”

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