Every McDonald’s in the city of Compton now belongs to a Black woman and her two daughters. As Black Business reported, Patricia Williams and her children, Nicole Enearu and Kerri Harper-Howie, have successfully opened 13 stores over the last few years.
After drawing inspiration from family members who had McDonald’s franchises, Williams — who was working as a rehabilitation therapist — decided it was time to have her own, later opening her first store alongside her then-husband in 1984. The two went on to buy a second store, but when their marriage ended, Williams bought her husband’s share, sold the jointly-owned stores and used the money to open up five new stores.
As she raised her two daughters and worked two jobs, she also took the classes required to become a certified McDonald’s owner.
“It was a pretty intense, a three-year program and I had two young daughters,” Williams told the Los Angeles-Sentinel. “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.”
Eventually, Enearu and Harper-Howe noticed the success of their’s mother’s business, joined in on the movement and opened their own stores.
Enearu purchased her store then went on to become the first female, African American Chair for the McDonald’s Southern California Regional Leadership Council, while Harper-Howe — a lawyer — completed the Next Generation training program given to children of McDonald’s owner operators.
“The opportunity to show my kids what it’s like to be my own boss is invaluable, and I’m lucky enough to have a sister who I work extremely well with,” Harper-Howie told the Los Angeles Sentinel. “She and I have been close our entire lives so that made the decision even easier.”
Together, Williams and her daughters own a total of 13 stores, the last of which was purchased in April 2017. They’ve been able to hire more than 700 people in the community and offer scholarships to students via their non-profit organization, the Williams/Enearu Organization.