Over three decades ago Patricia Williams was strongly encouraged to leave her career as a Rehabilitation Therapist behind to become the boss of her own business. She and her then husband cashed out their 401K’s took out a small business loan to enter the world of fast food purchasing their first Mc Donald’s in Compton, Los Angeles. Today along with her two daughters, Nicole Enearu and Keri Harper- Howie, Williams is building generational wealth with a Mc Donald’s empire that includes 13 locations around the Los Angeles area. In an interview with Black Enterprise, Williams’s daughter Nicole Enearu spoke with Black Enterprise about the history, the legacy they have created and their business plan and why she and her sister decided to join the family business.
When opening up a franchise it all comes down to when and where you open up your business. In Williams’s case, things worked out perfectly. In addition to being in the right location, Williams’s first location was successful because the hamburger chain was growing quickly. “It was all about being in the right place at the right time,” says Enearu. “I talk with clients all the time about the pros and cons of purchasing an existing franchise, versus starting a new one.” While things were going great for Williams in her professional life, her personal life was taking a toll. After the purchasing of the second store, Williams’s first marriage came to an end. Williams really loved her business so she purchased her husbands share and in 1995, Williams was able to sell her two stores and purchase five more! Another thing that you need in order to be successful is a plan. Williams plan consisted of acquiring existing locations and building new locations. In 2016 her business revenues reached $49M landing the Williams/Enearu Organization on the 2017 BE 100s list of largest black owned business.
One of Williams’s goals for working with the Mc Donald’s franchise was to “build a legacy for her children,” Enearu says. Williams was the type of mother who instilled education in her daughters. Enearu earned both a bachelors and masters in psychology. While Harper-Howie earned her bachelors and went on to received a law degree, working in law for 12 years. In 2003 Enearu entered the family business after feeling drained in her career. In 2012, Harper-Howie had a child, which triggered the desire to enter the business.