African Mechanic


Brady Keys Brady Keys Smile

December 23, 2020

Former Pittsburgh Steelers Brady Keys was turned down for loans by a variety of banks he loaned his seed money by
Dan Rooney at the time the manager of the Pittsburgh Steelers, establish All-Pro Fried Chicken, through which he became America's FRIST BLACK FRANCHISOR. .

His first store opened in January 1967 and at its peak, All-Pro Fried Chicken had 150 FRANCHISES and was run by Keys as a family business.

In 1969 National chains took notice of his success and following a meeting with James McLamore he agreed to take on a struggling
Burger King franchise in Detroit Mi. Which he turned around using a series of innovative approaches ( make your burgers to order), is credited by some for coming up with Burger King's famous saying ' HAVE IT YOUR WAY’. By 1988 he owned 13 restaurants in Detroit.

In September 1970 he entered into a joint venture with Kentucky Fried Chicken to take a 50 percent stake in 6 stores in the Detroit area, as a condition of this agreement he was required to liquidate all of his All-Pro Fried Chicken restaurants, most of which were sold to the franchisees. By 1972 he owned these six restaurants outright. 

Throughout his pioneering business career Keys consistently advocated for black-owned businesses, including founding both Burger King's and KFC's Minority Franchise Associations. He was the first black board member of the International Franchise Association. In 1971 he successfully lobbied Burger King to award the contract for its first inner-city restaurant construction to a Black-owned business. In 1972 he was appointed to President Nixon's Minority Business Advisory Board. In 1973 he testified in front of Congress about his work in franchising and opportunities for minorities. In 1986 whilst on the executive board of the Burger King/PUSH Economic Development Covenant he was instrumental in securing an agreement with Burger King to funnel $750,000 into the black community, which at the time was the largest commitment made by any fast-food company.

Ebony Ebony Magazine

December 23, 2020

Former NBA player Junior Bridgeman buys ‘Ebony’ magazine for $14M.

Retired NBA player turned successful entrepreneur Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman purchased the magazine in US Bankruptcy Court this week, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.

Once a pillar of Black business, founded by John H. Johnson in 1945, the magazine enjoyed decades of popularity before declining advertising revenues and the internet caused it to fall on hard times.

In 2016, Ebony and its sister publication Jet was sold to the private equity fund CVG Group, out of Texas. But by 2018, Ebony had to settle an $80K lawsuit with dozens of freelancers who’d never received payment for contributions to the magazine and website, further damaging the brand.

By 2019, the magazine had ceased publication and its historic photography archive was put up for sale. The collection of four million photos was ultimately purchased jointly by four foundations that donated it to the Smithsonian Museum of African-American History and Culture and the Getty Research Institute, ensuring that it would be made available to the public, per the New York Times.

After defaulting on $10M in loans, in July, CVG Group was forced into a Chapter 7 bankruptcy ultimately converted to a Chapter 11 reorganization. Bridgeman was able to make a successful bid for the brands this week.

Bridgeman, 67, who purchased Ebony and Jet through his Bridgeman Sports and Media company, seems like the right person to turn the magazine around. The East Chicago native says he was inspired by seeing the success of a Black business in his hometown growing up. “When you look at Ebony, you look at the history not just for Black people, but of the United States,” Bridgeman told the Tribune.

Bridgeman is an example of the kind of entrepreneurial spirit that led Johnson to success 75 years ago. After his playing days with the Bucks ended in 1987, he went on to success as a businessman, first as a fast-food franchisee, ultimately owning a total of 450 franchises with an estimated net worth of $600M, and then as the founder of Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Company, which covers distribution in Missouri, Southern Illinois, and Kansas where it’s headquartered. This is not Bridgeman’s first attempt to purchase a magazine. He attempted to buy Sports Illustrated which was ultimately sold to Authentic Brands Group for $110M by Meredith Corporation. Bridgeman hopes he can make a difference with the storied publications.

He and his children will run the magazines and are putting a plan together but expect that it will remain a mostly digital outlet but with specialty print issues.

Woman Standing Man Wearing a Hat Whiskey Bottle

October 1,2020

Fawn Weaver, Co-Founder and CEO of Uncle Nearest Whiskey. Nearest Green's legacy now a dedicated whiskey brand. Nathan Green, who was known to family and friends as "Uncle Nearest," was a former Tennessee slave who taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey and is credited as Daniel's first master distiller.

Fawn Weaver has been a serial entrepreneur for nearly 25 years. As the CEO and found of Grant Sidney, Inc. (GSI), a family-owned private investment company, Weaver has often been active in her investments, serving in leadership capacities behind the scenes. She also serves as the CEO of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, a company she founded in 2016, which sits under the GSI umbrella.

Weaver launched her first company, a public relations and special events firm, in 1996. In addition to her firm, she served as Partner and Business Manager for G. Garvin's LLC, operator of G. Garvin's Restaurant (named one of the Top 10 New Restaurants by Los Angeles Magazine) from 1998 to 2003.

Weaver is the founder of the Nearest Green Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that offers full scholarships to every descendant of Nearest Green, the first known African-American master distiller, who is honored through Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey. Through the Operation Brother's Keeper Initiative, the Foundation supplied more than 300,000 N-95 and cloth masks to workers on the front lines and people in disadvantaged communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, the Foundation formed an alliance with Jack Daniel Distillery to create the Nearest and Jack Advancement Initiative to elevate people of color within the American whiskey industry and to greatly increase diversity in the spirits industry overall.

Team Kyle Sims Fresh Coat

October 5, 2020

Fresh Coat Painters is unique because we are committed to high-quality work and a better customer service experience. Our painters are employees, not subcontractors, and they are all trained and background checked. When you combine our quality and service with the tools, resources and franchise support, Fresh Coat Painters of St. John’s provides an unmatched customer experience.

Fresh Coat Painters offers residential and commercial painting services including interior and exterior painting, sealing and staining; pressure washing; popcorn ceiling and wall paper removal; garage epoxy and other services for nearly every protective coating application. We have a 24/7 receptionist, online scheduling, free detailed quotes and we only use high-quality materials.

Fresh Coat of St. John’s serves Ponte Vedra, St. Augustine, Middleburg, St. John’s, West Jacksonville and the surrounding areas. As part of our focus on service, we offer a 3-3-3 customer service pledge, so calls will be answered by a live person within three rings, a quote will be delivered within three days (customer schedule permitting) and the job will be started within three weeks.

Here’s a little about us:

Kyle Sims – Chief Operating Officer
I grew up in Phoenix and met William and Merrick while teaching – and working on my Master’s degree in Business – at Full Sail University. After working with William and Merrick, I realized that our like-minded approach to business and our passion for service would make us ideal business partners. I was personally drawn to Fresh Coat Painters because of the tools and resources the national franchise offers to us and to our team, which benefits our clients. Rather than spending our time focusing on the back office parts of the business, we can spend that time making sure our customers are thrilled with our work.

William Clark – Chief Marketing Officer
I’m originally from Orlando and, to me, Fresh Coat Painters is unique because of the business model. There are so many fly-by-night painting and home improvement companies out there that, as a consumer, it’s hard to know who to trust. By franchising with Fresh Coat Painters, we’ve assured our customers that we are committed to the success of our business and that we are eager to adhere to Fresh Coat’s high service standards.

Merrick Kelly – Chief Financial Officer
I’m originally from Bennettsville, South Carolina, and I met William and Kyle In Jacksonville, Florida after serving with the United States Army. I have a long background in business and entrepreneurship. I understand the value of building a trustworthy, franchise-backed home improvement company. That’s why I am so excited to be co-owning Fresh Coat Painters of St. John’s. This business allows us to bring a much-needed level of professionalism and trust to an industry that struggles in a market that truly needed a high-quality painting company.

Mahalia Jacksons Real Glorifried Chicken and Catfish

Mahalia Jackson Chicken

Mahalia Jackson


World's Greatest Gospel singer, an international star, and Platinum recording artist's Mahalia Jackson, who led the choir in the 60's during some of Dr. Martin Luther King's famous lecturers, started a Black-Owned Franchises called GLORI-FRIED AND GLORI-FIED Chicken System in Memphis, Tennessee around 1968. It was black-owned, managed, and staffed and was hiring in the communities in which it operates. Beyond jobs and wages, Mahalia Jackson's offered employees paid vacations, low-cost life insurance, and major medical benefits. The System grew to include a management school.

In the late 1960s and 1970s, Mahalia Jackson's Fried Chicken opened in cities across the country. In her adopted hometown of Chicago, there were, at one time, five Mahalia Jackson's

Shaquille O'Neal Papa John's Pizza

Former NBA star, Shaquille O’ Neal now has nine Papa John’s Pizza franchises in the Atlanta-area O’Neal invested in after joining the Louisville-based company’s board of directors in March. He also entered into a three-year endorsement agreement with Papa John’s (Nasdaq: PZZA) for $8.25 million, with half paid in cash and the other half in company stock, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

O’Neal’s investment in the Atlanta restaurants will be $840,000 and he will own a 30 percent share in the locations, with Papa John’s retaining 70 percent ownership.

O’Neal already has experience as a restaurant franchise owner. He is the founder and owner of Big Chicken, a fast-casual fried chicken restaurant in Las Vegas, and Shaquille’s, a fine-dining restaurant in Los Angeles. He also owns a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts franchise in Atlanta and previously owned 27 Five Guys Burgers and Fries franchises.

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Edible Store Edible Store Inside

Edible® Introduces Manage-To-Own Franchise Program The unprecedented program allows select candidates to earn equity toward ownership of their Edible store.

Program launch prompted by recent business evolution and success, including innovative new product lines and April's +61% spike in same-store sales.

Edible®, the world's largest franchisor of fresh fruit arrangements and all-natural fruit snacks and dipped treats, is creating a new path to franchise ownership with the launch of a "Manage-To-Own" program. This innovative program is for individuals who have the drive and motivation to be hands-on operators and eventually join Edible's rapidly-growing global team of franchisees, but who may lack much of the capital needed to open an Edible store.

For an initial investment of only $30,000, a Manage-To-Own candidate is granted operational control over an Edible franchise with the ability to acquire full franchise rights over time.

After paying the initial franchise fee, participants selected for the program will participate in Edible's 90-day franchisee training program. Upon completion of training, they will take over operations of an Edible location and will have access to all resources, support, and business tools available to Edible franchisees.

Edible is in the process of interviewing and selecting individuals to participate in the program. Once accepted, trainees will have the advantage of entering a franchise system with significant momentum. Same-store sales for the brand are up 8.7% YTD, and Edible has once again proven to be "recession-proof" in recent months with an incredible 61% same-store growth for April. Edible just experienced its most successful Mother's Day holiday in company history.

There are a limited number of slots available for 2020 and applicants will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis. Anyone interested in being considered for the Manage-To-Own program is asked to submit their resume to the Edible franchise team at

From the team at Franchising While Black, we thank you for your interest in our company. As we continue to build our website, fill out our Contact form to request additional information about our business.

Side Hustle Alert

Jade Colin, became the youngest Black woman to own/operate a McDonald's franchise in 2016. The New Orleans native was introduced to franchise ownership when her parents bought their first McDonald's.

Colin a graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a degree in business management. She began to work in the restaurants learning policies and procedures. The businesswoman later joined the company's Next Generation program, designed as a preparatory program for the children of McDonald's franchise owners.

Youngest Black Woman to Own a Mcdonald's Franchise

Jade Colin

Jade Holding McDonald's

Jade in Front of McCafe Sign

During the first year of the program, Colin received the Outstanding Restaurant Manager of the Year Award for her region. The following year, she was honored with the Ray Kroc Award, which recognizes the top 1 percent of restaurant managers in the country. After completing courses at Hamburger University, which trains students in restaurant-management skills, Colin, then 26, opened her franchise.

Colin credits her parents, who now own six McDonald's restaurants, as her biggest inspiration. She is also aware of how vital mentorship has been for her budding career.

McDonald's Food
Michael Strahan

Michael Strahan former New York Giants defensive end/Talk Show Host and Kelly Rippa bought into 18 Burger King franchises in the Norfolk and Richmond, Virginia, areas. He partnered up with Kevin Faulk of the New England Patriots, Caron Butler from the National Basketball Association's Washington Wizards, NFL Hall of Famer Marcus Allen and Donnie Edwards of the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs. The restaurants are located in predominantly black neighborhoods where they offer employment to the local youth and expand Burger King's urban presence.

Rapper Rick Ross is a major investor in Wingstop and has been a franchisee for years. As of 2019, the company reported that he owned 28 Wingstop locations. In 2014, it was reported that he made about $7 million from his franchises.

Rick Ross

Hank Aaron

Hank Aaron hitting a then-record 755 home runs during his MLB career. The Braves icon used his earnings from the game to start a career in business that continues to this day. Through his company, 755 Restaurant Corporation, Aaron owns nearly 30 Popeyes chicken franchises across Georgia. His holdings also include two Krispy Kreme bakeries. Aaron who also own Hank Aaron Automotive Group (No. 15 on the BE AUTO DEALERS 100 list with $136.7 million in sales).

Recently, Aaron sold four of his five dealerships, including BMW and Mini Cooper in Union City, Georgia, and Honda and Hyundai in Griffin, Georgia, to the Sons Automotive Group, a fourth-generation auto dealer in Atlanta.

If you stop at a Jamba Juice in the Washington metro area, you’re probably either supporting the business interests of Venus Williams or Vernon Davis. For his part, the former Pro Bowl tight end is a major player in that chain’s franchise operation. He has 11 Jamba Juice locations in his smoothie empire, spread across both coasts. Five are in California and six are near the nation’s capital. Vernon Davis
Jamba Juice

Chauncey Billups Since his NBA career has come to an end, “Mr. Big Shot” has applied that nickname to a career in business. Chauncey Billups owns multiple franchises across several businesses, including salons and gyms. But one of his biggest investments came in 2013, when he teamed up with another former baller, Junior Bridgeman, to buy 30 Wendy’s restaurants in Missouri. Those restaurants included nearly every Wendy’s franchise in the St. Louis area.
Willie McGinest to the list of big-name franchisees that have bought into Wingstop. The hulking Super Bowl champion who helped lead the New England Patriots to its first run of dominance now calls himself a Wingstop franchisee. He’s also a franchisee for Swirls Frozen Yogurt. Willie McGinest
Jamal Mashburn Former NBA All-Star Jamal Mashburn is a basketball star who successfully pivoted into franchising. The University of Kentucky standout first got into the restaurant business when he bought an Outback Steakhouse location. After getting a taste for it, he bought franchises from Dunkin’ and Papa John’s. Mashburn also counts several car dealerships among his fleet of investments. 
Outback Steakhouse
Brady Keys laid the track for many others on this list to become franchisees. The former All-Pro honoree with the Steelers found fast-food restaurants to be a great way to use his earnings from the NFL. In 1969, the year he retired from football, Keys became the first Black franchisee in Burger King history. A year later, he cleared the same mark with Kentucky Fried Chicken. Brady Keys

Burger King

Waleed Shamsid-Deen

Waleed Shamsid-Deen is the CEO of Supreme Fish Delight and Supreme Burger. His family has been in the restaurant business for more than 40 years in the metro-Atlanta area.

Supreme Foods Worldwide is a Franchise Holding Company that owns and operates two concepts; Supreme Fish Delight and Supreme Burger. Supreme Burger is a gourmet halal burger franchise company that provides opportunities for small business entrepreneurs.

Supreme Burger has a unique menu that features Beef, Lamb, Turkey, Veggie, Jerk, Salmon, and Vegan burgers. The company provides catering for corporate and government offices and delivery.

Supreme Fish Delight Supreme Fish Delight was founded by Lawrence Shamsid-Deen in 1980. With 10 locations in the Atlanta Market, Supreme Fish Delight is known for its hand-breaded, southern-style fish. For franchising opportunities, visit the website at

Supreme Foods Supreme Foods Worldwide Fries and Burger
Waleed Shamsid-Deen Supreme Foods Worldwide Franchise