Thursday, April 3, 2008

Which Wich Franchisee Sharon Lacaze Wins Franchisee Star Award

Sharon Lacaze and Founder Jeff Sinelli

Which Wich keeps bringing home the awards!  Nations' Restaurant News just honored Which Wich franchisee Sharon Lacaze with the prestigious Franchisee Star Award, which she received yesterday at the Restaurant Leadership conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Only one Franchisee Star Award is given each year, and it honors a franchisee who has attained profitability, operational excellence, and food and service success.    

Sharon thinks of her story as an example of "the American dream."  Though she and her husband Tony held executive positions at prestigious corporations, they had always dreamed of owning their own business.  After exploring various options, they discovered Which Wich--back when WW consisted of only one location in downtown Dallas.  "We personally loved the experience of the concept, its uniqueness and its simplicity," Sharon says.  "Instead of going into a franchise that's been around for 50 years, we were excited to get in on the ground floor of something we think is going to be very big.  But we knew it was a risk."

To become a franchisee, Sharon quit her job of more than 10 years with a Fortune 500 company.  She opened two Which Wich locations in Plano that were instantly successful.  As it turned out, one of her customers was Donnie Nelson, General Manager and President of Basketball Operations of the Dallas Mavericks.  Though the two did not know each other, Donnie approached Sharon, told her of his love of the concept, and the two decided to become a team.  Along with other investors, they formed "Campus Wich" franchisee group, which is now bringing Which Wich to college campuses across the country.  They have five campus locations open so far, with eight more expected in 2008 and more thereafter.  

The students love the WICHES, and Sharon enjoys supporting them through WW participation in various charity drives organized by students.   At her Plano WW locations, she also participates in a local program called Beyond High School, in which she employs young adults with disabilities, helping them learn to become independent adults.     

Sharon says that the risk they took on a new franchise paid off bigger than expected.  Her Campus Wich partnership has allowed her to expand faster and build more locations than she and Tony could have done alone.  She is also enjoying herself in her new career.  "I'm probably the happiest I've ever been career-wise and work-wise," she says.

Congrats to Sharon--our Franchisee STAR!!!

5 Comments:

Blogger Anjali Pinto said...

Hello fellow blogger! Check out my latest post about Which Wich!

April 8, 2008 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger William Lounsbury said...

Me and two other friends of mine created this slide show about our expierence at your Columbia, Missouri store. I just wished to share this with you to show our apreciation for your quality product.

the video can be viewed at http://historicavenueofthecolumns.blogspot.com/

April 8, 2008 at 11:41 PM  
Anonymous hellokitty0369@aol.com said...

This is to Sharon...I used to live in Plano and love Which Wich! Now I live in Edmond, Oklahoma and Norman is too far. I thought you were opening a store in Edmond, OK soon. Any ideas when that might happen?

April 29, 2008 at 12:50 PM  
Anonymous samantha said...

hey Sharon this is Sam from which wich Tucson. Just wanted to say congrats on the award. I am happy to be an employee of yours. :)

May 16, 2008 at 3:00 PM  
Blogger Gary Pittman said...

Congrats Sharon! Knew I would eventually see you in the paper (and not the funny papers!). Very proud of your success!

Gary Pittman

August 20, 2008 at 1:47 PM  

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