The Wall Street Journal:

Like many immigrants, Lyudmila Khononov turned to a franchise to fulfill her American dream.

When she was 10 years old, Mrs. Khononov’s family left Odessa, Ukraine, for the U.S. in search of a better life. “There was a lot of discrimination against Jews,” she recalls of their exodus 30 years ago.
As they began anew in this country, “we had nothing except a dream,” Mrs. Khononov says. “But our parents told us we could be anything we wanted to be.”

After marrying, Mrs. Khononov and her husband, Gregory, ran a diner in Queens, N.Y., for six years. But when it came time to think about expansion in 2001, they borrowed money from a bank and friends and turned to a franchise instead.

Mrs. Khononov says she spotted “tremendous growth potential” for the Subway fast-food concept in neighboring Brooklyn, where there were only a handful of the outlets, primarily in gas stations.

She says they considered it a fairly easy concept to operate since “you don’t have to prepare all the food from scratch” and the franchiser’s big marketing campaign would give their business instant recognition. Her husband, also an immigrant, adds that it would have been much harder for them to expand the diner on their own.

The decision has paid off. The Khononovs now operate four Subway stores in Brooklyn. And this past summer, Subway, a unit of Doctor’s Associates Inc., named Mrs. Khononov its top multistore franchisee in North America, among 12,200 competitors. Read more.