These Mother-Daughter Franchise Teams Created the Ultimate Family Business

Meet Four Mother-Daughter Duos who Grew Personally and Professionally Through Franchising

Whoever said you can’t mix business and pleasure didn’t work with their mom. Through business ownership, mothers and daughters can create the ultimate bond. In honor of Mother’s Day, we speak with four mother-daughter duos who have grown professionally and personally through their franchising journeys together. By including their daughters in their businesses, these entrepreneurial moms have created an amazing family legacy. With a shared passion for franchising, these mother-daughter teams have enjoyed the unique opportunity of building an empire together. 

We first speak with Eileen Huntington, co-founder of Huntington Learning Center, and her daughter, Anne Huntington Sharma, the franchise’s president. Eileen co-founded the educational franchise with her husband, Dr. Raymond Huntington, in 1977. When she was a teacher, Eileen saw firsthand how students can struggle in school. She and Dr. Huntington used their entrepreneurial prowess to start a tutoring center. Little did they know that their daughter, Anne, would catch the franchising bug and become the brand’s president decades later. 

Eileen Huntington and Anne Huntington Sharma, Huntington Learning Center

Dr. Raymond, Anne and Eileen Huntington, Huntington Learning Center
Eileen Huntington (left), Dr. Raymond Huntington (center), and Anne Huntington Sharma (right)

If you are so privileged to work alongside family, being clear on roles and responsibilities from the outset is key.

When was Huntington Learning Center founded, and when did it begin franchising?

Huntington Learning Center was founded in 1977 by me [Eileen] and my husband, Dr. Raymond Huntington. After expanding throughout New Jersey and the tri-state area, the first franchise was opened in New Hampshire in 1985. This year, we celebrate our 45th anniversary. 

What was the inspiration behind Huntington Learning Center?

I [Eileen] was a junior high and high school teacher in New York City and New Jersey where I witnessed struggling students firsthand. Through that experience, the idea for a tutoring center that offered individualized, supplemental instruction to students K-12 to help close the skill gap was born. My husband co-founded the first-ever tutoring center with me, utilizing his Fortune 500 business background and college-level teaching experience to help create what we know today as Huntington Learning Center. It is now a network of 300 tutoring centers located throughout the U.S.

Huntington Learning Center franchise 
Huntington Learning Center offers individualized, supplemental instruction to students K-12 to help close the skill gap.

What is your favorite part of working together? 

We are both motivated by the direct impact we get to have on students, families, our franchisees, and our team. Between us is a trust and bond that inherently works; we can clearly articulate what our goals are and how to achieve them. Also, we can cut through the niceties and get to what needs to get done. Above all, our favorite part is observing each other in action. It has been wonderful watching each other grow at Huntington. I [Anne] became president of Huntington Learning Center in October 2019, just months before the onset of the global pandemic. Huntington has now embarked on a digital transformation that continues to expand our business model into one that meets the needs of students no matter the circumstances. We do this by providing access to our academic resources both online and in-person.

How has franchising changed your life and relationship?

Franchising has always been part of our lives and our relationship and has allowed us to see the Huntington business in a unique way. We understand what it takes from an individual, the intricacies of operating at a franchisee level, and from there the connection of our network across regions and nationwide. We’ve both witnessed each other’s passion and determination over the decades, our commitment to the brand remains strong and true to its roots. Working alongside each other is the greatest reward, and franchising has opened the door for us to achieve that. We share a passion for the mission at the core of Huntington and that’s to give every student the best education possible. We are equally grateful for the opportunity to provide that to as many students as we can. To date, Huntington has helped over one million students reach their academic goals.

 What advice do you give to other mothers looking to get into the industry?

As a parent and a woman entering the franchise world and any business venture, we encourage you to seek an opportunity that aligns with your values and allows for continued growth professionally and personally. If you are so privileged to work alongside family, being clear on roles and responsibilities from the outset is key. Working together might be tough, but it doesn’t have to be – it can be lots of fun. This started as a family business, and it’s still a family business. However, now the family is much larger thanks to our franchise owners throughout the country. Finding a business partner, be that in the form of a franchisor or particular brand, can be extremely rewarding. We often tell people to “trust your gut.” Trust your inner voice to help guide your decision when choosing a career path. Find a place that uniquely suits you and your family, and you will thrive.

Rosalie Guillem and Audrey Guillem-Saba, Le Macaron French Pastries franchise 

Rosalie and Audrey Guillem, Le Macaron French Pastries franchise
Audrey Guillem-Saba (left) and Rosalie Guillem (right)

We celebrate the good times, and when there are challenges, we know we are not alone.

When was Le Macaron French Pastries founded, and when did it begin franchising?

We co-founded Le Macaron French Pastries in 2009. Our first store was opened in Sarasota, Fla. We began franchising in 2012 with two stores in the Orlando area. Since then, we have added 63 locations across the U.S., and we are now the top French pastries and macaron franchise in the country.

What was the inspiration behind Le Macaron French Pastries?

Since we lived so far from each other, we thought of businesses we could start so that Audrey could make the move from France to Florida with her family. We needed to have an E-2 Visa, so we brainstormed a lot of business ideas and eventually decided that bringing the delicious macarons we craved to America would inspire all of us. We called some of our friends who were French pastry chefs in France and told them our plans. Audrey made the move with her husband and children, and we opened our flagship location in Sarasota in 2009.

Le Macaron French Pastries franchise
The inspiration behind the Le Macaron French Pastries franchise was to bring delicious French macarons and other pastries to the U.S. 

What is your favorite part of working together?

Our favorite part of working together is that we trust and rely on each other. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. We celebrate the good times, and when there are challenges, we know we are not alone. We can be creative and share our joys and our fears. There is always one of us that will push for work or motivation. Together we feel stronger.

How has franchising changed your life and relationship?

Franchising has expanded our responsibilities so much that it is tempting to want to talk about work all the time. However, we realized this was not good for anyone and that we had to set some boundaries to achieve work-life balance. Our simple rule is that family time is family time, and it is not work time. If a family member is celebrating a birthday, for example, we want that special time to be all about them and not have business matters detract from it. We have Sunday dinner with a lot of family members every week, and the same rule is in place — no talking about work when there is a family gathering. We have both different responsibilities and work to accomplish our goals. We are partners in business and still mother-daughter in family life. Fortunately, we are able to separate the two relationships we have.

What advice do you give to other mothers looking to get into the industry?

If you have a good idea for a concept or a product, believe in it. Surround yourself with people who are also passionate about the business and being successful, whether it’s family, friends, or the most qualified, enthusiastic people you can hire. Listen to the advice of others, but always believe in yourself and do not let anyone try to change your goals. Also, accept what each person excels at and trust them. If you both have strong personalities, learn how to communicate better and pick your battles.

Tracey and Dani Noonan, Wicked Good Cupcakes 

Tracey and Dani Noonan, Wicked Good Cupcakes franchise
Tracey (left) and Dani Noonan (right)

Our favorite part of working together is being onboard with one another as far as our common goals are concerned.

When was Wicked Good Cupcakes founded, and when did it begin franchising?

We started our business near the end of 2010 but didn’t open our shop until Oct. 1, 2011. We started investigating the possibility of franchising in 2018.

What was the inspiration behind Wicked Good Cupcakes?

We really started baking as a way to spend time together. We honestly didn’t have plans to start a business until it became evident that people loved our product. We then made the decision to have a go at it and start Wicked Good Cupcakes.

Wicked Good Cupcakes 
Wicked Good Cupcakes offers cupcakes in a jar.

What is your favorite part of working together?

Our favorite part of working together is being onboard with one another as far as our common goals are concerned. It’s an amazing thing for a mom to watch her daughter or son grow into a responsible, dedicated and hard working young adult.

How has franchising changed your life and relationship?

 It really hasn’t changed anything. It’s just a small extension of what we do.

What advice do you give to other mothers looking to get into the industry?

You need to let go of the mom gene and let your child develop and grow into their work role as well as the adult that they are becoming. This isn’t always that easy to do. But it’s so necessary for your child’s success for you to let them stumble and learn from their mistakes on their own. Badgering and always looking over their shoulders can backfire and create a lot of animosity and mistrust in the workplace and home.

Penny Paclik and Tiffany Hansen, 3 Degrees franchise

Penny and Tiffany, 3 Degrees franchise
Penny Paclik (left) and Tiffany Hansen (right)

The best part of working together is that we are best friends and have so much fun working together. 

When was 3 Degrees founded, and when did it begin franchising?

We first opened 3 Degrees under a different name. It was SweetSweat Sauna Studio Sioux Falls. That was back in 2013. We eventually changed the name and could not have picked a worse time to begin franchising. We started franchising in February 2020, which was one month before the pandemic really hit hard. We probably should’ve taken two years off and just coasted. But, instead we decided to hit the ground running and used those two years to make sure all of our avenues were intact, such as construction manuals and all the things that help make our franchisees successful. As much as it was a disappointment for those two years as far as franchising would go, we do feel like it was a blessing in disguise to help us get completely prepared to be our best selves. 

What was the inspiration behind 3 Degrees? 

I was in the food franchising business for 40 years, and as Tiffany learned from that she wanted something with more reasonable hours and workload. She wanted to spend time raising her daughters. I saw where the healthcare system was going. After seeing all my friends age, I realized we are all going to have to take care of ourselves. Taking responsibility for your own health can be done through an infrared sauna. We also love to develop people and concepts, and this model does that.           

3 Degrees franchise 
Infrared saunas allow you to take control of your health.


What is your favorite part of working together?                 

The best part of working together is that we are best friends and have so much fun working together. We make it exciting and fun and no day is the same. It’s a blessing to be able to work around someone that you respect. We learn so much from each other every day. 

How has franchising changed your life and relationship?

We thrive on chaos, so we don’t think it has changed our lives much other than keeping it fun, exhilarating and busy. Our relationship hasn’t changed at all. We both have our parts that we are excellent at, and we do our part and come together like we always have.

What advice do you give to other mothers looking to get into the industry? 

Honestly, the best advice we could give would be to make sure that you have a code for when you want to have a conversation as a mother-daughter and not a working relationship. We talk differently to each other when we call about our company than we do for personal calls. It’s nice that we can distinguish between the two roles. 

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Haley Cafarella is a passionate journalist and content developer. In her role as content and marketing specialist for IFPG, she creates original content for the franchise broker network's ongoing initiatives and writes articles for FranchiseWire.com.
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