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Friendly Franchising

You know 'em. You trust 'em. Why not start a business with 'em?

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This story appears in the June 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Ah, the lemonade stand-the first beacon of the entrepreneurial spirit, bringing playmates together in pursuit of profits and the American dream. It's a heartwarming memory . . . until you think of the best friend turned bossy partner that soured the deal.

For franchisees Pam Chesney, 44, and Jill Kurowski, 39, it's different. The two friends opened their first Jersey Mike's submarine-sandwich franchise in 1998 in Nashville, Tennessee. They've since added a second location and plan to open a third this fall. Against conventional advice warning against partnering with friends, they've found business success with their friendship. "This is someone you'll have to work with every day. It's crucial that you really like and trust them," says Kurowski.

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