All in the Family (Business)
All in the Family (Business)

Jennifer Friends is a college professor, a proud mother of seven, and now, an up-and-coming pizza mogul.

As her name might suggest, Friends has an approachable attitude and simple life philosophy: have fun and laugh a lot.

“Life is too short not to have fun,” she said. “There is no point in go.....

Jennifer Friends is a college professor, a proud mother of seven, and now, an up-and-coming pizza mogul.

As her name might suggest, Friends has an approachable attitude and simple life philosophy: have fun and laugh a lot.

“Life is too short not to have fun,” she said. “There is no point in going through the day without laughing.”

Earlier this year, Friends got the chance to apply this philosophy to her own business when she and her family found Toppers Pizza. Jennifer, along with her husband Barry and four of their children, liked the brand so much that they signed a five-unit development agreement, planning top open the pizza franchise in the western suburbs of Minneapolis.

Like Friends, Toppers is known for its sense of humor, so the decision to open a store with the eclectic brand made sense to both parties.

“We’re extremely proud to have the Friends family join our team,” said Mark Cairns, Director of Franchise Development.  “Their vibrant and energetic personalities, as well as their decision to include their children in the concept, are a perfect representation of the Toppers brand and culture.”

For Jennifer and her family, they landed on Toppers brand because it was more than just a pizza concept with a high-quality product—it was a perfect personality fit.

“Just like Toppers, I have an irreverent sense of humor," said Friends, "We appeal to the young and the young at heart.”

While the personality match between Toppers and the Friends is exactly what the brand looks for, they did not dive into the concept without completing their due diligence. Barry, who has a strong background in the food service and franchising industries, had always wanted to open up a franchise. What franchise, exactly, that they wanted to open was not initially clear—until they found Toppers.

“Dominos is the leader in the pizza chain business, but they lack the flair and panache of Toppers,” added Friends. “Our goal is to produce a good product, but also have a good time doing it.”

Having a great time while operating a great business is key to Jennifer, which is where Toppers Pizza separates itself from the other contenders in the industry.

“Toppers Pizza has a great product, and as far as the way they operate, the entire idea is fun,” she said. “The people that work at the restaurants are like family. They know your name.”

It seems that at Toppers, families are friends, and Friends are family.

The Friends family is currently finding the best location in Chanhassen, MN to launch their imminent pizza empire. Once they do, you know they will have fun doing it.

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