All-Star Franchisees: Ed Holmes of Papa Murphy’s
All-Star Franchisees: Ed Holmes of Papa Murphy’s

After working as one of the brand’s regional vice presidents for nearly 15 years, Ed Holmes now owns multiple Papa Murphy’s location.

When Ed Holmes first broke into the franchising industry, he did it as a franchisor. He spent years working for the corporate arms of major brands like Wendy’s and Bruegger’s Bagels before ultimately finding the perfect fit with Papa Murphy’s—the nation’s leading take ‘n’ bake pizza chain.

For nearly 15 years, Holmes supported the Papa Murphy’s brand development in Colorado. He was able to witness first-hand how its unique concept caught on in different communities across the state, creating opportunities for its business owners to grow. That’s why he ultimately decided to transition from his corporate Papa Murphy’s role to become one of the brand’s most successful franchisees.

Holmes decided to move to Phoenix, Arizona to expand Papa Murphy’s in an uncultivated market. To say he hit the ground running as a first-time franchisee would be an understatement—through a combination of purchasing existing locations and building units in new communities, Holmes opened 18 franchise units for business in just six years. He’s not planning on slowing down anytime soon, either. Holmes is already planning another big expansion, and within the next three to five years, he aims to open another 15 Papa Murphy’s locations in the Phoenix area.

1851 Franchise recently spoke with Holmes about his passion for growing the Papa Murphy’s brand, and to learn what advice he has for entrepreneurs looking to break out into the business.

What was your perspective about franchising prior to joining?

You don’t always realize how much franchises are engrained in their local communities—it’s so much deeper than just a big brand name coming into town. Papa Murphy’s in particular is a very family-oriented brand, so being successful hinged on us being involved in our community. My stores regularly support the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, the Phoenix Rescue Mission, and we regularly work with local schools to donate to their events and host fundraising nights. Realizing how vital the community is to our success has been incredibly eye-opening as a franchisee, and it makes you proud of what you do every single day.

How did franchising change your life?

Franchising was always something I had wanted to do—it had always seemed like an incredible way to break into business ownership. When I first approached Papa Murphy’s, it was to become a local business owner. But my background in corporate development made it easy for me to take on a regional vice president role instead. But as more and more Papa Murphy’s units entered the Colorado market, I decided it was time to bring the brand to a new area, this time as a franchisee. And with Papa Murphy’s continued support, I’ve been able to make my dreams of business ownership a reality.

Why did you pick Papa Murphy’s?

Papa Murphy’s offers a unique take on a very crowded pizza industry, and it’s made them nearly impossible to compete with—there’s nothing else that comes close. Instead of serving up pizzas that get cold before they ever make it out of the backseat, we make custom pizzas with the freshest ingredients that customers can take home and heat up when they’re ready.

Why should someone buy a Papa Murphy’s?

There are so many territories that are primed for expansion—areas filled with groups of previously untapped consumers. Papa Murphy’s brings a level of quality to the table that other pizza concepts are missing, and more and more communities are catching on. And once people do catch on, it’s nearly impossible to go back to any other type of pizza.