Franchisee David DuCoin signed on with Philly Pretzel Factory to sell his favorite salty snack.
David DuCoin, 57, knows pretzels. Growing up in Audubon, N.J., he loved chowing down on the famous Philly treat, often times buying them from street vendors located around the city.
Now, the Mount Laurel resident finds himself in the business of selling his favorite salty snack.
After graduating from Audubon High School in 1976, David attended the American Broadcasting School in Philadelphia with ambitions of working in television. After completing school, David worked in New York for Continental Color Recording, covering weekend baseball and hockey events, and CLOS Video as chief engineer and editor.
He said he found working in television interesting, but when his brother approached him in 1986 about helping invest in a small telemarketing company, David couldn’t resist the opportunity. What started off as a part-time position within Impact Telemarketing, led to him leaving the TV world in 1989 to focus on his brother’s company. It went public in 1998 under the name Compass International.
After merging with NCO Group in 2006, David realized he missed the small-business feel of Impact Telemarketing. So, in 2007, David left the organization to create Duke Teleservices.
“A lot of people think it’s funny,” David said. “I left a corporate office that had nearly 80 people, with another 1,000 people working in different locations. I left that for this tiny office. I’m much happier.”
Now, the self-made businessman from Audubon is preparing to enter the franchise world. Beginning July 2015, David will open his first of three Philly Pretzel Factory locations. With the Lumberton, N.J. location set and a Cinnaminson location to follow shortly, David said he can see himself opening a total of five or six Philly Pretzel Factory’s in the future.
How did you learn about the brand?
I’ve been familiar with the brand right from the start. Growing up in this area, everyone ate soft pretzels because you could buy them from street vendors, making them really accessible and easy to grab while out and about. When Philly Pretzel Factory first started opening up around me, I would go there at least once a week. I would stop by every Wednesday and bring about 50 pretzels into the office with me.
Why did you choose an opportunity with Philly Pretzel Factory?
It just seemed like a good fit for me. Many years ago, when they first started franchising, I was interested in opening a location in Ocean City. I thought it would be a great premise on the boardwalk. However, the company already had someone developing a franchise in the area, so I missed out. Then, a few years ago, I saw locations popping up in Walmarts, so I reached out to corporate in January or February (2015) to learn about additional opportunities. The rest is history.
What challenges have you overcome to get where you are now?
I never had any issues with Philly Pretzel Factory. But when I look back at my career history, I realize just how difficult it can be to move the corporate wheel. I’m much happier running my own company. When you’re in business for yourself, you have a heightened sense of self-worth.
What are your expansion or development plans? What is your end goal with Philly Pretzel Factory?
My hope is to have five or six locations. I think for me, it’s one of those things that can lead to a more steady, predictable income—more so than my customer service telemarketing business.