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Why This Griswold Home Care Franchisee Continues to Thrive Over 30 Years In Business

Since starting the business with her mother in 1991, Connecticut-based Griswold franchisee Cathy Howard has been at the helm of a three-generation journey for the non-medical home care brand.

By Luca Piacentini1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 4:16PM 07/18/22

Griswold Home Care, the non-medical home care franchise, allows entrepreneurs to provide an essential and meaningful service as the growing senior population creates a steadily increasing need for quality home care. Today, the brand is still going strong after four decades, thanks to the long-term dedication of franchisees like Cathy Howard. She has been with the brand since 1991 and owns three Griswold offices in Connecticut — Stratford, Danbury and Norwalk. 

Before Griswold, Howard worked as a trust officer in the banking industry for years. After her second daughter was born, she decided she didn’t want to return to the bank. 

“If I was going to leave my little ones all day, it had to be for a better reason than sitting behind a desk working for someone else,” she said. “I wanted to find something that would grant me flexibility but also allow me to carve out my own destiny and make a difference.” 

In December of 1990, Forbes Magazine profiled Griswold Home Care. The Griswold family had just started franchising the concept, and the article brought thousands of inquiries to the home office, including Howard and her mother.

“I wanted to be able to do something important and offer a service that meant something,” said Howard. “My grandfather had been diagnosed with a form of dementia, so we had gone through the process of trying to find care, and back then the word ‘non-medical’ didn’t exist. That launched me into researching a whole new field I knew nothing about. Before learning about Griswold, I didn’t know there was non-medical home care available.” 

Founded in 1982 as the first non-medical home care franchise in the United States, Griswold Home Care is backed by 40 years of experience providing quality home care to the elderly, disabled adults and individuals recovering from illnesses. Griswold was founded by Dr. Jean Griswold, a senior care professional who had multiple sclerosis (MS) and recognized firsthand that the elderly often lack the assistance they need to remain independent at home.

“When I met the Griswold family, that sealed the deal, and I knew the franchise was right for me,” said Howard. “I just felt that Jean Griswold’s passion and desire to help others was exactly what I was hoping for myself. My grandfather passed away in 1991, which is the year I launched the Griswold location.”

In addition to connecting with Griswold’s model personally, Howard recognized a scalable business opportunity. “I went to business school and learned about the franchising model there,” she said. “Since I was unfamiliar with the non-medical home care field, I knew having the backing of a franchisor to assist me in every aspect of the business would be an enormous advantage.” 

Since launching the business with her mother in 1991, Howard says Griswold has allowed her to deeply engrain herself in her community. “Longevity is huge — we were one of the first players in the non-medical space here,” she said. “The deep history, experience and reputation we’ve earned over 31 years are essential to our growth.”

And although Howard’s mother retired in 1997, she says Griswold ownership has remained a family affair and has really brought the story full circle. 

“My two little daughters are now grown women, and they are more or less running my offices today,” she said. “It started out with a mom and a daughter team, and now it’s the next generation of mom and daughters. It is also an all-female-run business and most of the caregivers are women. That has been amazing.”

Looking ahead, Howard says she is eager to continue working with her family and providing this meaningful and in-demand service to her community.

Mike Slupecki, CEO of Griswold Home Care, says Howard has been an essential part of the Griswold team for over three decades, and he is excited to see her continue to thrive and pass on Griswoldness to the next generation. “It is so inspiring,” he said. “This brand has been around for 40 years, and watching Griswold Home Care grow from generation to generation really solidifies the importance of our mission and the strength of our concept.”

Franchise opportunities range from $95,850 to $174,100 including a $49,500 franchise fee. For more information about franchising with Griswold, please visit https://www.griswoldhomecare.com/franchising/investment-info/.

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