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The Great Franchisee: Cory Cummings, Footprints Floors, Birmingham

The former Firehouse Subs owner introduced the fast-growing flooring franchise to homeowners in Alabama.

For the past decade, Cory Cummings was the owner and operator of five Firehouse Subs franchises in Denver. When his wife decided to pursue a job opportunity that would relocate their family to Birmingham, Cummings began searching for a new franchise opportunity that would allow him to quickly find the success he’d built with Firehouse Subs. When his broker introduced him to Footprints Floors*, a 50-plus-unit flooring franchise that had not yet broken into the Birmingham market, Cummings says he knew he’d found the right opportunity. 

We spoke to Cummings to learn more about his journey to franchise ownership with Footprints Floors.

1851 Franchise: Tell us your story – what did you do before franchising?

Cory Cummings: For the last 10 years, I ran a few Firehouse Subs franchises in Denver. I started with one but ended up operating five locations.

1851: How did you initially find out about franchising? 

Cummings: I found out about franchising when I got involved with Firehouse. People would always ask if I was a foodie since I was in the restaurant business, but I’m not. I’m skilled at operations management and knew I could build the operation, put the right people in the right roles and build my teams. 

When I found out about Footprints Floors, my wife had a job opportunity that would relocate us to Birmingham, where she’s from. I was in the process of selling my Firehouse franchises and wasn’t really looking into purchasing another franchise quite yet. I was talking with my broker and he told me about Footprints Floors. With the brand being based in Denver and not having any capacity for me to grow there, the opportunity came at the perfect time as I had the chance to purchase two territories in Birmingham. After I sold my Firehouse franchises, I dove into researching more about Footprints Floors and was really impressed with the brand.

1851: Why did you choose franchising over starting your own business?

Cummings: Since I’m not a foodie, coming up with my own menu would’ve been challenging. When I got into franchising with Firehouse, I went with a brand that had a proven system and all the logistics figured out. Same thing with Footprints, I bought the franchise for the system so I would be able to scale it. With the model already in place, it’s much easier to follow and replicate success than starting a business from the ground up. 

1851: Why did you choose Footprints Floors? What excited you most about the potential?

Cummings: I am definitely a DIY kind of guy and love tackling home improvement projects, so the brand itself is right up my alley. I haven’t even fully started yet and I can already tell the sense of community and communication is present at Footprints. There’s a private group chat for franchisees to discuss and ask questions, which I really appreciate. 

One of the major disadvantages of working in the restaurant industry is that you have to work all day every day; there was no work-life balance and that was especially challenging as my wife and I started growing our family. With Footprints, I talked with the existing franchisees and there is more flexibility with work schedules. I liked that I’d be able to have more control on when I needed time off. I also wanted to get away from having to manage a lot of employees, and with Footprints, I can have around four to six which is much more manageable. 

1851: What are your dreams with the business? What does the future look like?

Cummings: If I’ve learned anything from Firehouse, it’s that I spread myself a bit too thin by opening my locations rather quickly. For now, I’m content with my two territories and don’t have active plans to continue expanding, but if the opportunity presents itself and it makes sense for me, I’d be open to it. 

1851: What value do you see your business providing to Birmingham?

Cummings: Footprints Floors will bring a level of professionalism and quality service to the Birmingham community. 

1851: What advice would you have for others looking at buying a franchise?

Cummings: I’d tell others to be content with their success and don’t spread themselves too thin. Grow your business so that it’s manageable, not unrealistic. 

1851: What do you do in your personal time?

Cummings: I love spending time with my wife and two kids. Lately, I’ve been dirt bike riding with my son. My daughter has also come along for a few rides with her Power Wheels four-wheeler.



Upon his return to Littleton, Colorado after serving in the U.S. Air Force, Bryan Park noticed that Denver’s flooring industry lacked a higher level of customer service and sophistication. So, in 2008, he founded Footprints Floors, which today specializes in installing hardwood floors, carpet, tile floors, backsplashes and laminates. With more than 50 current locations, Footprints Floors offers franchisees a robust support system including a call center, flexible hours for work-life balance and a low cost of entry with outstanding economics.

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.