At the young age of 25, Edison Cook III opened his first business.
Edison Cook III was only 25 when he decided it was time to fulfill his dream of being an entrepreneur. The former college baseball player had developed a taste for Which Wich while working the front desk at the Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas, so he decided to bring the franchise to Orange, California—the home of his alma mater.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
I attended Chapman University in Orange, California where I studied business entrepreneurship and played baseball. After college, I moved to Austin, Texas, and began working at the front desk in the historic Driskill Hotel. I worked my way up to concierge supervisor, but when I turned 25 I decided it was time to fulfill my dream of owning my own business.
Why did you choose Which Wich?
I was a frequent customer of Which Wich in Austin. The menu allowed for endless sandwich possibilities. When I looked into purchasing my own franchise, I was drawn to Which Wich’s unique concept; it felt newer and fresher than other chains like Subway, for example. I saw huge growth potential with the brand and loved the trendy vibe.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
The biggest challenge was adapting to running a business on my own once the corporate team had left after training. Making sure I had the right team in place after the corporate training staff had left was a challenge for me.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
My best piece of advice would be to look at the business objectively at first. You never want to be a part of a brand that you don’t believe in, but it’s important to initially look at each opportunity as a business investment and try not to get too emotional in your decision making. You want to set yourself up for success. When I looked at other franchises I liked the food, but no cuisine seemed as timeless and consistent as a sandwich.
What’s next for you and your business?I now have three Which Wich locations throughout Southern California and am actively looking for a fourth location in south Orange County. My goal is to eventually have ten Which Wich locations throughout Southern California.