February 22, 2024

Ebony Cochran, franchisee owner of Little Caesars.   
Photo courtesy of Ebony Cochran    
Entrepreneur and credit consultant Ebony Cochran went all in for her birthday this year – she bought a Little Caesars franchise for herself and her daughter, and made stealthy, historical business moves in the process.  
“Family, this was hard to keep from you but I’ve learned to wait until the ink is dry to speak on things,” she noted in an Instagram post. “I wanted to give myself the opportunity to run a business and not just be self-employed.”  
The multihyphenate mentor and mother of two daughters (ages three and 17) told the Michigan Chronicle recently that what fuels her business ideas are her children, which motivate her to do more for them in the long run.  
“All my business ideas are inspired by my kids – leaving something for them other than debt and generational curses,” she said, adding that her daughter wanted to work at a Little Caesars so she decided to make a boss move and open one up. “She wanted to have 9 to 5 — it’s fine. I am one of those people if I’m not with them all day because I’m working, I want them to benefit from work also.”  
“The only thing that interests me nowadays is legacy building for my kids,” she noted in an online post.    
Cochran, who was tight-lipped on the Little Caesars location outside of Metro Detroit, said that she wants her supporters and well-wishers to understand that privacy is important, and they can love from a distance.  
“Right now, the location is not important,” Cochran posted on Instagram, adding that if it was closer, she would divulge the details but people may not be willing to drive 30-40 minutes outside of Detroit for a Hot ‘N’ Ready. “What I want you to know is that many in this space don’t look like me. I’m the first and only Black woman in the city and county. I’m sure this is the same in many other counties. We will change this though……one step at a time.”  
Cochran said that as a longtime entrepreneur, celebrating her success, what pushed her into this new field of franchise ownership was the pandemic.   
“What I noticed during the pandemic is people still needed to eat,” she said, adding that people still ordered carryout with restaurants and supported local restaurants.  
That staying power inspired her to get into the food industry, a path she never envisioned herself on.  
“I never wanted to get in the food industry,” she said adding that she had a set list of parameters that she wanted for her establishment, including having a limited menu, no dine-in, and already up and running.  
“I narrowed it down to franchises and I love Little Caesars and we eat it all the time – at least two to three times a week,” she said. “It was a great fit and how it landed in my lap is divine.”  
Cochran noted in her Instagram post that she needed to have a business unlike one she’s ever had before. “One that would thrive regardless and one thing I know for sure is that people will always eat,” she said. “Having a family business has always been a dream of mine but this route allows me to not have to build it from scratch. This is my 15th year as an entrepreneur and honestly, I’m tired of building from brick by brick.”  
Charity Dean, president and CEO of Metro-Detroit Black Business Alliance (MDBBA) told the Michigan Chronicle previously that Black women are creating more businesses.     
“I don’t think that’s an accident,” Dean said of a post-COVID environment. “There are resources out there for women. … a beautiful thing about women is that we know how to kind of encourage each other, right. If there is not a resource out there specifically for one, we’re gonna make one. … We’re gonna inspire each other.”    
She also noted that she is “overwhelmed” in a congratulatory post to Cochran.  
Kristin Lemkau, chief executive officer of U.S. Wealth Management at JPMorgan Chase, said that a business of sisterhood is emerging.    
“The biggest legacy for women in my generation is creating a sisterhood for success. I hope the era of the ‘queen bees’ and ‘dragon ladies’ is officially over. Here’s to a new Era of Sisterhood – women empowering ourselves and empowering other women. … Let’s celebrate the women who are the first to support other women.”    
Cochran told the Michigan Chronicle that being motivated to do something while scared is the way to go – despite obstacles that she has already faced.  
“Do it anyway. Do it scared,” she said. “I’m learning a lot. … I love this. This is kind of equivalent to going to a conference to learn something – I just bought a business.”  
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