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The UPS Store Celebrates Black Ownership

The UPS Store Celebrates Black Ownership

Franchise owners of The UPS Store come from varied backgrounds, with no two having the same career path or experience. Some of what they do have in common, though, is the dedication to their business, a drive to serve the community and the business acumen to grow their The UPS Store locations.

We celebrate the achievements of the following franchise owners, while also recognizing their Black-owned businesses that have made a meaningful impact in their communities. Read on to learn more about what makes each retail owner unique and inspiring.

Melissa Thomas

Melissa Thomas has successfully embraced the entrepreneurial spirit and owns an impressive ten The UPS Store locations throughout southern California.

Beginning her career at 17 in the quick-service restaurant industry, Melissa spent ten years developing a solid understanding of how to provide excellent customer service and became dedicated to great service, teamwork and her customers. With this mindset, Melissa and her husband, Jerome, decided to channel their energy into business ownership and methodically researched local franchise opportunities. They jumped at the chance to acquire a The UPS Store location near their home and their kids’ school, and since have expanded to many locations.

Melissa credits hard work and research when reflecting on her growth. “Everything might look good on paper, but you really need to invest time to research,” she shares. Melissa has certainly taken her own advice, doing her research by talking to people on the ground and in the industry, as well as learning about “the good, the bad and the ugly to get a solid understanding of the business opportunity.” Even through moments of doubt, especially during the financial crash of 2008, Melissa and Jerome persevered, weathering the storm to prosper with the help of their outstanding management team and focus on superior customer service.

Melissa says “raising three great kids while running a business” is her biggest achievement. Though she proudly states that she’s a mom first, she is a true superwoman dedicated to leading and inspiring her team while also keeping up with her family. Melissa’s integrity and work ethic were instilled in her by her grandma, and to this day she thinks of her and thanks her for the person she has become.

Paying it forward is also a priority for Melissa, donating to children’s charities like the Toys for Tots Literacy Program and the local Boys and Girls Clubs.

Tecumseh Peete

As business minded as he is athletic, Tecumseh Peete is an all-around inspiring person and multitalented franchise owner of The UPS Store in Lawrenceville, Georgia. In addition to being a retail owner, Tecumseh also holds a PhD in Management in Organizational Leadership, is an adjunct college professor and an accomplished sprinter in track and field.

Born and raised in Memphis, TN, Tecumseh grew up with many influential mentors and coaches. After starting his career unloading trailers with UPS, he then enrolled in a UPS program called BEEP (Black Executive Exchange Program) where he learned more about African American executives’ real-world experiences, inspiring Black-owned businesses and potential career paths in corporate leadership. Tecumseh took advantage of an opportunity to move to Salt Lake City and became a UPS delivery driver. The next 12 years were pivotal for Tecumseh, where he recognized his entrepreneurial spirit that would eventually allow him to take charge of his own destiny by becoming a retail owner of The UPS Store.

Tecumseh then continued building on his experience in transportation and logistics with General Motors and Avon Products, solidifying his operational logistics expertise by earning a green and black belt certification in Six Sigma, a course designed to reduce errors and cut operational waste.

Believing “there is no such thing as luck, only the intersection of preparation and opportunity,” Tecumseh spent months researching franchise opportunities and preparing to buy his first The UPS Store location. He is extremely proud of his awesome team, finds joy in helping his customers daily and sets a great example for all through living by the motto, “Be the change you want to see.”

Joy Patton

Joy Patton was born in California to an Army family and spent the first 16 years of her life relocating each year before settling in Philadelphia. After high school, she joined the Army National Guard, then afterward, went on to build an impressive 19-year career with Exxon Mobile Oil which began providing excellent customer service but spanned numerous roles and cities by the time she left.

Joy recalls an “aha moment” in 2015 in which a “light bulb went off and I realized I wanted to own my own business.” After spending two years researching all types of franchise opportunities in the beauty and food industries (and meeting her future husband during this time), she found an opportunity with The UPS Store and knew that becoming a retail owner was the right path for her. Joy opened her doors in 2017 and now manages the store together with her husband.

With a background in serving her country and having developed a successful career prior to becoming a franchise owner with The UPS Store, it’s no surprise that Joy’s current role is rooted in providing superior customer service. She eagerly shares that “customer service is our thing” and that she and her team take immense pride as a Black-owned businessservicing their community.

Joy and her team offer excellent service with a smile and are proud to have repeat customers coming in regularly to tell them they are appreciated. The team thrives with hands-on and online training and has even expanded to include much of Joy’s family with her cousins, nieces and even her mom working at the store.

Joseph Malbrough

With a feeling of responsibility to serve small businesses and his community, Joseph Malbrough strives to always be a resource to them and help in any way he can. He and his team at The UPS Store in Smyrna, Georgia set an example of excellent customer service daily and live by the motto, “Be inclusive. Look at the needs of the customer. Treat them with respect. We are like a family.”

Born and raised in Texas, Joseph always had a goal of giving back and serving his community. While working for Motorola in his first “real job,” he developed his communications and business skills, then achieved one of his career goals of working for his local Chamber of Commerce to be more involved in the community. In this role, he perfected his fundraising skills over the course of 12 years, and then set his sights on another career goal, sharing, “I wanted to own my own business.” Inheriting the entrepreneurial spirit from his father, a steel factory worker with a shoeshining business on the side, Joseph found the perfect opportunity to continue the Black-owned business legacy from his father and become a retail owner with The UPS Store in 2004.

Joseph is motivated by really being involved in the community. He serves as a board member for the Smyrna Board of Business Association, onboarding and mentoring new businesses and fundraising for high school scholarships. His dedication to the community was recently recognized by the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, in which his The UPS Store location received a Top 30 Small Businesses of 2021 award.

Not only an inspiration to his community, Joseph has also had a huge impact on his own two sons’ career paths, inspiring them to pay it forward and make positive impacts in their communities. His oldest son, Evan, founded a non-profit and wants to become a Civil Rights attorney, and his younger son, Jared, is studying mechanical engineering.

Black-Owned Business and The UPS Store

The UPS Store is proud to support and contribute to diversity in franchise ownership, offering incentives to first time buyers along with continued guidance, support and training to franchisees.

To learn more about how to open a franchise and start building a team of your own, check out our upcoming webinars or reach out to our franchise development team.

2023 Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 Top Rated for Veterans badge

We Proudly Support Our Veterans

Participating partners with the VetFran program, The UPS Store offers qualifying veterans $15,000 off their franchise fee to start their new business. To learn more, contact The UPS Store Franchise Development Team.

Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 Ranked #4 in 2023 badge

Ranked for over 30 Consecutive Years

The UPS Store has been ranked #1 in the postal and business services category for over 30 years and remains in the top 5 overall for the seventh consecutive year according to the Franchise 500 list.

Kristin Howard

Franchisee, Michigan

The reason my husband and I decided to go into franchising and specifically with The UPS Store, is the different opportunities we're given with the business. The UPS Store has name recognition as well as opportunities to expand.

Debbie Adams

Franchisee, Kentucky

What I enjoy most about being a The UPS Store owner is working with my customers. We are the solution specialists for our customers.

Jim George

Franchisee, Illinios

My favorite part about The UPS Store network is the camaraderie with other franchisees. Everybody loves to help everybody else. You’re really part of a family.

Greg Murray

Franchisee, Florida

The interesting thing about The UPS Store is that when a customer walks through the door there's an extremely high probability that they're coming there to do something that is important to them. So at the end of the day, what we do for customers is very important and they are trusting that we are going to do it well.

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Mariana Huberman

Franchisee, Washington, D.C.

One of the things that I love about The UPS Store franchise system is that you're not ever in this by yourself. The franchisees of The UPS Store network are great.

Heidi Morris

Franchisee, Colorado

The thing I enjoy most about being a The UPS Store franchisee is I get to get up, go to work and know that I'm helping other business owners succeed in what they're doing.

Bob Brown

Franchisee, Tennessee

Owning a The UPS Store franchise has changed my life because it's finally given me the opportunity to engage my customers and my staff and be able to take real pride in what I do. As a franchisee, we get faced with solving peoples' problems every day and we do everything we possibly can to try to help.

Marie Jensen

Franchisee, Oregon

My favorite thing about The UPS Store is the variety. I love the variety of customers, I love the variety of services; getting to know the customers, meeting their needs, finding out how we can help them accomplish what they need to accomplish and seeing how happy they are. That makes me ecstatic.

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Tad Mollnhauer

Franchisee, Florida

With the products and services that The UPS Store provides we can make a difference in people's lives and that is the best reason for being a The UPS Store owner.

Joy Batchelor

Franchisee, Idaho

What makes being a The UPS Store franchisee worthwhile at the end of the day is the customers. The customers treat us like we're family.

Paul Erchinger

Franchisee, Texas

One nice benefit of owning a The UPS Store franchise for me has been that it gives me the opportunity to be more involved in the community. As I make relationships with others it seems like no matter what the environment is, in one way or another business comes out of that and that's not my objective—it's been a secondary benefit to being involved in the community.

Chris Reminder

Franchisee, Ohio

There are several things that I really enjoy about being a The UPS Store franchisee. First and foremost it allows me to get to know the people in the local community and that is a lot of fun. We get to see people on a regular basis. We get to know their life stories. That's a lot of fun.

Bruce Jones

Franchisee, Kentucky

Since we have joined The UPS Store, our life has changed by just having more time to spend together as a family. We've been very fortunate with the stores that we have and we have a great staff that looks out for our best interest and we look out for theirs.

Lonnie Williams

Franchisee, Oklahoma

What makes The UPS Store so successful is it gives each individual an opportunity to grow with the network and just meet the challenges that are brought to them on a daily basis. Every day gives us a new opportunity to help another person, to help another small business, to answer a question and to solve a problem.

Jeff Graham

Franchisee, Alabama

I love my customers. I love my employees. I love every person, every face that comes into my store. I enjoy every day going into work and I can't see doing anything else for the rest of my life.

Stacie Stigar

Franchisee, Alaska

I think that this franchise is so successful because of all of the resources that are available to us as center owners—we have marketing materials, we have so many different opportunities for help from the home office, and it just really makes for a great franchise.

Don Pollard

Franchisee, New Jersey

I think the thing that makes this franchise successful is a number of things. First of all we have an outstanding system, we have a great product, a great brand, and we're able to attract dynamic people to run these centers and run the business. So I think when you put all that together it really provides for a winning combination.

Mary Ellen Nichols

Franchisee, Tennessee

The thing I love about the franchise is that you have the UPS name backing you but yet you also have the autonomy to make your own decisions to promote.

Laura Griffin

Franchisee, Florida

In the eight short months I've owned my The UPS Store it has really changed my life. I've gone from being an employee of someone else to being an employer of my associates. It's a big responsibility but it's exciting every day.

Sandy Scandrett

Franchisee, Wisconsin

Being a The UPS Store franchisee has improved every aspect of my life. It's very rewarding financially, professionally, and emotionally. I have a large number of regular customers who are really, really appreciative of everything we do.

Kristie Robison

Franchisee, Alabama

I would say owning a The UPS Store location has changed my life to where I have more time and flexibility. In owning your own business you get your store up and running and you get employees that you can trust that are going to help keep your store running. This allows me to attend my two boys' ball games and also travel and do things with them so it has really changed my life for the better.