Back in 2010, Robert Kemna, a U.S. Army Captain, was in Afghanistan. He was helping prepare locals there to take charge of re-construction projects run by the United States. On Wednesday, December 16th, just one day after his final day on active duty, he began to make his own transition.
33-year-old Kemna, who has 15 years of service, opened his own 7-Eleven franchise in the South Miami-Dade area at the intersection of Quail Roost Drive and Southwest 127th Avenue. He is one of three winners of the franchise business’ competition, which awarded a franchise opportunity to a veteran who wanted to start a small business. 1,700 veterans across the U.S. competed in the contest, which is known as "Operation: Take Command."
Kemna spoke after opening the doors of his new 24-hour store, saying the location was ideal. The veteran is hoping for brisk business, partly because the closest gas station is around two miles away.
7-Eleven waived the franchise fee, which can be as much as $190,000, for the contest winners. The franchise business also built the location, bought the land and installed the equipment, which 7-Eleven owns.
According to 7-Eleven publicist Patricia Maldonado, the contest was meant to have just one winner. However, 7-Eleven CEO, President and former veteran Joe DePinto was unable to select just one winner after the field was narrowed down to three candidates. He instead awarded three franchises: one in Texas, one in Virginia, and the third to Kemna.
About 7-Eleven Franchise Opportunity:
7-Eleven is the leading convenience store chain globally, with more than 56,000 locations spanning 17 countries. 7-Eleven is currently seeking new franchisees as it continues in its position as the largest chain of its type. A qualified franchisee will have excellent credit, no bankruptcy filing in the past seven years, and preferably some business or food industry management experience.
7-Eleven does have an internal financing program that can provide up to 65 percent financing on the initial franchise fee. The franchise fee varies from $50,000 to $750,000 depending on factors such as store type and location, and there is also a down payment of around $29,000 for the store’s inventory, supplies, permits, and bonds and business licenses.
Qualified veterans can receive a reduced franchise fee and other incentives through 7-Eleven’s veterans’ programs. Veterans can receive up to 20 percent off their initial franchise fee and special financing options.