Meet Some of Our Franchise Family - Eileen And Jan
Eileen Caccavone and Jan Pitman
Eileen And Jan
Eileen Caccavone and Jan Pitman met at Exxon conventions. Their husbands, Jimmy (Caccavone) and Harry (Pitman), each owned service stations in New York's Hudson Valley region. Eileen and Jan sometimes helped out at the stations...other than that, they had very little work experience. Actually, to say that they had very little work experience would be an exaggeration - Eileen never had a job...and Jan had some experience in retail before having children. Back in the 1980s they were both full-time moms. In the early 1990s, when they were ready to start a business, their friendship was ready to blossom into a solid partnership. Their lack of experience made them an unlikely bet for success...and compounding the odds against them was their choice for a business venture - a franchise from a new dollar store chain that had no other franchises up and running. Plus, it was hardly the best-of-times for dollar stores. Competition was tough and many chains were closing.
Just-A-buck's founders felt the chain could survive and prosper even in the lean times if each store maintained quality merchandise, operations, and service. But it was difficult to find managers who were sufficiently motivated to follow the concept to the letter. Eileen and Jan needed the franchise relationship, and Just-A-Buck needed highly motivated entrepreneurs. It was a win/win proposition. "What sold us on Just-A-Buck was Steve, Rochelle, and Bob," says Pitman. "They were completely honest and open with us about every aspect of the business."
They opened their first Just-A-Buck in Vails Gate, New York, in a busy shopping center. Today they own five stores in New York's Hudson Valley region. Each one consistently ranks in the top ten on the chain's weekly list of highest average sales per customer. And as for their husbands, they've sold their service stations and have gone into business with their wives.