Business Story: Dish washer to owner before the age of 30

Ali Momin/Cochran Dairy Queen

COCHRAN, GEORGIA: Ali Momin has been a familiar face in Cochran, Georgia for a long time. Teachers remember when the Momins first came to Bleckley County, and the respectful and smart young man stole their hearts early on.

As he grew and started doing more in his father’s business in Cochran, Ali also grabbed the attention of community members.

He has always been a supporter professionally and personally of the schools in Bleckley County and other community events be it donating products or time.

His idea was to go to college to become a doctor – but life had different plans for him.

The entrepreneur, featured recently in Franchising.Com, would just laugh and humbly wave off any attention, and point others to his father, who he says was his biggest influence in life, or to one of his franchises he owns in Cochran, Lovejoy, McDonough, Griffin and Douglasville.

A husband and a family man, Ali, who is an avid fan of the game of golf for its serenity, has not even reached the age of 30 yet.

Ali started working early in the family business. His father hired him at age 16 as an employee at the Dairy Queen in Cochran. He said, “I started washing dishes and worked my way up to the kitchen, guest services, inventory control, and eventually, to store manager.”

Ali is a hands on owner.

After high school, Ali was honored for his hard work with a large percentage share in his father’s company. “And it has just gone from there,” he said.

What most people don’t know is that Ali started running the Cochran Dairy Queen Grill & Chill when he was still in high school after his dad had to go to India for a heart surgery due to ill health. He would go to school, sign out at 1:00 p.m., and go to work.

Of his dad, Ali said, “From a young age, I got to watch him navigate the waters of franchising, and it inspired me to stay in the business. He was a great teacher and the biggest lesson he taught me was to ‘be my own boss.’”

And Ali, who is knocking at the door of the 30-year-olds’ club, is doing just that. He owns two Captain D’s, two Dairy Queens and two Edible Arrangements.

His future goals include franchising more restaurants and stores, and his eye is on possibly entering the hotel field.

Ali said, “It can sometimes be a balancing act to make sure your current businesses are operating successfully, but still have room for growth.”

When asked what the best advice he ever got was, he said, “My dad told me to do the right thing, and don’t ever cheat anyone.”

“That is something that I follow even now,” Ali stated.

He did add, “College taught me the methodology to operate a franchise business, but the true smarts came from my dad. Having watched him successfully operate his own businesses showed me the do’s and don’ts of the industry at an early age.”

Balancing home and business is a daily challenge, but Ali said he makes time for his family. He tries to have dinner with them every night.

“I try to balance my work life between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5 p.m., but that doesn’t always happen. However, I only work Monday through Friday so I am able to spend time with my family.”

The beginnings of his career life was a challenge. “Balancing school, work, and my personal life was the biggest obstacle. I opened the Douglasville Dairy Queen while I was in school, so I had to learn how to manage my time efficiently. You can never give too much time to your business, but I also needed to devote time to my education.”

Of his general philosophy in business, and well, for life overall, Ali was quick to say, “Take it day by day. Wake up every morning with a smile, thank God, and open the doors.”


Credit to Franchising.Com for a majority of the information.

Author: rlhwrites

Curator of prose and such.

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