Knowledge Center

Celebrating Women’s History Month: By Never Letting Go of Her Entrepreneurial Spirit, Doaa Mohamed Keeps a 20 Year Dream Alive to Open Her Own Franchise

running-a-business | Read Time: 3 minutes

By Eric Springer | Published: March 2021


When Doaa Mohamed first started dreaming of owning her own franchise business in 2000, she was a 20-year-old retail manager with limited financial resources.

“A friend and co-worker said ‘Doaa, why don’t we start a franchise?’” said Doaa. “Of course, at that stage of our lives, we didn’t have the money but there was a relatively new franchise out there that sparked my interest, Wetzel’s Pretzels.”

Founded in 1994 in California, Wetzel’s Pretzels can be found in shopping malls and other retail spaces around the country, but they didn’t have much of a presence on the East Coast. Doaa was intrigued.

“Meanwhile, I got married, finished college, had kids and began a career in the corporate offices for Dunkin’ Donuts,” said Doaa. “My husband, Amr, managed Dunkin’ stores so we were developing the knowledge and skills necessary to one day own and manage a franchise business.”

Before diving into the franchise world, however, Doaa switched gears and began working in medical billing, learning the profession from the ground up and advancing from biller to director.

Before long, Doaa and Amr decided to open their own medical billing consulting company.

“I kept dreaming of becoming a franchise owner, and Wetzel’s Pretzels was specifically still on my mind, too,” said Doaa. “But we needed the money to get started and the medical billing company was a springboard to start building our financial footing for a franchise.”

After researching the initial capital requirements for several franchises, Doaa realized that Wetzel’s Pretzels was a realistic fit.

“In 2018, I attended a discovery day at Wetzel’s Pretzels’ headquarters in California,” said Doaa. “With a lot of franchisors, you need at least $1 million to open one franchise unit, and many of them require you open multiple units at startup. That wasn’t an option for me. But the Wetzel’s model works with franchisees to get started, including introducing me to a broker who connected me with WSFS.”

Working with the WSFS SBA team’s Greg Bula and Jennifer McGinnis, Doaa began the journey of funding and starting her own Wetzel’s Pretzels franchise. In 2019, Daym Management, Inc., a 100% women-owned business operating as a Wetzel’s Pretzels franchise, was established.

With plans to open in the Paramus Park Mall in Paramus, New Jersey in 2020, Doaa was not only dedicated to the medical billing business, but managing the paperwork, construction and health inspections required to begin operating.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, and she added supplementary home school instruction for her children to her plate—all while she trained for her new franchise business, obtained everything that was needed to close her SBA loan with WSFS, and continued to monitor and manage the medical billing business.

“It was a very busy year, and I never imagined I’d have to open a franchise business in the middle of a pandemic to realize my dream,” said Doaa. “But I never stopped working toward this and every step I took was for a reason, bringing us to where we are now. We did it.”

Now open and managed day-to-day by Amr, the journey to owning a Wetzel’s Pretzels franchise also brought an unexpected source of pride for Doaa.

“My daughter recently said to me, proudly, ‘Mom, you’re like a lion. If you want something, whatever it is, you’re going to go get it.’”

“As a businesswoman, franchise owner, dreamer and mother, that means the world to me.”

About the Author – Eric Springer
Eric Springer is Assistant Vice President, Integrated Communications Manager at WSFS Bank. He brings more than 15 years’ experience in corporate communications and marketing for banking, professional services and nonprofit organizations.


Celebrating Women’s History Month: WSFS’ Lisa Washington Discusses Paths to Success and Finding the Right Balance in Your Career and Life

Lisa Washington, SVP and Chief Legal Officer at WSFS Bank, has held a variety of positions during her nearly 30-year career, from working as an attorney for national law firms to Chief Legal Officer at an energy management company.

Read More

Celebrating Women’s History Month: LaShelle Birch Breaks New Ground, Expands Operations as a Second-Generation Business Owner

As a second-generation business leader and female business owner in a predominantly male-dominated industry, LaShelle Birch knows a thing or two about “proving it.”

Read More

Celebrating Women’s History Month: Corynn Ciber Helps Drive WSFS’ Delivery Transformation to Better Serve Customers

Having worked in the finance and technology industries for nearly 25 years, Corynn Ciber is no stranger to breaking barriers. In two industries that women have been underrepresented in, she has blazed her own trail, leading to her role as Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer at WSFS Bank.

Read More

Celebrating Women’s History Month: Alice Paul Institute Honors the Legacy of One Female Trailblazer While Developing Future Leaders

Founded in 1984 to honor the legacy of suffragist Alice Paul’s work for gender equality, The Alice Paul Institute (API), based in Mount Laurel, NJ, works to educate the public and train future generations of female leaders.

Read More

Celebrating Women’s History Month: Junior League of Wilmington Advances Women’s Causes for More than a Century

Since 1918, the Junior League of Wilmington (JLW) has been committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving local Communities. “For 100+ years, the JLW has identified issues affecting the Community, and created solutions to serve the Wilmington population, through Community projects and partners,” said Jessica Chapple, President, Junior League of Wilmington.

Read More