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Adieu to everyone’s fave writer, including my dad’s


When you’re a kid and you just finished your seventh grade band concert, you expect your parents to tell you how great the performance was. Even if the band concert was painful to most within earshot.  Sometimes that’s their job, to praise you when you try your best, even though you might come up short performance-wise to the guy next to you. I wouldn’t say that my parents over-complimented me, as is society’s complaint of the baby boomers’ treatment of their millennial offspring. But they were enthusiastic, whether it be that band concert or my marching with my baton in the July Fourth parade.

Today, in their 80s, they still are enthusiastic over the exploits of their youngest child. When Franchise Times shows up in the mailbox, I imagine them turning to my column first, reading with delight the words their daughter has written. But wait…

“Nancy is so funny!” my dad said one day, a few years ago, over the phone. I agreed. Franchise Times editor Nancy Weingartner Monroe is funny. She had her “Exit Interview” column in the back of the magazine, and my dad loved her dry sense of humor—about her travels, her kids, her dogs and her celebrity interviews. That back column was a mix up of all sorts of funny experiences and conversations that made you laugh out loud. In fact, my dad, normally non-effusive, increasingly began to quote to me over the phone funny lines from Nancy’s column. I started to suspect…

“Dad. You read Nancy’s column FIRST, don’t you?” I accused him one day.

“No, no,” said my dad, with a laugh. “No. But she’s funny.”

He wasn’t very good at lying, and today I am still convinced he opens the magazine at the back, rather than at the front. Sigh. I don’t blame him.

So I want to thank Nancy for entertaining my dad, and countless Franchise Times readers, with her columns and of course the articles that covered the hundreds of people she interviewed over the years since joining us with our inaugural issue in 1999.

Nancy started with us that year as a contributing writer, and became our editor in 2001. And, she became the face of Franchise Times. (Pity the poor person, me, as I walked around with her at the IFA. “Nancy!” everyone would call out.) Her editorial guidance put us on the map, and when you read her features, you felt like you knew her subject personally after you were finished.

In the last few years, Nancy has taken over our sister publications Foodservice News and Food on Demand, while our Editor-in-Chief Beth Ewen led the charge on Franchise Times, heading up the editorial duties.

Mary Jo Larson

Mary Jo Larson

Reach Mary Jo at 612-767-3208
or mlarson@franchisetimes.com

But still, Nancy kept her toe in franchising, because she loved the people, and as evidenced by this issue, she was still writing her column and occasional cover stories. Both Beth and I wanted her to keep writing because her voice is distinctive and readers like her style.

Foodservice News and Food on Demand are, well, demanding, and Nancy is ready to take them to the next level. For us that means this is Nancy’s last issue with Franchise Times.

I couldn’t let this moment pass without saying thanks to my friend who made this into the trade magazine people actually wanted to read all those years ago. Thank you, Nancy.

Rest assured, good reads will continue because Beth has been at the editorial helm for the last two years, and she and her team have exciting plans for 2019. We’re thrilled to have our pages filled with new ideas, distinctive stories, interesting franchise characters and all the news that makes franchising a blast to cover. Just ask our team—each issue is a new adventure for them. I know my dad will keep reading, and maybe now he’ll even read my column first.

See you next year.

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