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There's a reason no one has successfully franchised a gumbo-based chain before—it's a long, arduous process to make it just so. But the real secret isn't in the recipe. Meet the founding father of The Lost Cajun, Raymond Griffin, a widower franchising the concept he and his late wife dreamed up that's grounded in courtesy and respect.

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At its third annual Franchising Gives Back celebration on September 11, the International Franchise Association will continue its recognition of franchise companies' charitable programs and the impact they have on their communities. One winner in each of five categories (Spirit of Franchising, Newcomer, Enduring Impact, Support Our Veterans, Innovation and Impact) will receive the Gold distinction from the stage prior to the IFA's Franchise Action Network initiative, where members visit their congressional leaders.

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Who wants a plain leather handbag when you can have one with a skull and crossbones, a golden wheel with silver angel wings or a dinosaur keychain instead? Retailers are finding success with customization, to help customers create their personal brand.

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Auto repair shops are riding steady gains as cars sprout minds of their own. Where will they land when the electric car and self-driving crazes shake out? ‘Plenty of things' will still need repair, says a Christian Brothers exec.

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When it comes to drug testing, Dave Claflin has seen and heard it all. “I could write a book on it,” says the CEO of Fastest Labs. “We have people that try to trick us every single day. And the funniest thing is when they get caught they just say, ‘OK, you got me.'”