Howard D. Johnson
After securing a secret ice cream recipe for $300 in 1925, Johnson began preparing ice cream in his basement and selling it in his pharmacy. The success of the ice cream gave way to the closure of the pharmacy and the start of the distinctive orange-roofed Howard Johnson chain of restaurants. Johnson accelerated the growth of his business by establishing a franchise network, the first family restaurant franchise based on ice cream distribution. By the time of his death, the firm had grown to over 1,000 restaurant and motel operations.