Successful Franchisee Returns Home to Inspire Graduates

Franchisees Chanda Simon-Thomas and Kenji Thomas

The Los Angeles 7-Eleven store where Franchisee Chanda Simon-Thomas and her husband, Kenji Thomas, cut the ribbon last November feels a lot like home. There’s a good reason for that. Their new store is less than a mile away from the school where Chanda graduated just over 20 years ago.

The Los Angeles 7-Eleven store where Franchisee Chanda Simon-Thomas and her husband, Kenji Thomas, cut the ribbon last November feels a lot like home. There’s a good reason for that. Their new store is less than a mile away from the school where Chanda graduated just over 20 years ago.

The Franchisee couple put together 300 awesome swag bags, including exclusive 7-Select treats, and handed them out to students during the graduation event. The kids were thrilled.


Washington Prep also asked their former student to record a video for a second virtual graduation ceremony. Chanda chose to film hers in front of their store, saying, “Congratulations Class of 2020. I am Chanda Simon, and I am a fellow General. I wanted to film this video here before my business, 7-Eleven, because I wanted to encourage you and tell you how important it is to follow your dreams and your goals. If you have a goal, I want you to stay steadfast.” See Video Here

Chanda Simon says “Have a mission and value everything you put your time and energy into, and you will start to see progress. Congratulations, and just know a ‘General’ education can get you a business just like this.”

Market Manager Dennis Francis recognized the couple’s efforts, especially considering the challenges that stores are facing as a result of the pandemic. “Chanda and Kenji have shown outstanding leadership, both in the community and at their store each and every day,” he said.

The school showed Chanda their appreciation by hanging a 7-Eleven banner on the campus gate. Now, every day when Chanda passes by on her way to work, it makes her smile to see the banner hanging at the school she went to so many years ago.


Chanda and Kenji, thank you for being great neighbors and showing students their future is bright. You are a true 7-Eleven Hero.