Spotlight on Franchisees
 min read

From Military Mom to Business Owner

Meet Alli Doyle, a mother of two and former Marine who realized her dream of being a business owner by buying a Sticky Fingers Cooking franchise in Austin, Texas.

Alli Doyle has a tendency to surprise herself: at age 17 she decided to finish up high school early and join the U.S. Marines. No, she doesn’t come from a military family.

“In high school, I had no clue what I wanted to do,” she says. “I thought joining the Marines sounded fun. I liked the camaraderie, the old traditions. Plus, my boyfriend was a Marine so he definitely influenced me a little.” The couple has been married for 15 years now.

u.s. marine alli doyle

Four years later, she had another surprise when she chose to enroll in culinary school while continuing to serve in the Marine Corps Reserves. “I‘ve just always been a foodie and grew up with my Mom in the kitchen,” Alli, 34, says as an explanation for the transition from sergeant to student. She attended Le Cordon Bleu Texas Culinary Academy, which has since closed in Austin.

She got a job as a cook at a country club after graduation and then soon had her first son. “Once I had my kids, I decided I was done with the military, and the hours at the country club were too late, so I started looking for something new,” she recalls. “I stumbled onto Sticky Fingers Cooking and started working as a chef instructor in 2018.”

Working for Sticky Fingers Cooking

Alli worked as a chef instructor for Sticky Fingers Cooking in the Leander and Round Rock Independent School Districts and at Guidepost Montessori in Cedar Park between 2018-2020. Her strong work ethic and organizational skills did not go unnoticed and pretty soon she was also in a support role and joined the corporate social media team and started to oversee party planning.

“I worked with different moms’ groups, mostly MOPS, and I heard about Sticky Fingers Cooking,” she says. “I loved the connection of cooking and working with other people’s kids. Everybody needs to know how to cook!”

sticky fingers cooking franchisee alli doyle

When the pandemic closed down in-person learning, Alli and her family hit the road to live a nomadic life and her new remote work role was perfect.

“It was always in the back of my mind to be a business owner, something I could be passionate about,” she says. While the family was in Montana, she learned of the new franchise business model available at Sticky Fingers Cooking.

Surprise! Alli Becomes a Franchisee

Yes, it was time for another surprise. Alli left her part-time role with the Sticky Fingers Cooking corporate team to become the brand’s first franchisee in Austin. She and her family will relocate and she will be closer to her mom again. “I knew I could make it work,” she says.

"Alli Doyle exemplifies everything that went in to creating Sticky Fingers Cooking 12 years ago — heart, passion, and grit,” says Erin Fletter, CEO and founder of Sticky Fingers Cooking. "Her journey from a former Marine to a culinary school graduate to a valued employee and now our first franchisee in Austin is a testament to her determination and unwavering spirit. We are thrilled to have her on board and cannot wait for her to bring the joy of cooking to many more kids and the Austin community. Alli is a true inspiration and a reminder that anything is possible with hard work and a love for what you do. I am so proud of her!"

Up next, she says, is to “bring the joy of cooking to many more kids and a staple of the Austin community.”

Alli’s new business will open in June, which gives her the chance to focus on the summer camp offerings. “Summer camps are about fun, learning a new skill, and trying something fun and different,” she says. “I would love to expand throughout Austin and make this available to every kid.”

Plus, she wants to hire those slightly older “kids” as in college students who could use a job with flexible hours. “I want these jobs to bring joy, like it has for me, whether that’s for someone in college or retired,” Alli states.

Fun Fact: Alli’s favorite Sticky Fingers Cooking recipe is Lulu’s Lucky Lo Mein. “I love Asian food,” Alli says. “This recipe is named after the founder’s daughter, it’s one of the first recipes I made as an instructor, and I’ve always loved it. It embodies Sticky Fingers Cooking because it’s fun and global. The main ingredient is cabbage, which kids don’t usually like, but when it’s caramelized they just love it.”

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