Dan Carney’s ‘Til We Meet Again franchise opens in Phoenix this weekend

WICHITA — Most business owners like a little publicity for their new businesses, but Dan Carney isn’t most business owners.

The Pizza Hut cofounder and some partners are opening a ’Til We Meet Again franchise in Phoenix this weekend, but Carney would rather not discuss it.

Franchise founder Nathan Smith and his business partner, Traci Smith-Cone, have been consulting with Carney on their business.

“I consult with anybody that’s really interested and calls me and asks for help,” Carney says. “This is what happened with Nathan.”

He says he’s “hopefully helped him form some ideas that have been successful.”

Carney says the two disagree on how much publicity a business should have before it’s proven successful.

An ex-employee of Carney’s wanted to open the Phoenix store, and he agreed to back him.

“I think there’s a marketplace there,” Carney says of the custom casket business in general. “The competition is the funeral homes. I think the variety of what (Smith is) offering exceeds what the funeral homes at least are willing to do at this time.”

There’s already talk of a few more Arizona stores, but it’s not coming from Carney.

“I’m going to do one until it works,” he says. “There’s a lot of spade work to do.”

Then a few more?

“How about 100 if it works.”