The Joint Chiropractic Franchise Review: Meet Gordon, Marvin, and Mia Thornton

How a family of entrepreneurs became one of the most successful franchise owners in the The Joint Chiropractic network

Gordon and Marvin Thornton always knew that they would be in business together – they just needed the right opportunity at the right time. As brothers, they watched each other’s careers with pride from afar – and sometimes very far indeed, as Marvin was often abroad serving in the U.S. military, while Gordon became successful as an entrepreneur.

Gordon was a multi-unit franchise owner with Massage Envy when he decided to invest in The Joint Chiropractic®. While both brands operated in the booming health & wellness segment, The Joint allowed Gordon the ability to own a business that provided an affordable, convenient, and accessible way for people to heal from back and neck pain.

The Joint Chiropractic franchise review office

“You’re helping people feel better every day,” he says. “I’ve seen what chiropractic care did for my wife – it’s helped her treat her pain issues holistically and effectively. It’s hard not to be passionate about owning a business that makes this big of an impact on people’s lives. It’s also far easier to run than other businesses I’ve owned – McDonald’s was very hard to operate and even Massage Envy was a lot harder.”

Marvin was stationed in Afghanistan when he got the call from his brother asking him to join him in his new venture with The Joint. Seven years later, when Marvin retired as a Colonel with 28 years of service, it was finally the right time for the brothers to go into business together.

“I remember reading the brochure when I was stationed overseas and I couldn’t wait to be a part of it,” Marvin says. “When I retired after 28 years in the military, it was the right time to get involved. I loved the simplicity of the business. I loved how accessible it was to customers. The Joint has truly opened up the benefits of chiropractic care to a much larger extent than ever before.”

Now, the brothers have eight clinics together in the Washington, D.C., area, and are now, along with Gordon’s wife, Mia, the Regional Developers for Maryland and Washington, D.C.

“There’s so much potential for entrepreneurs to do well in this business,” Mia says. “The unit-level economics are outstanding and there’s an incredible demand for holistic pain management. We’ve seen our clinics continue to grow and the pandemic proved just how essential we are to our patients. The Joint provides exceptional support in real estate, marketing, and more, and we’re also here to guide entrepreneurs at a local level.”

With plans to develop up to 30 clinics in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., area over the next few years, this family business is looking towards a bright future of their own making.

“It’s been such a rewarding experience, both personally and professionally,” Gordon says. “We’re creating opportunities for entrepreneurs, for chiropractors, and providing great places to work. We’re helping people feel better every time they come to see us. It’s a fun business to be a part of and it’s even better that we get to do it with family. There’s nothing better than that.”

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About The Joint Chiropractic

The Joint Corp. revolutionized access to chiropractic care when it introduced its retail healthcare business model in 2010. Today, it is the nation's largest operator, manager and franchisor of chiropractic clinics through The Joint Chiropractic network. The company is making quality care convenient and affordable, while eliminating the need for insurance, for millions of patients seeking pain relief and ongoing wellness. With more than 750 locations nationwide and nearly 11 million patient visits annually, The Joint Chiropractic is a key leader in the chiropractic industry. Ranked number one on Forbes' 2022 America's Best Small Companies list, number three on Fortune's 100 Fastest-Growing Companies list and consistently named to Franchise Times "Top 400+ Franchises" and Entrepreneur's "Franchise 500®” lists, The Joint Chiropractic is an innovative force, where healthcare meets retail.

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Business Structure

The Joint Corp. is a franchisor of clinics and an operator of clinics in certain states. In Arkansas, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming, The Joint Corp. and its franchisees provide management services to certain professional chiropractic practices.


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