BROOMFIELD - Famous Brands International, parent company of Mrs. Fields Cookies and TCBY Yogurt, will waive its franchise fee for the first qualifying 50 military veterans who join the brand, beginning this month.

The company will give away $1.75 million in free franchise fees through the program, according to a press release Tuesday.

Famous Brands' franchise fee is $35,000 per unit.

According to the Small Business Association, about one quarter of the country's 23.5 million veterans are interested in starting or purchasing their own business.

"Military veterans are reliable, tenacious and driven - all qualities that align perfectly with our company culture and result in long-term success," said David Bloom, chief operating officer of Broomfield-based Famous Brands, in a statement.

"We have seen great success with our current veteran franchise partners, so we are happy to waive 50 franchise fees so these recognized individuals receive an opportunity to own their own business," Bloom said.