Welcome to our series of Happiness Hustler Highlights, where we feature Frios Franchisees who are hitting the road and spreading happiness in their community. Today we are sitting down with Cory and Maddie of Frios Western North Carolina.
Cory is a hospitality and tourism whiz who graduated from Appalachian State University, while Maddie is a nutrition and public health genius who studied at Illinois State University and Lenoir-Rhyne University. Cory’s parents are hospitality/sales professionals, and they’ve passed down to him the gift of connections and charisma that opens doors in the local hotel industry. Meanwhile, Maddie, who was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, moved to Asheville to pursue her dreams of becoming a dietitian and public health expert. Her mother jokingly predicted she would meet a southern boy, settle down, and never return home, a prophecy that proved true.
Both Cory and Maddie work full-time, in addition to running their Frios business. Cory handles day-to-day ordering, purchasing logistics, and event planning, while Maddie manages the social media presence, tracks progress, and makes new connections for events.
Join us as we sit down with Maddie and Cory to learn why they got into the pop business, the challenges and rewards that come with being a small business owner, and where they see the business going over the next few years.
What did you decide to take the leap into the franchise world?
In the 4 years we have been together we have both grown our professional careers in the WNC area, become familiar with many local organizations doing exceptional work in the community, and grown our network of friends and family, old and new.
We both had an itch to step into a new endeavor together. We found Frios Gourmet Pops and felt a draw to bring the franchise to the WNC community and spread happiness to our network of colleagues/friends/family. We took the leap of faith to become local franchise owners, and have had a blast since we launched in January!
What attracted you to Frios?
We liked how the pops were pre wrapped and ready to sell. We liked that we could utilize our existing connections in the area to collaborate and do business with. We liked that we would get out exactly what we put into the business, and wanted to thoroughly enjoy the job while we’re in it.
What is your favorite pop flavor?
Maddie’s top flavors are Banana Pudding, Key Lime Pie, and Fruity Pebbles while Cory’s top flavors are Birthday Cake, and Root Beer Float. The real and fresh ingredients make these pops taste so good, we eat a lot of our own product!
What has been the biggest change in your life since starting Frios?
The amount of space we use for freezers in our garage! We were bursting at the seams with our two cats Espen and Martha, a kid and each other! Moving into our 3 bedroom house we feel so much better, but even in the 1.5 years we’ve been here we have rescued our dog Winnie and jumped into this business endeavor, both requiring space!
What steps did you take to launch Frios in your area?
We pooled our contacts and started brainstorming wholesale businesses to secure to start ‘easy’ cash flow. Then we began our social media presence by inviting all family and friends to like/follow us and strategically plan social media content that was engaging and put our faces with the business to build trust. We also began securing events and giving out a ton of free pops to get people interested in the PRODUCT, who would then spread our business through word of mouth and start ordering for themselves.
What have been your biggest successes and your biggest challenges?
Biggest success has been utilizing each other’s strengths to work together on the business. When we begin to hold the business back, we will hire someone to help us. In the meantime, we plan to pace ourselves with securing wholesale accounts and putting events on the calendar. We are actively establishing an organized standard operating procedure to keep each other on the same page with the business as well. Currently our biggest challenge is that we both work full time on top of owning our Frios business.
Where do you see your Frios business in the future?
We see the business getting big enough and profitable enough that one of us can step away from our full time jobs to focus more on its growth. We see Frios in hotels, summer camps, at corporate events, supporting local nonprofits, and partnering with Parks and Rec departments and local universities if we end up expanding our territory.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Frios Franchisee, head on over to our franchise site where you can find tons of information. Fill out the contact form and someone from Happiness Hustler HQ will be in touch!