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Jack and Kelly Page aren’t gluttons for punishment, but in the last year they have subjected themselves to three stressful, life-changing activities simultaneously: moving, planning their wedding, and opening their first business.
Fortunately, they have accomplished all three and just recently were able to get their Menchie’s frozen yogurt franchise up and running.
Not everything went smoothly. “We actually ran into a ton of roadblocks,” said Jack Page, 31.
But the barriers to opening the business were caused by other entities and not the Menchie’s business model, which Page praised for its simplicity and the amount of support the company provides. One of the challenges was waiting for just the right location to become available.
Location, location, location
The Pages wanted an end cap in a center on a busy street in close proximity to schools and colleges in a residential area as opposed to a commercial district. They found space in a former pool supply store, but it was 3,000 square feet and they only needed about half that amount. The lessor was reluctant to divide the space; but in the end the Pages agreed to take 1,800 square feet, creating two separate units by building a wall between them, which they added into their construction costs.
Another big challenge was getting the proper permits from the city where they were building the yogurt shop, a process that delayed the opening by several months. Page would advise potential franchisees to consider such delays in their planning when opening a new business.
“There’s always going to be something that goes wrong either with construction, or the landlord, or the permitting process,” he said. “It took six months to get permits passed when it should have taken six weeks.”
Another unexpected development occurred when the retail center where the Pages were leasing space decided to remodel its facade and repave the parking lot, causing further delays in their schedule.
No. 300 for Menchie’s
Page signed a multi-unit franchise agreement for five Menchie’s stores in the Houston area in October 2011, but because of delays the first store did not open until May 2013 in Clear Lake, Texas. While it is the first for the couple, the store was a milestone for Menchie’s, being the 300th unit to open in the United States.
For Page, a former construction worker who graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in industrial distribution, choosing Menchie’s was an easy decision, though the couple also considered larger companies such as McDonald’s and Subway.