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Restaurateur Becomes Orange Leaf Franchisee
David Pierre is one example of an immigrant who is living the American Dream thanks in part to franchising.
Although he has lived in America for 25 years, Pierre only recently became a franchise partner with Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt after running restaurants for a number of years.
From the start, Pierre says, the support staff at Orange Leaf corporate has coached him every step of the way, making franchise partnership easy and profitable.
“It was absolutely amazing,” he said of the company’s franchise program and its assistance. “I was kind of kicking myself that I hadn’t done this many, many years ago.”
Born and raised in South Africa, Pierre, 50, started in the restaurant business at a young age and managed some of the top restaurants in Durban. But when anti-apartheid violence erupted in the country in the 1980s and the restaurant he was managing was caught in the crossfire, Pierre thought it was time to leave his homeland. He backpacked around the world before settling in the United States.
Working in restaurants on the West Coast and in Massachusetts, where he currently lives, he also owned his own restaurant, Legends Cafe, in Utah. Eventually he returned to school and received a degree in TV and video production and broadcast. He ran a community station and owned his own production company for 10 years before looking at franchising.
Sizing Up the Competition
On a trip to visit his daughter in Miami, he and his wife visited a frozen yogurt shop and the seed was planted. He began researching concepts and looked at companies such as Pinkberry, Tutti Frutti, Red Mango, and Menchie’s.
Pierre settled on Orange Leaf for a number of reasons. He liked that the company leadership was comprised of people who were themselves former franchisees. He was impressed when CEO Reese Travis met him at the airport on a discovery day and he went on to meet other executives of the company.
“They were just so welcoming, so enthusiastic,” Pierre remembers. “They were small at the time, a growing franchise. By the end of the day, I called my wife and said I’m signing.”
He was also very impressed with the product and feels Orange Leaf is a unique brand that stands out in the crowded frozen yogurt sector.
“We have the best frozen yogurt. There’s no question about it.”