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FDD Talk 2015: The Maui Wowi Franchise Opportunity (Financial Performance Analysis, Estimated Costs, and Other Important Stuff You Need to Know)

by Franchise Chatter on October 9, 2015

in Coffee Franchise, FDD Talk 2017: Food Franchises, Franchise Earnings, Smoothie Franchise



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Maui Wowi Photo by JChungg

In this FDD Talk 2015 post, you’ll learn the following:

  • Section I – Background information on the Maui Wowi franchise opportunity, including relevant news updates
  • Section II – Estimated initial investment for a Maui Wowi franchise, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2015 FDD
  • Section III – Presentation and analysis of Maui Wowi’s financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2015 FDD, including information on the:
  • 2014 average number of cases of Maui Wowi Blends purchased each month by the 40 franchisees who purchased the most cases of Maui Wowi Blends during calendar year 2014 (divided into four quartiles)
  • 2014 annual gross revenues for smoothie sales based on a sales price of $4.00, $4.50, $5.00, and $6.00 per 12-ounce smoothie for the 40 franchisees who purchased the most cases of Maui Wowi Blends during calendar year 2014 (divided into four quartiles)

Section I – Background Information

Maui Wowi Outperforms Smoothie Chains, Targets Starbucks

Combining the best of two worlds is working well for Maui Wowi Hawaiian.

The smoothie-and-coffee franchise took the No. 35 spot on the 2015 Fast Casual Top 100 Movers & Shakers list in May 2015, beating out smoothie-only concepts such as Jamba Juice. CEO Mike Weinberger said in a press release that No. 9 Starbucks should be aware that “next year, we plan to top them on the list.”

Maui Wowi also came in at No. 84 in 2014 on Entrepreneur’s America’s Top Global Franchises list and was ranked No. 457 in 2014 and No. 438 in 2015 on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list.



The chain, previously 100 percent franchised, announced in January 2015 that it would open a corporate-owned store in Denver to serve as a training facility.

Natural Smoothies, Ethically Traded Coffee

Maui Wowi, a combination of smoothie bar and coffee shop, sells natural smoothies that contain no artificial flavors, sweeteners or coloring. They are low-fat, gluten-free and kosher-certified.

The chain also serves coffee, espresso, cappuccino and other coffee beverages made from ethically traded Hawaiian coffee beans originating from coffee plantations and family farms in Maui, Kauai and Molokai.

Maui Wowi also sells packaged Hawaiian coffees, teas, cookies and crackers at retail locations, and customers can purchase Hawaiian coffee blends online.

From Part Time to the Big Time

The chain was founded in 1982 by Jeff and Jill Summerhays, who started selling fresh fruit smoothies part time at events. In 1997, they partnered with entrepreneur and food and beverage consultant Michael Haith, who serendipitously met the Summerhayses at a Utah festival.

Haith became majority owner and expanded the company, turning it into a successful franchise operation. He served as CEO until August 2013 when Weinberger, hired as vice president of operations in 2011, was promoted to CEO. Haith remains active in the company as chairman of the board of directors and focuses on strategic and financial goals for the company.

Maui Wowi’s dual identity as smoothie bar and coffee shop was born in 2003 when it added Kona espresso and cappuccino drinks, along with blended gourmet coffees from Maui, Kona, Kauai and Molokai.

The chain reached 400 locations in 2008 and sold its 30-millionth smoothie in 2012. Today, Maui Wowi, headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colorado, has more than 450 locations in 48 states and six countries.

Ka’anapali Cart Gets Fresh Look

The Maui Wowi locations vary, as franchisees can choose brick-and-mortar storefronts, Hawaiian-themed mall kiosks and portable event carts, and colorful food trailers and food trucks.

Maui Wowi updated its Ka’anapali Cart in 2014 with a fresh new makeover featuring bright colors and bold signage. The cart enables franchisees to take their business to multiple events in and around their communities.



Orchard Peach, Midnight Kona Join Summer Menu

Maui Wowi brought back its summertime smoothie, Orchard Peach, in May 2015 for a limited time. The chain makes only a limited supply of the smoothie, so it stays around only as long as supplies last.

This is the fourth summer the peach-flavored smoothie has been on the menu. It’s made with peach fruit puree, live active yogurt and a banana and joins other flavors such as strawberry banana, lemon wave and mango orange. Flavors can be combined to create flavor sensations.

A limited-time premium dark roast coffee was added to the menu in June 2015. The Midnight Kona summer brew blends Costa Rican and Kona coffee beans for a rich coffee with hints of coriander and cinnamon.

Section II – Estimated Costs

  • Please click here for detailed estimates of Maui Wowi franchise costs, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2015 FDD.

Section III – Financial Performance Representations (Item 19, 2015 FDD) and Analysis



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