Smoothie Franchise COO Says International Franchise Association's Program Is "Great Way for Vets to Begin Building a Future for Themselves and Their Families"
April 08, 2008 // Franchising.com // DENVER, CO – Maui Wowi Hawaiian, the premier destination for authentic Hawaiian products on the mainland, today announced it is supporting the efforts of the International Franchise Association's "VetFran" program for men and women who have served in the U.S. military by offering a 10% franchise fee discount to veterans. Maui Wowi, a Featured Franchisor in the VetFran program, gives vets the flexibility to define their own transition to civilian life through a variety of franchise options built around the company's world-renowned smoothies and Hawaiian coffee beverages.
"No one has earned their right to the American dream more than those who have served honorably in our armed forces," said Michael Edwards, chief operating officer of Maui Wowi Hawaiian. "The IFA's VetFran program is a great way for vets to begin building a future for themselves and their families. As a company, Maui Wowi Hawaiian is in full support of VetFran, which is why we offer our discount for veterans interested in joining our business 'ohana' [family]."
Maui Wowi Hawaiian has offered motivated entrepreneurs a way to embrace Hawaii's magical "Aloha Spirit" for over ten years. The company sets itself apart in the world of franchising not only with its low cost of entry and its variety of retail options, but also with a relaxed, friendly way of doing business.
Now numbering over 400 franchised operating units across the U.S., Maui Wowi Hawaiian is the original fruit smoothie drink franchise. Founded by Australian couple Jeff and Jill Summerhays, Maui Wowi has grown from a single smoothie booth at arts and cultural festivals to become the Banzai Pipeline of the franchised coffee/smoothie field.
Maui Wowi coffees are truly "a vacation in a cup". The company's creations consist of gourmet blends from the Kona district of Hawaii as well as blends from the sister islands of Molokai, Kauai, and Maui. Some of the highest-quality coffees in the world are found at Maui Wowi, supplied by family-owned farms plus some of the best known of the Hawaiian brands such as Lion and Royal Kono.
In recent years Maui Wowi Hawaiian has also expanded to include genuine Hawaiian lifestyle merchandise. The chain has been named to "Entrepreneur" magazine's Franchise 500 for the past five consecutive years, and has twice ranked as one of the fastest-growing private companies on INC magazine's INC 500 listing.
Rick Brennan, a retired major in the U.S. Army who has served in advisory capacities in Iraq, says the ability to start small with Maui Wowi was a definite plus in his decision to purchase a Maui Wowi franchise. "My wife and I began by operating a mobile kiosk with another couple. This year we're opening our first store, which will feature a drive through for coffee on the go," Brennan said. "Our goal is to have three stores open in the next four years. The idea of a family business has always appealed to us—and no other concept offers the high-quality smoothies and coffees Maui Wowi does."
VetFran serves as a conduit between veterans and franchise systems participating in the program. While the IFA does not negotiate or finance franchises for vets, it helps steer them to franchise concepts that will likely fit their unique personal and professional goals. Well over 100 franchise companies currently are part of the VetFran program.
VetFran is supported through partnerships with many governmental and business groups. In 2002, the IFA and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs initiated an alliance to jointly promote the VetFran program. The IFA also works with Congress, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and various military organizations to identify and assist veterans interested in purchasing a franchise business.
To make it easy for veterans to learn about the franchise opportunities open to them in the VetFran program, the association offers free entry to its trade shows in Washington DC, Los Angeles and Miami. To learn more about VetFran, visit www.vetfran.org or log on to www.franchise.org, the Web site for the International Franchise Association, where entrepreneurs can also find information about how to select the franchise that's right for them.
For more information about Maui Wowi Hawaiian—and the opportunity to trade in battle fatigues for Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops—visit www.mauiwowi.com.
Maui Wowi Hawaiian is the only franchise that offers authentic, natural Hawaiian products, fresh-fruit smoothies, blended Hawaiian coffee beverages, and genuine Hawaiian lifestyle stuff. Founded in 1983, Maui Wowi Hawaiian has experienced meteoric growth to include nearly 500 franchised units in its worldwide franchise ohana, or family. This earth-friendly company celebrates its Aloha Spirit by embracing the values of family, harmony and balanced living while striving to abide by the principles of sustainable living. For more information, please visit www.mauiwowi.com.