Maui Wowi(R) Hawaiian Adds Mexico To Growing List Of International Master Franchises

Coffee/Smoothie Leader is Introduced to World's Most Populous Spanish-Speaking Nation Via Franchise Signed by Café Hawaiiano de Mexico SA de CV

September 30, 2008 // Franchising.com // DENVER, CO - Maui Wowi Hawaiian, the premier destination for authentic Hawaiian products on the mainland, announced today that it is extending its global reach to Mexico, the world's 12th largest economy, through the signing of a master franchise agreement with Café Hawaiiano de Mexico SA de CV. With the signing, Maui Wowi Hawaiian has gone from being a U.S.-only company to a global franchising force in less than 12 months, having also recently awarded franchises to licensees in Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

Café Hawaiiano de Mexico, a new company, is led by partners Fernando Barbachano, Luis Bolio Mendez, Enrique Flores and Frederic Lay. Mendez and Flores are co-chief executive officers of Gray Line Cancun Destination Services, Gray Line Airport Express and Gray Line Sightseeing Tours Cancun, three companies that serve the tourism and transportation needs of over 750,000 people annually.

The two executives will serve in similar roles as co-CEOs of Café Hawaiiano de Mexico. Franchise development will be handled by Lay, an experienced marketing professional who currently is Logistics Manager for Gray Line. Lay will leave his position with Gray Line to work full-time on Maui Wowi franchise sales.

"Enrique Flores, Luis Bolio Mendez and Frederic Lay are highly skilled and proven executives who understand the consumer market. Maui Wowi Hawaiian is extremely excited to have partners of their caliber at the helm of our first Mexican master franchise initiative," said Lisa Bolton, director of international operations for Maui Wowi Hawaiian.

The debut of Maui Wowi in Mexico comes at a time of relatively strong economic growth for the country. Mexico has the highest gross national income of any Latin American nation. Poverty levels dropped significantly in the first half of the decade, spurred by low inflation and interest rates, strong oil exports, the North American Free Trade Agreement and remittances from Mexican citizens working in the U.S.

Furthermore, franchising continues to be a growth industry contributing to Mexican economic success. Mexico is the eighth leading nation worldwide in franchise development, generating over 800,000 jobs and representing 6% of the country's GDP. Conservative estimates are that the franchising sector will grow between 14 and 16 percent annually in 2008, nearly five times the most recent GDP figures.

"Maui Wowi Hawaiian combines an exotic, contemporary brand with the appeal of healthy nutrition--something that is of increasing interest to Mexicans and tourists alike," said Lay. "Our goal is to exploit these considerable assets beginning in Cancun, and later extending into markets throughout Mexico."

Now numbering over 400 franchised operating units and with an additional 800 in development, Maui Wowi Hawaiian is the original fruit smoothie drink franchise. Founded by 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's coffee creations include gourmet blends from the Kona district of Hawaii as well as blends from the sister islands of Molokai, Kauai, and Maui, while its smoothies are considered nutritionally equivalent to whole fruit due to their high natural fiber content. Now also offering a selection of genuine Hawaiian lifestyle merchandise, Maui Wowi Hawaiian 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.

Café Hawaiiano de Mexico expects to introduce Maui Wowi Hawaiian to the Mexican market through mobile kiosks at Cancun Airport beginning in early 2009. Subsequent plans include opening freestanding stores in downtown Cancun and the city's hotel zone, followed by franchised locations in Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Merida/Chichen Itza and other tourist locations.

Café Hawaiiano de Mexico's headquarters will be located in Cancun at Av del Sol, Casa 10-1 SM 44 Cancun, 77500 Q. Roo, Mexico. For franchise information contact Frederic Lay at 52-998-272-3439 or f.lay@mauiwowi.com.mx.

About Maui Wowi Hawaiian

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.

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