October 25, 2013 // Franchising.com // Delray Beach, Fla. - Len Cava, moved to Florida for the weather. In 2003, he and his wife Gayle were tired of the cold winters in Long Island, N.Y. and decided to relocate. Cava sold his contract packaging business to his partner, packed up the house and moved to Delray Beach. His grown children decided to make the move as well. It was all they hoped for and Cava, never one to rest on his laurels, started looking for a new business opportunity. He was attracted to EmbroidMe’s concept and bought his franchise in 2005 while his wife, who is a nurse, started working at a local hospital in the ER. The future they anticipated was bright and quite warm.
"We were hit with three major hurricanes right when we opened," he recalls. "It left our shopping center a mess and affected many business owners in our area. We had no power for 14 days and in all it took two years to repair the center fully. And outside the shopping center, the recession hit."
Cava could never have predicted the obstacles he’d have to face to turn his EmbroidMe business into the success it is today. Thanks to his sharp business savvy and the support of his family, especially his son-in-law who he calls his "right hand man," he’s built a loyal customer base and strong presence in Delray Beach and Boca Raton.
EmbroidMe is the world’s largest diversified promotional products franchise, helping organizations brand themselves and make an impression by customizing marketing products that feature a name, image, logo or message. The company specializes in embroidery, garment printing, custom apparel, promotional products, screen printing and personalized gifts.
Cava says what he and the other business owners in Delray Beach faced in the wake of hurricane season and the recession was "the perfect storm for business."
"It was a real tough period," he said. "All of us fought through it together, which strengthens your ties to the community in ways you don’t really expect." He began working with Florida Atlantic University offering embroidery, digital transfers, screen printing and other services for the University. He also developed lasting business relationships with other schools, local medical facilities, small businesses, and restaurants as well as consumers looking to personalize gifts.
Cava also credits his family for providing not just support and love during the recovery period, but also boots-on-the-ground work. His son and wife both attended EmbroidMe training school with him and his son-in-law Jeff Rosado and have helped with the business whenever they’re needed.
"Jeff worked with me when I owned the packaging business on Long Island, and he’s been with me since day one at EmbroidMe as well," he said. "His technical knowledge of the embroidery and printing business is key."
The community has embraced Cava and the product he offers. "I sell service and quality," he asserts. "I’ve been around the block a few times and I know that offering a great product that’s on time is more important than being the cheapest guy on the block who promises the world but cuts corners along the way. Because of my business philosophy and focus on quality, I’ve become the go-to guy in my community and I plan to maintain that."
With this mentality, Cava has been able to build on the deep relationships he’s secured with members of his community to continue to acquire new clients. In looking toward the future, Cava simply wants to grow his business and enjoy the beautiful weather and his family.
EmbroidMe currently has 17 locations throughout Florida and expects to open 20 new franchises across the state within 3-5 years, with at least 10 in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area. Nationwide, EmbroidMe plans to open 70 new resource centers through the remainder of the 2013, reaching 500 locations worldwide by the end of 2016. For more information, please visit www.embroidme.com