The SoBol Brand is Helping Women Shatter The Glass Ceiling
Growing healthy food company is empowering female franchisees
September 01, 2021 // Franchising.com // SoBol is a visionary company creating fresh-made acai bowls and smoothies in the growing superfood café industry. Plus, their inclusionary culture is making this a very female-friendly brand.
Founded on the core values of being a positive force, caring for others, and being passionate, SoBol has created an inviting environment not only for their customers but for the franchisees as well. For female owners, it means they have a voice in this company, and that voice is being heard.
Just ask the dynamic duo, the mother-daughter SoBol franchise team from the Wellington, Florida, café. They are proud to be partnering with a growing brand that promotes women in business. “The SoBol brand is open to new ideas. They want to hear from customers and franchisees. Times are changing, and SoBol is leading the way,” says Suzanne, the mom in this ownership duo.
As a former teacher, Suzanne did her homework before investing in this franchise opportunity. All the research led them to open their SoBol to fill a niche in the community, inspired by daughter Alyssa’s health issues. “My whole life, I have dealt with health issues, food allergies, and food sensitivities. It was always such a struggle to find healthy options that tasted good. And then we found SoBol. We wanted to invest in something that helped people live healthier lives and provide tasty food for people with dietary concerns like me.”
Suzanne and Alyssa feel very good about being a positive force in their community. They have built a trust with their customers in a very family-oriented climate, which they agree comes from that nurturing female perspective.
Natalie and Sylvia echo those thoughts. They are partners in life and in business and have had their SoBol shop in Beverly, Massachusetts nearly three years. They have grown with the SoBol brand, and Sylvia says the “family feel” starts at the top. “When we had our grand opening, we never expected the SoBol founder, Jason Mazzarone, to be here to kick things off. But he showed up to cheer us on, and that meant a lot. We have felt that support ever since.”
Natalie agrees that personal touch trickles down to the customers. “This is such a positive brand, and I have always felt that my opinion matters. They listen to the franchisees because we are listening to our customers. SoBol wants what’s best for everyone.”
This is why their shop is doing good business, and the franchise is growing. Sylvia says the hard work is paying off. “What we are doing is making a difference. Each time we hire someone to be a part of our team, we have a responsibility to teach them a good work ethic. In the big picture, we want to set an example to show people how to run a business with integrity.”
The partners agree that while that is not exclusive to being women in business, they have had a few stand-out moments that have made them proud. Natalie recalls, “We had a customer who wanted to compliment one of our employees. He came up to Sylvia and said, ‘Hey, is your owner here?’ Sylvia was pleased to say, ’Yes, you’re talking to HER!’”
Being women in business certainly meant overcoming additional obstacles for female franchisees Daneen and Laura. Daneen admits, “We’ve been challenged by the good ol’ boy network. But that’s ok. It forced us to really learn our stuff and prove that we know what we’re doing.”
It’s working, because combined, they have three SoBol locations, the first in Babylon, New York. They have felt the growing pains along the way. “Overall, we are so happy we took this leap. Four years ago, we were first-time business owners,” remarks Laura. “Looking back… it’s been worth it. SoBol has been a great brand to work with. If we need them, they’re there.”
As friends, Daneen and Laura always talked about opening a business together. It was their kids’ love of acai bowls that made the SoBol partnership happen. “I had never even had an acai bowl before looking into SoBol. Don’t get me wrong, I love ‘em! Honestly, I wanted to open a business where celebrities would come in and visit,” laughs Daneen, “But instead, we have gotten so much out of this. Our business partnership has enhanced our friendship. And what I did not expect was how insightful our kids have been. They tell us how proud they are of US for working so hard and being female role models, especially to our daughters. It’s made it all worth it.”
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