Franchise Players is Entrepreneur’s Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. If you're a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Olmo is living the dream of every kindergartener with a sweet tooth. One year ago, Olmo left his career in construction to open a Sloan's Ice Cream shop. The over-the-top ice cream shop has quickly become a local favorite with events like princess story time with Elsa from Disney's Frozen. Here are the realities of living the sweet dream of being an ice cream franchisee.
Name: David Olmo
Franchise owned: Sloan’s Ice Cream in Delray Beach and Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Fla.
How long have you owned a franchise?
One year. Our Delray Beach location had its grand opening in June
Owning a franchise gives you the opportunity to work with an already known brand, while still having the freedom of owning and growing your own business. By teaming up with proven operators, you are given the exposure needed for effective advertising. Franchisors work hard to develop successful concepts and also provide tremendous support to franchise partners.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
Before signing an agreement with Sloan’s Ice Cream, I was working in construction, remodeling buildings.
Why did you choose this particular franchise?
From the first time I visited Sloan’s Ice Cream at the City Place location, I was enamored with the concept. The ice cream is simply outstanding, and families really enjoy coming to Sloan’s to experience such a creative and magical atmosphere. I wanted to connect with a proven brand that, above all, has a great product, and that’s definitely one of many things Sloan’s has to offer.
How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?
I estimate the total cost for opening Sloan’s is around $650,000 to $850,000. This includes inventory, equipment, labor etc.
Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
I did most of my research by visiting the Sloan’s Ice Cream City Place location. I enjoyed the concept and the whole business outlook. We also have a lot of support from our franchisor, who gives great advice and was always available to answer questions throughout the process of signing the agreement.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
The biggest challenge we faced was with timing. I thought we would be able to open the shop a lot sooner than was actually possible. Also, dealing with the city and getting necessary permits.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
Do your due diligence and make sure it’s something you really want to get involved with. You really need to ask the right questions to make sure you feel comfortable moving forward. It’s also always helpful to consult with an attorney.
What’s next for you and your business?
In addition to operating our Delray Beach location, we have acquired the development rights to build 10 total Sloan’s Ice Cream stores throughout South Florida. We are currently working on opening the second location in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea by the beginning of December. I am very hands-on with construction and want this second store to be perfect. Once we feel confident that everything is on-point with Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, we can start focusing on finding additional sites in areas such as Miami, Key West and Naples.