What kind of support did you receive from M&M to help you get started?
The intense training at M&M's corporate store was incredible. By the time, I returned to our own store, I was ready to go. It didn't stop there though because my field consultant was always available to me when I needed advice or had questions. Plus I had access to the technical knowledge of the experts at head office. All I had to do was ask.
Why did you franchise a second M&M Food Market store?
Our first store was going so great that we were interested in expanding. Four years later, we had the resources and the systems in place. When an opportunity for a second store became available, we said yes. It was the right thing to do and we have never looked back.
Name three of your favourite things about your M&M experience.
The camaraderie of other M&M franchisees has been so rewarding. Then there's the lifestyle freedom once you're established and have a team working with you. There are still lots of hours but when you love what you do, it's a lot easier. Finally, I would say owning your own destiny and seeing your hard work in action.
What does M&M Food Market offer that its competition can't?
Personalized service. I know most of my customers by name. I know what they like and can cater to their needs. Not only do we offer extensive product knowledge to help our customers make their choices but we also offer a friendly atmosphere to do it in.
You own stores in a completely different franchise. How does M&M compare in the ongoing support it provides?
Head office services are phenomenal and that includes IT, Store Support, and Advertising/Marketing. I find it so easy to work with them and get their assistance when I need it. They constantly communicate to the stores and keep us informed. It really is a simple task to find answers and get the advice that you need.
Is there anything special about an M&M Food Market customer?
Fierce loyalty. I love the relationship we have with our customers. For them, it's more than just buying food, it's an opportunity to share stories and feel like part of the family.
What's been your experience on M&M's Franchise Advisory Council?
In the past, I have been on the council. Another franchisee recommended that I should apply for it. I already had two stores and 7 years in the business so I felt I could help bring concerns and interests of other franchisees to the council. It really has been the best experience. I have been President of the council and with my fellow council members, we had a hand in marketing strategy with an eye to growth and future profitability.
What advice would you offer a potential M&M Food Market franchisee?
Do your homework and go in with your eyes open. Get a professional accountant to help you and make sure it's the right fit for you. Don't think you'll be successful overnight. It simply doesn't happen. You have to be realistic and be willing to put in the hours that are needed. You have to be there and work at it.