Mobile Gourmet Shaved Ice Concept Captures Americas Appetite for Affordable Fun;
Passionate Fans and Franchisees Drive Eye-Popping Three-Year Growth Rate of 4000 PercentFLORENCE, Ky.
- America's "coolest" movement is breaking down generational barriers to bring kids and adults together for an experience unlike any before.
The frozen frenzy Kona Ice has created is quickly spreading, capturing the hearts, minds and taste buds of the nation. Blending together its decked out truck that endears all who see it, mouthwatering gourmet flavors, and an unyielding commitment to community, Kona Ice is positioned to continue its remarkable ascent throughout the country.
"We've struck a chord with the country - there's no debating this - the proof is in how quickly families, schools, neighborhood organizations and even other businesses adopt Kona Ice when it arrives in their communities," said Tony Lamb, founder and president of Florence, Ky.-based Kona Ice, who created the concept after witnessing the fear in his daughter's face during a visit from an old rusty ice cream truck. "The beat-up truck was blaring scratchy music, and the driver was incredibly intimidating. Treat time should be all about fun for parents and their kids. With Kona Ice they can proudly claim their community Kona truck as their own. They have made us a part of their lives."
The engaging experience Lamb designed for Kona Ice has the company flourishing. Just five years since its creation, systemwide revenues are nearly doubling annually and the business is expanding at an extraordinary three-year growth rate of 4000 percent. In addition, already the first few months of 2012 have been pivotal for the company. Kona Ice signed agreements to add 17 new franchise units, 16 new Kona Ice trucks have launched operations in local communities, and production began on more than 50 trucks.
"When it comes to Kona Ice, our franchisees and their customers simply cannot get enough," added Lamb. "I couldn't have imagined that this would be the case when I started Kona Ice, but weve worked hard as a team and people just flock to it. It has completely taken off. We may be fast out of the gate, but we plan to keep the brand positioned strongly for future growth and sustaining current operations."
Company projections call for nearly 100 new franchise units in 2012, surpassing the 80-plus added in 2011. Additionally, Kona Ice's 10-year business forecast anticipates 1,000 franchised trucks nationwide.
Strategic franchise growth into targeted communities has spurred the company's expansion, which has resulted in more than 130 franchisees currently operating 200-plus trucks in more than 40 states.
As Kona Ice expands its presence into attractive markets, franchise owners are embracing the brand's buzz, investing in additional trucks to meet the demand in their communities. Proving to be recession resistant, the concept commands a rock solid return on investment and is extremely scalable.
Further, Kona Ice offers a simple to operate business, and the support of a franchisor that is constantly introducing new tastes to the truck's Flavorwave™ (a completely self-serve, interactive flavoring experience in which customers flood their overflowing cup of freshly-shaved, fluffy snow with heaping amounts of one or more of the 10 tastes available).
At the forefront of the brands popularity is its steadfast pledge to local philanthropy. Since its beginnings in 2007, Kona Ice has given back more than $3 million to the communities it serves. Fostering this devoted fundraising are the partnerships Kona Ice cultivates with school groups, community-based organizations and local sports teams. During fundraising events, Kona Ice gives a percentage of sales back to the organizing group. Or, groups can buy prepaid Kona Ice cards at a discount and sell them for full price to raise funds.
Beyond fundraisers, popular spots for Kona Ice trucks to stop include birthday parties, corporate events and neighborhood socials. Trucks also maintain regular weekday and weekend routes.
"Satisfying your Kona fix is the ultimate affordable luxury," noted Lamb. "For a few dollars you can experience the excitement of the truck, flavor your own Kona Ice, donate to an organization you care about, and kick back for a few minutes enjoying the sounds of the tropics. Its an escape everyone can enjoy."
Kona Ice provides entrepreneurs investing in the franchise opportunity a full suite of support services ranging from initial and ongoing training to sales and marketing programs. The affordable Kona Ice franchise fee is $15,000. Plus, Kona Ice offers its owners financing programs for the purchase of trucks. Ideal franchise candidates are outgoing individuals, husbands and wives, fathers and sons, and other two-person teams who love the idea of serving the community.About Kona Ice
A true community ally renowned for facilitating endless fundraising options, Kona Ice has given more than $3 million dollars back to neighborhood schools, organizations and teams since its inception in 2007. The brand's iconic truck offers customers a one-of-a-kind experience, featuring the opportunity to create their own Kona Ice on the self-serve Flavorwave™, while enjoying the soothing sights and sounds from the tropics. Currently, there are 200-plus franchise units Kona Ice trucks in more than 40 states.
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