Now we’re juicing!
A San Francisco family has acquired 20 Jamba Juice franchises in the Bay Area, Black Enterprise reports.
Charlayne Redmon, her husband Dwayne, and their children, including son Phillip, are the proud owners of 20 Jamba Juice franchise locations. The Redmon’s got into the business through their financial consulting company CFO to Small Business. After Dwayne acquired a contract with Jamba Juice corporate, they began building a relationship with the brand. They expressed their ownership interest early on and were at the top of mind when the cooperate office decided to sell.
“When the decision was made that they would be selling off their corporate locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, they encouraged us to bid on a block of stores—it was a total of 16 locations,” Charlayne said. “So, we started with those 16, then purchased two more locations from private owners and built two from the ground up.”
Now Charlayne, Dwayne, and their family are all invested in the family business. They created Valley Juice Co., LLC, as an umbrella corp to protect their investment and business partners, a financial backer, and a director of operations. Charlayne said that despite the family’s success, it has not been without its share of challenges, even going through a round of firings to get the businesses running smoothly.
“None of us had ever worked at a Jamba Juice. In addition, the director of operations was coming from an extensive background at a top hamburger franchise brand, which was very different,” Charlayne said. “Because the locations we purchased were corporate-run locations, the people working at those stores didn’t have as much experience as we thought they would. There was definitely a learning curve, and at one point, we had to clean house [and bring] in people that would perform.”
Phillip went on to acknowledge how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the business, “[Before] COVID-19, we [already] had to close one of our locations in San Francisco. We just weren’t able to get the numbers up, so it didn’t make sense to keep it open. During COVID-19, we’ve had to temporarily close six locations. The ones in the malls were definitely closed, and others it didn’t make sense to keep open because there were no customers. We were also trying to figure out the PPP funding.”
Nonetheless, the team persevered, and to date, all of the locations are back open and fully operational. Phillip and his mom Charlayne both attribute the success of the business to their close-knit family. Phillip, who is the youngest of four, said they’ve always tried to learn from each other, and the business helps them to continue doing that.
“I’m so happy because I always wanted to have something for family. We wanted to build something the children could take over. We wanted to open a world of possibilities for them. Seeing something other than just getting a traditional 9-5 and a pension,” Charlayne said. “The only way to know your true net worth is to work for yourself. When you work for someone else, they determine your worth. Working for yourself means you determine that.”
The family hopes to diversify their portfolio, acquiring other brands under the healthy food banner, especially those sustainable year-round. While the multi-franchise brand has worked for them, Charlayne advises knowing the business above all, encouraging others who may look to do something similar that it’s alright to start small, even if it’s just one location.
“You really want to have an idea of what you want. Don’t let what you think the cost might be scare you off. It’s not as expensive as you might think. The beginning is the hard part,” Phillip said. “Don’t try and run before you walk, take one step at a time, and listen. Realize that you’re going to make mistakes and learn from them.”
Congratulations, Redmon family!
Photo Courtesy of Redmon Family/Black Enterprise