Heidi Watson of Solon, Ohio, wanted a business that allowed her to share time with
her growing family and provide a second income. Terry McElhaney in Littleton, Colo.,
longed to leave his day job as a computer artist and grow a business. Cheryl Arquilla of
Willow Springs, Ill., chose to leave her career in banking to start a business after
having a family. Three diverse pathsall of which led to a "Fruitfull"® franchise opportunity.
Watson, McElhaney and Arquilla are
franchisees of Happy & Healthy Products, Inc., the Boca Raton, Fla., franchisor of
Fruitfull® fruit bars. Happy & Healthy
franchisees market an all-natural, low-fat frozen fruit bar to consumers through freezers
that they strategically locate in convenience stores, airports, shopping centers, health
clubs and other high traffic areas.
What often attracts franchisees to the company
is a highly flexible format that allows franchise owners to literally mold the franchise
to their lifestyles. For some franchisees, that means starting their businesses as
part-time endeavors while working full-time jobs. For other Happy & Healthy
franchisees, it requires wrapping the demands of business ownership around a familys
need for parents to be at home when the school bus arrives or when homework needs to be
"We wanted a
flexible franchise, one that could fit our lifestyle instead of one that required us to
change our lifestyle to fit it."
The Arquilla family, Willow Springs, Ill., enjoys the
flexibility of their Healthy Alternatives franchise of Happy & Healthy
Freedom and Flexibility
"We wanted a flexible franchise, one that could
fit our lifestyle instead of one that required us to change our lifestyle to fit it,"
says Arquilla, who often takes her three young children along on sales calls and inventory
checks. "We tried a Fruitfull® bar at a franchise show and thought it was the best
product we ever tasted. Then, we learned that the business could be set up in any number
of waysin our home, full-time, part-time, you name it."
For Arquilla, the flexibility allowed her to continue as the primary
caregiver for her three growing children. "It was important to me and my husband,
Chuck, that I be there when the kids come home or before they go to school." says
Arquilla, who currently services about 100 accounts throughout suburban Chicago. "I
make my own hours, give my family a lot of attention and still have a thriving business.
Chuck even works in the business two days a week. Where else can you find that kind of
freedom and flexibility?" she asks rhetorically.
alone. As we near the next millenium and as more baby boomers mature, theyre
realizing that quality of life is the single most important criteria in choosing a
franchise opportunity. A quality life includes more than just working 60 hours a week. It
also means finding time for family and friends. To make all that happen, todays
prospective franchisees are searching for less-rigid franchise formats that accommodate
hard work as well as personal freedom and satisfaction.
seeing more and more couples investing in the business as a way to keep either mom or dad at home to help with
The Way I Want To Live
"You can just say I am not a nine-to-five kind of guy," says
Terry McElhaney. "I worked in advertising for 17 years and saw how the industry was
changing, and I wanted to try something new. But I couldnt just make a leap and quit
my day job. So I joined Happy & Healthy because I could work part-time at first, and
eventually turn it into a full-time business."
A Happy & Healthy franchisee for three years, McElhaney has invested
wisely in his business, cautiously building up a strong revenue base that will eventually
support him full time. "The business fits me to a T," says McElhaney.
"Everyone loves the product and waits for me to restock the freezer." It also
provides him with a chance to pursue his hobbies. "Right now, I am restoring a
75-year old home, while still working in advertising and running my Fruitfull® franchise.
The business is a perfect fit for the way I want to live."
The Best of Both Worlds
For Heidi Watson, a Happy & Healthy franchise allows her to
contribute to the familys income while still maintaining a full-time job as a wife
and a mother to four boys. You could call Watson a "mom-trepreneur," a woman
owning and running a business out of her home, while still performing the all-important
role of mom.
"The boys were growing older, and I had some free
time," says Watson, who had been a nurse before becoming a full-time housewife and
then joining Happy & Healthy. "I didnt want to return to nursing, so I
started to investigate businesses that I could operate from my home."
Her search was short-lived. On her first visit to a home-based business
trade show, Watson and her husband stumbled upon the Happy & Healthy exhibit, tried
one of the companys frozen fruit bars and loved it. They researched the opportunity
and then spent some time considering the idea. "We even prayed over it," says
That was five years
ago, and today Watson services 50 accounts in and around the Cleveland area. She receives
her Fruitfull® fruit bars, which come in 16 flavors, from a local commercial cold storage
facility. Watson then delivers the bars directly to freezers she
often provides to her customers. Her primary customers are health food and grocery
stores, schools, hospitals, corporate cafeterias and health clubs. When Watson was trained
by Happy & Healthy, the company sent one of its marketing consultants to work with her
and establish her initial accounts.
Once trained, Watson had the ability to expand her business at her own
pace. During the busy summertime, Watson works about six hours a day, four days a week,
and keeps a flexible schedule which allows plenty of time to chauffeur the kids to camp,
sports and friends houses.
"Its really the best of both worlds," says Watson.
"I have a strong business and still have time for my family."
Nationally, mom-trepreneuriship is an increasingly common trend, with
men and women opting out of the nine-to-five grind in favor of building a business with
You could call Watson
a "mom-trepreneur," a woman owning and running a business out of her home, while
still performing the all-important role of mom.
"Were seeing more and more couples investing in
the business as a way to keep either mom or dad at home to help with the kids." says
Linda Kamm, president of Happy & Healthy Products, Inc., which currently supports more
than 100 franchisees nationwide. Kamm estimates that nearly half of her franchise owners
are part-time entrepreneurs, full-time parents. "More people are realizing that
its nearly impossible for both mom and dad to work full time and still have control
over their family life. They want to be available to their children, family and friends.
But the economic reality requires a second income. A home-based franchise is the perfect
Watson says that eventually, as her children go to college,
she will dedicate all of her time to the business. But for now, shes content
with being a successful mom-trepreneur. "I never imagined myself as a businessperson,
yet I am running a business right out of my house, where my boys are always within
earshot." And as a former nurse, she says that she loves the fact that Fruitfull® is
such a positive and healthy product. "Compared to nursing, Fruitfull® is a
dream," She adds.
Linda Kamm is founder and president of Happy &
Healthy Products, Inc., franchisor of Fruitfull® frozen fruit bars, which franchisees
market to consumers through convenience stores, airports, shopping centers, health clubs
and other high traffic areas.