Holly Daigle started researching Kona Ice franchising opportunities when she was looking for a new career path that would allow her to spend more time with her kids. “There was only one other Kona Ice franchise in New Hampshire,” she remembers. “I went and visited them and saw them working a cold, rainy event that still had a line!”
While Daigle’s own Kona Ice franchise has been successful, she credits her solid start to the guidance she received from her SCORE mentors.
Daigle and volunteer mentor Larry Dunham met weekly over the course of a few months as Daigle was considering becoming a franchisee.
“SCORE looked through my franchise disclosure document, ran the numbers with me for startup costs, operating costs, and give-back costs,” Daigle says. Talking through the terms and numbers with Dunham gave Daigle the confidence to dive in. “I had done a lot of up-front work and sometimes suffer from ‘analysis paralysis,” Daigle says. “I just needed the big-picture thumbs up.”
When Daigle opened her Holly’s Kona Ice franchise 2012, she was one of the first 100 franchisees.
She’s been able to involve her four teenagers in various capacities of the business, from washing the Kona Ice trucks to making flavors and ordering supplies. The team has partnered with schools to offer “Kona Days,” where a portion of shaved-ice sales go to the school.