Entrepreneur and army veteran Christopher Shelvin wasn’t on the lookout for a model to franchise when he turned thinking about Smoothie King.
As a substitute, the Florence, S.C.-based franchisee was on the lookout for a manner to assist his good friend and enterprise accomplice. In 2017, as he was starting his personal wellness journey, Shelvin’s good friend Letrone White was identified with kind 2 diabetes.
“We began utilizing Smoothie King collectively as a serious useful resource to complement our meals and noticed the advantages that had been coming from the model’s merchandise after about six months,” Shelvin mentioned. “My good friend was in a position to get off his meds had noticed enchancment. I believed this was one thing I may actually get behind as a result of I noticed the direct advantages from it.”
Shelvin and White signed their franchise settlement with Smoothie King in 2019 and opened their first of two places in 2021. Whereas Shelvin was new to the Smoothie King system, although, turning into a franchisee was no daunting job, as he was skilled within the mannequin.
From 2011-2017, Shelvin and his spouse, Joanna, had been franchisees with Dream Trip, with a number of workplaces within the southeast, earlier than deciding to promote their enterprise. The holiday franchise isn’t Shelvin’s solely entrepreneurial expertise both, as he started that journey whereas he was serving the nation.
Shelvin enlisted within the U.S. Military in 1987 after graduating from Washington State College with bachelor of science levels in political science and enterprise administration. Throughout his army profession, he accomplished 9 excursions in Panama, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan.
He retired in 2010 with honors, together with 45 awards, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Purple Coronary heart and the Bronze Star. All of the whereas, Shelvin mentioned he was engaged on a number of investments in industrial and residential actual property by means of his firm Shelvin Developments and Investments.
Following his retirement, along with the Dream Trip franchise, Shelvin additionally held senior government positions at a number of authorities businesses, together with the Departments of State, Commerce and Homeland Safety.
Whereas his position as a franchisee has been totally different than his time within the Military, although, the possession place does share some similarities with the army in Shelvin’s opinion.
“Franchising provides you a set of requirements that army people who’ve served are used to working by,” Shelvin mentioned. “We’re designed to function inside a sure mind set that’s structured. Franchising provides that construction, Vs. being an entrepreneur and making an attempt to construct that construction from the underside up. It units you up for the long run.”
Shawn Caric, Smoothie King vp of franchise growth, had comparable sentiments on veterans within the franchise mannequin.
“On this trade we at all times speak about how veterans make nice franchisees,” Caric mentioned. “I feel it begins and ends with their management and skill to inspire individuals. On the identical time, they know comply with procedures and processes, which helps construct that consistency from location to location.
“Additionally they know care for their our bodies of their skilled lives, and have a wholesome and energetic way of life,” mentioned Caric. “That’s in our DNA, and it’s of their DNA.”
As an operator, Shelvin mentioned he was particularly impressed by the construction and help that Smoothie King supplies.
“The very first thing that stood out for us was the assist mechanism that they’ve in place for all of its operations and progress,” Shelvin mentioned. “Plus, there’s loads of potential with the model, as a result of while you take a look at the dynamics of the U.S., the inhabitants is shifting towards a more healthy way of life.”
By means of his firm VetVen, which is meant to symbolize veterans and enterprise capitalists, Shelvin plans to construct 5 extra Smoothie King places over the following seven years within the Carolinas.
“We’re simply joyful to have him in our system,” Caric mentioned. “We now have an incredible quantity of respect for all of our franchisees who slug it out on daily basis on this atmosphere, and the way they join with their communities.”