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Cereal-loving Journalist Seeks Investors


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They say capital’s cheap and easy these days. Because there are so many good business ideas out there, I’ll keep this brief: I’m thinking of becoming a franchisor in the cereal business down in Kentucky. Who’s coming with me?

This amazing, truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity first appeared during my obligatory late-week Google of “franchise” looking for industry trends and stories I may have overlooked. And, wow, what a payoff. I found an article from the Courier-Journal down in Kentucky telling the story of Eric Richardson, who founded his Cereal Box business with the intent of raffling the business off to “a first-time business owner.”

As quoted in the Courier-Journal, Richardson said the state’s gaming laws prohibit his initial plan, so he’s put the restaurant up for sale in hopes that he can “re-enter the business later as a franchise owner.” Apparently he has other ventures in the fitness and food truck realms that, for some insane reason, are preempting his cereal venture.

They say the right buyer is one in a million, and I know I'm the guy he’s searching for. He loves cereal and I love it, too, which suggests the cultural fit will be spot-on. I haven’t started my own business or run a franchise, but I have countless transcripts of me chatting with all-stars who’ve built fortunes in this business.

But it really comes down to passion, which is my ace in the hole. If customers are into the sugary-awesome varieties like Fruity Pebbles and Cookie Crisp, I’ll probably become their best friend. More serious (dour?) customers who are into the hard stuff like Honey Bunches of Oats, Crunchy Corn Bran or Special K will intrigue me, and I’ll bond with them as I seek to understand their lifestyle. I can build this community, I know it.

I haven’t taken any big steps yet, like talking to the owner or chatting up my banker, but I assure you this won’t deter my aggressive growth plans. Thinking conservatively, I’m shooting for the top 50 U.S. metros, starting in downtown districts for name recognition and then building my way out into the ‘burbs.

Internationally, I’m planning to follow the herd into my lactose-free, milk-drenched riches: a few units in Dubai, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, followed by a few hundreds units across China, which should be no problem. I don’t speak Mandarin, but cereal is a universal language I’m more than fluent in.

Food trucks, airports, stadiums—that whole non-trad thing is already in the works and coming soon.

I don't want to get too greedy, but am hoping for generous backers who think this thing has “IPO” written all over like I do. Vision, plans, passion—check, check and check.

Let’s do this.

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is associate editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is staff writer at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
 twitter.com/mlarson1011.
 
Nancy WeingartnerNancy Weingartner is editor-at-large of Franchise Times magazine and the editor of the Food On Demand media project. You can reach her at 612-767-3200 or at nancyw@franchisetimes.com.
Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nanweingartner.
 

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