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California Quivers

Concept takes treats mobile


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California Quivers specializes in fresh fruit ice, funnel cakes and other treats, and offers franchises in tents and carts.

Matt Farruggio started California Quivers, a San Diego-based, catering company known for fresh-fruit ice, as a fresh college graduate in 1997 when he couldn’t find a job in his field. A fan of smoothies, he wrote a business plan for a place to sell them and secured $100,000 of financial assistance from relatives to open his first store.

The initial location—a 600-square-foot commercial space tucked away in a low-visibility area of a mall—was less than ideal. Which helps explain why several people, including Farruggio’s landlord, expected the concept to fail. In fact, the franchisee of an ice-cream concept in the mall warned Farruggio he would put him out of business within 30 days of opening. It never happened.

Instead, the concept, which started by only selling what Farruggio named “Quivers”—freshly cut fruit, such as mango, lemon and strawberry, mixed with ice—took off. Within two years, Farruggio took the concept mobile and sold Quivers and other treats like funnel cakes from customized carts.

To accommodate continued growth, he moved from the 600-square-foot space into a 6,000-square-foot corporate office and manufacturing facility in 2002, which today supports nine carts and corporate-owned tents used at street fairs, festivals and similar events. However, the Quiver drinks, which sell for $4 to $5 for a 10- to 16-ounce serving, continue to be a key focus of the concept.

 California Quivers
Initial investment:
$35,000 to $141,550
Franchise fee: $15,000, plus $7500 per cart or
$5000 per tent.
Royalty: 6 percent
Ad fund: 2.5 percent

“On a good weekend, we can do 900 gallons,” Farruggio says, which equates to sales of more than $38,000 for Quivers alone. Other offerings at California Quivers include hot dogs, hamburgers, saltwater taffy and a gourmet coffee bar.

Franchisees have a choice of a tent, which is used for events, or a cart, which can be placed at malls, hospitals, college campuses and other locales. They also can handpick which foods and beverages they sell to best fit their respective markets.

Doug Smith and Nick Lehmann were the first franchisees to buy into the concept since the company began to sell franchises this year. Smith and Lehmann purchased a tent and a cart and have already worked at several events. “We’ve made back a quarter of our investment and it’s only been five events,” Smith says. At an Earth Day festival, he adds, they generated $3,500 in food and beverage sales from their tent in six hours.

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