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Meet Our Franchisees!


Multi-Unit Franchise Owner, Paul Diaz – with Four Locations and One in the Works – Has a Recipe for Success and a Plan to Keep Growing



First International Franchise Owner, Daryl Hunter, Opened Zoup! Waterloo Just Days before Another Life-Changing Event

After more than 20 years in management at two, large solid waste and recycling companies, franchise owner Paul Diaz was ready for a change. In fact, he had already been looking at franchise opportunities when he discovered Zoup! in 2007 during a visit to Michigan.  According to Paul, he was immediately impressed by the food and the concept, but he also was drawn to Zoup! because of its size, “I saw that Zoup! filled a real niche, and that it had a track record of steady, controlled growth.
When 33-year-old Daryl Hunter began looking for a business opportunity, one of his main goals was to eliminate the heavy travel schedule that came with his position as a hospitality industry software consultant. He wanted a career and a lifestyle that would leave time for the family he and his wife, Deb, planned to have one day.  Little did he know how important family time would become. Or, how quickly fate would set him and Deb on a course to open their Zoup! Waterloo (Ontario) location on June 3, 2011…and become the parents of triplets only eight days later.


Husband-Wife Team Pat & Don Hoag Rely on Clear Lines of Authority and Flexibility to Make Their Zoup! Franchise a Success



Franchisee Colleen Hopkins Never Even Worked in a Restaurant, but with Zoup!’s Systems and Support Now She Owns and Runs One

After 22 years of marriage, three kids and several moves and job changes, it’s hardly surprising that Don and Pat Hoag approached Zoup! ownership with a number of goals in mind.  As a casualty of consolidation in the banking industry (and the newspaper business before that), Don was looking for more control over his work life, and the opportunity to use the skills he gained while earning his MBA.  He also liked the idea of developing a business that Pat could run on her own.  As for Pat, after years of child rearing and volunteer work, her previous nursing career no longer appealed to her, but she had always been intrigued by the food business.  Both Don and Pat were eager to do something they could feel passionate about while teaching their teenage sons important life and business skills.
Before becoming a Zoup! franchise owner, Colleen Hopkins’ only restaurant experience was “eating at them.”  That detail, however, didn’t deter the former insurance company CFO from choosing Zoup! as her path to business ownership.  “I had been thinking about making a career change when a friend suggested that I check out Zoup!,” she says.  “It was one of those ‘you-had-me-at-hello moments.’  Not only was I impressed with the overall concept from a business perspective, I also felt an immediate connection with the brand.”