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Franchisee Profiles

Paul Diaz

Multi-Unit Franchise Owner Paul Diaz Has Five Top-Performing Locations and a Plan to Keep Growing

After more than 20 years in management at two, large waste and recycling companies, franchise owner Paul Diaz was ready for a change. When he discovered Zoup! in 2007 during a visit to Michigan, he was immediately impressed. "I thought the concept was outstanding. And, I liked the fact that it was proven, but still small enough that I could take it to a new market and really grow it," he says.

Paul had worked in the food business in high school and recognized that Zoup! was a fairly simple concept to implement. And, after spending his career at large companies, he was accustomed to following procedures and working with systems. "I wanted to learn from a franchisor that could teach me everything I needed to know to open and run the business," he said. "I wasn't interested in designing a space or choosing d├ęcor; I just wanted to benefit from the expertise of someone who had done it, and done it successfully."

As for his specific goals, Paul wanted to leverage the Zoup! brand to build a company and develop a strong management team so he could oversee the business. He also had a financial goal. "I plan to open additional stores without having to go to a lender," he says, "using only the capital of the business."

Colleen Hopkins

From CFO to Restaurant Owner, Colleen Hopkins Made the Leap and Never Looked Back

Before becoming a Zoup! franchise owner, Colleen Hopkins had spent her career in finance, most recently as CFO at an insurance company. That detail, however, didn't deter her 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, "and when I did, I was sold."

Specifically, Colleen liked the healthy menu; the comfortable, casual vibe; and the uniqueness of the menu. "Like Zoup!'s creators, I've always felt that really good soup is hard to find. When I saw how successfully they had tapped into that market niche, I knew they were on to something," says Hopkins. "And, I knew I wanted to be part of it."

In April 2011, Hopkins opened her first location in Westlake, OH, and then followed with restaurants in Avon and Rocky River. According to Hopkins, "Discovering Zoup! was one of those 'you-had-me-at-hello moments' and I couldn't be happier with my choice."

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Contact our business office: 800-940-ZOUP (9687)