Monday, March 14, 2011

Franchisee Profile: Scott Kallen, Franchisee of Bridgeville, PA

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Scott Kallen is a serial entrepreneur known for his ability to take a struggling business and turn it into a cash cow. This is why the people at Philly Pretzel Factory enlisted Scott to help them turn around a Philly Pretzel Factory with lots of potential that needed a facelift. Here, Scott tells us about his impressive track record, how he got involved with Philly Pretzel Factory, and where he plans to take the business in the future!

Q: Before Philly Pretzel Factory, what were you involved with?
A: I’ve always been a turnaround guy. I started at age 21 with a pizzeria that was in such bad shape that I was able to buy it for almost nothing. Within two years I managed to quadruple sales and had turned it into a local favorite. Then I did the same thing with one of Rita’s Water Ice’s struggling corporate stores. I went into a business partnership with my father, Steve Kallen, who did construction, and we were able to do another complete turnaround and expand to five locations in eight years. I think the key to successful business is a fresh product and excellent customer service—the kind that goes above and beyond and makes guests want to come back again and again because they’re treated so well each and every time.

Q: How did you get involved with Philly Pretzel Factory?
A: Well, in the middle of my Rita’s Water Ice venture I met a lady from Pittsburgh and ended up selling off all my stores so I could get married and move out to Pittsburgh with her. We bought a house here and had a baby. Things are great but I’m ready to re-establish myself as an entrepreneur here. So, when the people at Philly Pretzel Factory’s corporate office gave me a call and asked if I’d be interested in another revival project, I decided to go for it! I think this Bridgeville location has a ton of potential—it’s a great area and Philly Pretzel Factory has an excellent product and a great franchise system. I’m excited to turn this store into something special.

Q: What have been some career milestones for you/your business?
A: When I bought this store last month, it needed some serious TLC. I think the main issue was that people didn’t even know it was open anymore—it didn’t even have an OPEN sign! Now I’m in the process of a complete turnaround and already things are going great. We’ve already got the store all cleaned up, the lights in the store and parking lot are now working, we’ve gotten signage and put a nice big OPEN sign in the window. On February 5th we had a comeback celebration for the entire community, featuring tons of family-friendly activities including clowns, a magic show, kids twisting their own pretzels, live music, and three free pretzels for every man, woman, and child—no purchase necessary, no strings attached. It was just a fun family event to spread the word that Philly Pretzel Factory of Bridgeville is under new management, back in action and better than ever!

Q: What are your future goals? Development plans?
A: Right now I’m focused on making Philly Pretzel Factory of Bridgeville the best it can be, a neighborhood favorite and the place people go to for the best pretzels and the best atmosphere in town. In the future, who knows? We’ll see!


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