When Red Mango entered the franchising arena just a few years ago with goals to grow a frozen yogurt and smoothie chain from coast to coast, the sky was the limit. Fast-forward to today, and the brand is walking on clouds, celebrating its 250th location and its entry into Michigan with its newest location at 6118 S. Westnedge Ave. in Portage.
This benchmark store furthers the aggressive growth objectives for what is now one of the fastest-growing chains in the country. The Portage location near Kalamazoo capitalizes on the popularity and awareness of the Red Mango brand in Chicago, which is scheduled to have more than 30 locations by year end, and the company is focusing on continued expansion throughout the Midwest U.S.
Experienced, successful franchise owners like multi-unit franchisee Paul Hornick increasingly are answering the call. Hornick, the franchise owner of store number 250, is a man who knows a thing or two about reaching for the sky. That’s because Hornick divides his time between his growing Red Mango franchise operation—he now owns four locations—and his flight time as a formation aerobatic pilot at air shows across North America.
Hornick’s life is all about moving in formation. His Red Mango store in Portage follows three successful stores that he owns in the Rockford-Illinois area. And when he’s not laser-focused on frozen yogurt and smoothies, he’s Paul “Rocket” Hornick, the left wing of Team Aerostars doing inverted maneuvers high in the air from his WWII-inspired plane.
After more than 20 years as a commercial pilot with more than 6000 hours of flight time to his resume, Hornick found a new kind of balance for his career and his life when he discovered Red Mango. His wife, a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in clinical nutrition, researched the healthy menu and award-winning yogurt behind the brand and validated Hornick’s interest in becoming a franchisee.
“We tasted it. And we liked it,” Hornick says.
That’s when he entered the world of franchising with a different approach for business takeoffs, landings, and speed of delivery. “I’m used to thinking at 550 miles an hour,” says Hornick, who fuels his aviation passion at 15-20 air shows a year.
In similar fashion he has moved quickly in his Red Mango business as well, opening four locations in three years.
Today, whether it’s the maneuvers he performs in his plane or on the ground in his business, Hornick is always up for a challenge. And introducing the Red Mango brand to the state of Michigan is the latest.
Borrowing on his marketing skills for Team Aerostars and its corporate sponsors, Hornick is big on grassroots marketing for each of his Red Mango stores. As a pilot or a franchisee, he knows what it takes to be a crowd-pleaser. And Hornick says he looks forward to giving the best to customers in Portage.