Island Fin Poké Co., a popular fast-casual restaurant franchise that specializes in Hawaiian-style poké bowls that are customized to every guest’s preference, has achieved unprecedented success at its Worcester, MA location. Since its opening in July 2019, franchise owners, Jim and Marilyn Way made this location the beloved, go-to poké destination for Worcester residents and visitors alike because of their fun, in-store promotions, and their passion of serving their community with remarkable service and involvement.
In the Hawaiian language, Ohana translates to “family” and Island Fin Poké Co. is all about creating an Ohana-like environment for the various market segments it serves. The brand is perceived by its guests as a lifestyle built
on family values while offering a special, personalized experience to every guest. This philosophy inspired Jim and Marilyn to embrace these brand values, ultimately leading to great success at their Worcester location.
“We embrace the Ohana experience where our patrons are treated like guests visiting our home and we really want to ensure they are treated as such,” Jim explains. “We know each of our guests have many options in the area to eat at, so we are very thankful to them every time they choose to come to Island Fin for their meals or even just a Dole Soft Serve.”
Located at the Trolley Yard Plaza, the Worcester location is a testament to Island Fin Poké Co.'s commitment to quality service, freshness of ingredients and community. In fact, Jim and Marilyn enjoyed the franchise experience so much that the couple decided to open another location in Smithfield, RI this past November, in Marilyn’s home state.
“You need to have a passion for service and making people happy,” Jim reveals as a secret to owning the successful franchise. “This isn’t a side gig job, as the success of each location does depend on the owners being present. Our guests love to say hi to us and we know quite a few of them. Now, if we go out to eat in Worcester, there is a good chance our server will be a guest of ours and we will run into other guests as well, which we really enjoy.”
According to the franchisees, the Worcester location also experiences success and an increase in guest traffic due to their leadership from the lead manager and appealing in-store promotions such as Topping Tuesday, where every Tuesday, guests can purchase a poké bowl and get one free premium topping. Premium Toppings include the following: Avocado, Surimi and Masago. Another popular promotion is their Dole Soft Serve® happy hour where guests can come in from 3pm to 6pm every day and receive a delicious Dole Soft Serve® for half off.
In addition to serving delicious poké bowls and Dole Soft Serve, the brand is always committed to giving back to the communities it serves. The Worcester location has already supported several local schools and nonprofits.
For Worcester’s schools, Jim and Marilyn provide Island Fin swag and gift cards asa prize for their fundraisers. The also raise money for CASA, the Court Appointed Special Advocate in Worcester. This nonprofit organization is dedicated to advocating on behalf of children with their best interests in mind. Jim and Marilyn participate in their annual fundraiser and look forward to continuing to serve the Worcester community with incredible poké and service for many more years to come.
“Jim and Marilyn are the perfect example of what Island Fin is all about,” says Mark Setterington, CEO and founder of Island Fin Poké Co. “The Worcester location is successful because when you combine deliciously healthy food with a family-like, charismatic environment and owners that genuinely live the brand, it’s hard to resist coming back. As a brand, we’re committed to our Ohana and our guests see our dedication to our flavors and our community.”