Franworth, the well-known professional shared services platform, has formed a strategic partnership with the Milkshake Factory, a premium dessert retailer known for its heritage recipes and iconic family legacy throughout Western Pennsylvania.
After successfully operating eleven Pittsburgh area locations, the Milkshake Factory is prepared to share its business model with qualified franchise investors. Countless numbers of interested parties have inquired about the brand’s availability for franchising during the past two decades, and now the opportunity has arrived.
Its family recipes and time-tested techniques have blended with modern-day innovations to craft a strategic growth initiative that aims to expand the brand across the country. Currently, the Milkshake Factory’s growth has been built on this family legacy coupled with widespread consumer admiration in and around the Pittsburgh market.
“We’ve landed at this inflection point after a full year of focused attention for the launch of franchising, and for the future of our organization,” says Dana Edwards Manatos, co-founder and CEO of the Milkshake Factory. “From one location in 2003 to eleven locations today, we’re now ready with a replicable business model, proven unit economics, and a cost-effective store design that embraces the magic of our brand.”
The Edwards family’s roots run more than a century deep in gourmet chocolates and premium desserts. They were able to establish large-scale manufacturing and develop a line of chocolate products sold in retailers across the country including Costco Wholesale, Target, and many grocery chains. This transformation of the family’s chocolate business paved the way for the expansion of the Milkshake Factory. Through successful distribution at retail, the Milkshake Factory has earned brand awareness beyond The Steel City.
“Continuing our family legacy with the Milkshake Factory is a top priority. We have designed a business model created with the same amount of operational excellence and product quality that has been consistent throughout our past,” says co-founder, Chris Edwards.
Leading this next phase of growth for Milkshake Factory is the company’s President Dan Reese. Reese will be working closely with the Franworth team to architect the franchise growth strategy. He previously served as Milkshake Factory’s CFO and held various executive-level positions with the Edwards family’s consumer packaged goods chocolate company, Edward Marc Brands. Prior to that, he was a marketing executive at Kraft Heinz, running their $2B condiments portfolio.
“In all my years in franchising, I haven’t seen an emerging franchisor enter growth mode with as much infrastructure and history behind it as the Milkshake Factory,” says John Rotche, founder and CEO of Franworth, and an accomplished franchise industry executive who previously was named the IFA’s Entrepreneur of the Year. “All the pieces are in place for a strong foray into franchising.”
Beginning in May, the Milkshake Factory will be ready for franchise investment. Rotche and the Franworth team will support franchise sales and building out the franchise operations infrastructure together with Reese and the Edwards family. More details regarding franchising opportunities with the Milkshake Factory will become available soon.