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Maui Wowi Franchisee Testimonials

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Ron & Barb Putman

4 K-Carts

From salon owner to Maui Wowi® Franchisee and Director of Regional Support for four Southern California counties, Barb Putman now owns four mobile Ka’anapali Carts and has a contract with a Major League Baseball Stadium. Barb loved owning her own salon and the lively, social atmosphere that it created. But after 10 years, she decided she wanted a business that she could involve her whole family in. When she and her husband, Ron, discovered Maui Wowi®, with its tropical Hawaiian theme and products that suited any type of climate, they knew it was the right fit. Now, nine years later, together, Barb and Ron have built a thriving business by providing unparalleled support to the franchisees in their region and building awareness of the Maui Wowi brand throughout Southern California.

Rob & Jean Mclean

11 K-Carts

In the fast paced operation of this Texas smoothie making business, Maui Wowi® franchisees Rob and Jean McLean have discovered that volume is key. As operators for nearly nine years, this husband and wife team have built a business that operates at maximum capacity; proving that persistence, dedication, and professionalism can get you the payoff you’ve been waiting for. The McLeans are known as the King and Queen of the Houston Rodeo and it was their hard work and dedication that earned them that title. When they began their franchise as Empire Builders in the mobile business model, they realized quickly that the more Ka’anapali Carts they had in operation, the higher the rewards would be. The two of them started working festivals, fairs, and swim meets; with each event providing them with a new opportunity for growth and knowledge. Rob and Jean quickly began building relationships with some of the large venues in Houston and as they added one cart after another, the possibility for even greater success emerged. In 2006 when they began their journey with Maui Wowi®, they had three carts. Today, they have a total of 11 and have managed to keep each one busy at professional football games, concerts, and yes, the rodeo!

Mary Bigler

11 K-Carts | Multiple Catering Units | 1 Retail Store

A little bit of this…a lot of that; Franchisee Mary Bigler doesn’t dabble, she masters. A Maui Wowi® operator in Minnesota for over a decade, Mary has become a leader in more ways than one. With 11 mobile Ka’anapali Carts, two highly profitable venues, 10 catering units, and a mall location, she has kept a strong “work hard, play hard” mentality. As a mom, Mary has turned her lifelong dream of business ownership into a family operation. Her husband and sons are always by her side, working together as an ‘ohana. As a Director of Regional Support, Mary has taken on a role that draws on her expertise, her passion, and her dedication to the Maui Wowi® ‘ohana.  She is committed to being an excellent DRS for the franchisees in her territory and sharing with them the secrets to how she has spent over 13 years enjoying flexibility, family time, and success and how they can too. Whether it’s at cheerleading, wrestling, hockey, or beyond, Mary and her family continue to lead the way and build the brand in Minnesota. She remains loyal to her fellow ‘ohana members with a strong interest in their achievements while constantly seeking new ways to improve and help create more success for the entire system.

Mitch York

K-Cart | 3 Catering Units

When Mitch York entered into this more than a decade long journey with Maui Wowi®, he had no idea he would make it into what it is today. Beginning as an Empire Builder in the New York area, he worked events as many franchisees do when first starting out. But then, something clicked. When the opportunity presented itself to work catered events, Mitch jumped at the chance and has been doing it ever since; revolutionizing the entire business model to what it is today. Mitch brought the concept of catering to the Maui Wowi® Mainland headquarters and suddenly, the portable tiki hut catering unit was born. Through the process, he discovered a clear niche that seemed to work extremely well for him and for Maui Wowi®. He catered everything from Sweet Sixteen parties, Bar Mitzvahs, corporate events, colleges; you name it, he’s probably done it. All the while, finding a way to make it work for his lifestyle, his family, and his goals. Having the flexibility and freedom to turn it on or off and access to an infinite number of opportunities, Mitch realized there’s enough work out there for everyone.

DuAnne Redus

K-Cart | Catering Unit | Retail Store

DuAnne Redus is a Maui Wowi® Franchisee and served eight years on the Franchise Advisory Council (FAC). She has paved the way as a visionary of the brand and true embodiment of the Aloha Spirit through years of hard work, adaptation, and evolution that has made her life and business a serendipitous success story. After many years in the corporate world and some life altering events, DuAnne took hold of her destiny and started down a new path with Maui Wowi®. As a dedicated member of her community, she has put her heart and soul into her business and treated it as a gift; allowing her to become involved with the school systems, youth programs, and turn her store into an inviting community gathering place. Over the past 3 years, DuAnne has broadened her reach, securing a contract with Circuit of the Americas, home of F1 racing and the Summer X Games. There, she operates numerous mobile carts throughout the venue, serving a wide demographic. The opportunities that DuAnne has experienced continue to shape the person she is and the life she has dreamed of. For DuAnne, there is no limit to the possibilities that await her as she strives for humble excellence and harmony.

Larry Gerber

K-Cart | Catering Unit

Retirement isn’t for everyone. Some people want a little more excitement and have a lot left to explore. When retired U.S. Air Force Officer, Larry Gerber, and his wife Patrice, discovered they could accomplish new dreams and have an exciting next chapter in their lives, they jumped at the opportunity.

Larry is in Erie, Colorado has been a franchisee for less than a year but he’s already expanding his business. He realized one cart just wasn’t going to cut it as the events began piling on and he had more than one cart could handle. He and Patrice, have been building connections with people in their immediate community, in addition to the surrounding areas. Most recently, Larry has secured a contract with a venue that has a four field complex.

Now with two carts in his fleet, Larry can satisfy more of the demand in his community but he’s not looking to overdo it anytime soon. Larry is sure to point out that while this expansion of his business is necessary, he still wants to keep it relatively small and stick with two carts for now. This allows him to maintain a flexible work schedule, giving him the freedom to travel when he wants, reduce his stress level, and ensure the business continues to be a fun aspect of his life. He says the best part is the smiles, relationships, and the fun that comes from serving a “vacation in a cup.”

Jim Bigler

11 K-Carts | 3 Catering Units | 1 Retail Store

Jim started his Maui Wowi® career at the age of 15, helping out in the family business.  The middle son of Mary Bigler, he’s been instrumental in the success of the highest producing Maui Wowi® franchise.  Jim went away to college, but worked for the business whenever home on break.  Upon graduating from Bemidji State University in Northern Minnesota in 2010, the economy was in a slump, and jobs were hard to find for new college graduates.  But the family business was booming, and so Jim jumped in full time.  Jim loves that he can work hard in the winter, and play in the summer.  The flexibility of the business allows him to be home with his daughter during the week, get in a few runs at local ski hills, and spend time at the family cabin.  In the summer you can find him sailing his Balboa sailboat or playing Ultimate Frisbee.  Jim looks forward to bringing in more franchisees into the Minnesota market to help grow the brand even bigger!

Ross Harried

6 K-Carts | Catering Unit

Ross had a great career in which he acquired many useful skills, made a good income, and overall enjoyed. But there was something missing. Ownership. Ross wanted to take the knowledge he had gained and use it towards something he could call his own. With help from an entrepreneur coach, he did extensive research and personality assessments in order to find the right fit. When he was presented with Maui Wowi®, it just clicked. Ross loved the laid back atmosphere, healthy products, and the amount of success existing franchisees were experiencing. Hearing that they were able to retain 70-80% of their events year after year, was a clear indication that Maui Wowi® was what he was looking for. Ross is a go-getter and didn’t look at buying a franchise as a hobby but as his main source of income. Ross knew he had to do whatever it took to succeed and build a profitable business, so he did just that. He hit the ground running and utilized every tool and resource available to him. From the help of his local Director of Regional Support to having a game plan and executing it, he knew it was up to him to make things happen. Now in his third year as a Maui Wowi® franchisee, Ross’s hard work is still paying off. After only two months in, he was already profitable and able to maintain a quality life for him and his family. With Ross’s ‘can do’ attitude, the sky’s the limit. He just has to go out and get it!



“I enjoy the work hard, play hard. I don’t mind working hard, that’s a given, in life you need to make a living… but I also want to be able to play hard… the ‘ohana, the family, the franchisees are just that. Not only are they helpful, but they are very generous with their time and have good giving spirits.”

Ross Harried – Franchise Owner | Minnesota 

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