14 May 2020
His company, Buzz Pop Cocktails, built a strong following among foodservice and hospitality accounts in a two-year period, as described in part one of this two-part series. But consumers who came across Buzz Pops at foodservice and hospitality venues wanted more opportunities to buy them. The popsicles were not available at traditional retail.
The partners spent about $60,000 for their truck, a Ford Transit 250 equipped with cold plate freezers. Since there is no cooking on the truck, there are no sinks or fire extinguishers, and no need for a Florida safety inspection.
The brand was already well known in Florida before Isaacs launched the truck, so it wasn’t hard to gain customer acceptance. The company relocated its manufacturing operation last September from Las Vegas to Delray Beach, Florida.
The truck was an immediate hit at its first selling event in February, a chocolate festival. Close to 400 popsicles were sold in the first 1 1/2 hours, and there was a line 40 to 50 people deep for the duration of the four-hour event, Isaacs said.
The truck sells Push Pops for $10, which is a few dollars less than what customers pay at foodservice and hospitality outlets.Because the product is made ready-to-serve, the truck — which presently serves around 80 events per year — can be set up in 12 minutes at an event, Isaacs said.
“We have so many events reaching out to us to be part of, that it’s hard to keep up with them all,” he said. The truck has done about $150,000 to $170,000 in sales since February, working mostly on weekends. Growth through franchising given the fast customer acceptance of the truck, Josephs decided to offer Buzz Pop Cocktails franchises.
The company has been offering truck franchises since July and already has four including one each Sarasota, Florida, Columbia, South Carolina, Austin, Texas and Denver. The goal is to have around 12 by next year and 25 by the end of the following year.Franchisees are responsible for getting their own liquor licenses where the documents are required, Isaacs said, although the company does provide assistance. Franchisees are also required to have their own freezers for storing inventory.In exchange for the franchise fee of around $150,000, the company provides the truck, marketing materials, a website, social media support, two days of training and some product inventory. The franchisees are required to book their own events.
The franchisees will also have a chance to offer new flavors, which the company is always developing, Isaacs said.While the food truck is fairly new, Isaacs thinks the franchise business will eventually surpass the wholesale business. Isaacs did not want to reveal a revenue figure, but said the company now has 23 mostly full-time employees and makes millions of popsicles per year.