Franchise Players is Entrepreneur’s Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. If you're a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
She's gone to law school. She's taught English in China. But Andreana Chryssos kept coming back to her passion for fitness, and, as part of that, her passion for Jamba Juice evolved into a franchise business. Jamba Juice was a healthy habit Chyrssos first forged as an athlete in college looking for an energy boost to help her compete with her university's swim team. "Jamba is a convenient source of nutrients and goodness, " Chryssos declares. Today, as a resident of Philadelphia, she's intent on shifting the City of Brotherly Love's focus on cheese steaks to her franchise's more nutritional smoothies, juices and wellness bowls.
Name: Andreana Chryssos
Franchise owned: Jamba Juice locations at the King of Prussia Mall and in Willow Grove, Penn., with a third to open later this month in Malvern, Penn. She owns development rights for the entire Philadelphia market.
How long have you owned a franchise?
I opened my first Jamba Juice store at the King of Prussia Mall in 2013.
Jamba Juice was founded 25 years ago, with the mission of inspiring and simplifying healthy living. Jamba became a part of my fitness routine as an athlete in college and I decided to become a franchisee because I thought this was the best way to carry that vision forward to the Philadelphia market. Philadelphia is a city grounded in history, but it’s also known for cheese steaks, and we’d like to change that distinction, and make sure that the City of Brotherly Love is [also] synonymous with great-tasting. healthy options like our smoothies, juices and wellness bowls.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
I worked in China for a year teaching students English, and then I attended and graduated law school, and took the bar exam. I was looking for positions in the legal field but was still deliberating in some ways on what I really wanted to do. I’ve always had a passion for health and wellness; [and] my education in law has provided a unique advantage as I navigate business contracts and agreements.
Why did you choose this particular franchise?
I first became acquainted with Jamba Juice when I was attending college at the University of Miami, in Florida. I was on the swim team during my first year, and in between practices and classes I would re-fuel on Jamba Juice, which helped me maintain energy while taking in nutritious fruits and vegetables. I went to the Jamba Juice on campus at least once, sometimes twice, a day! Following my freshman year, I became a full-time lifeguard and was working 40 hours a week while going to school full time, and I was always on the go. And, again, I relied on Jamba Juice to keep me going. Jamba is a convenient source of nutrients and goodness, and I firmly believe in the menu offerings and mission.
How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?
We spent approximately $650,000 before we were officially open for business. We paid half of our franchise fees for all of the stores in our development agreement, built our kiosk and paid for training trips for our general manager and two shift managers, as well as training for all of our team members before we opened for business. We also took several trips to California for training and on-boarding with Jamba Juice in Emeryville.
Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
I seek a lot of business advice from my mom, who started her career as an accountant and then worked in human resources for a few major corporations. I always start with my mom because of her breadth of knowledge and common sense. Additionally, I have a law background, which has been beneficial as we review contracts and other documents relating to the business.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
I think learning all of the retail acronyms that Jamba uses! My background is not in retail or food service, so I was essentially starting from scratch; but it’s been a great education and a rewarding process.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
Be prepared [for the fact] that owning your own business is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year job. It’s not your typical job. If the freezer breaks, you have to ensure that it gets fixed as soon as possible. You’re managing all aspects of the business, and it takes a lot of time management and energy.
What’s next for you and your business?
To continue to expand Jamba Juice throughout the Philadelphia market, and bring healthy products to the area.