Mediaplanet spoke with Marble Slab Creamery and Poko Popcorn President Cam Inglis about the opportunities for franchising a global brand.


Mediaplanet: What do you look for in a franchisee?

Cam Inglis: It all comes down to passion and drive. When someone portrays the entrepreneurial spirit and enthusiasm about the product and business model, I know they’ll succeed as a franchisee. These qualities, coupled with the willingness to learn and grow their customer service, operations, and marketing skills is a recipe for success.

Marble Slab Creamery storefront in CF Chinook Centre, Calgary.

What industries do you see most represented in your franchisees’ backgrounds?

We’re honoured to embrace a very diverse group of franchisees including entrepreneurs, first-time business owners, accountants, flight attendants, and former employees of large corporations. The strong franchisee training and simple, but proven, systems help new franchisees or seasoned industry managers pick up and master the business in a short period of time so they can direct their focus on growing their franchise. 

What are the primary benefits of starting a franchise rather than an independent venture?

Entering a franchise system allows business owners to reap the benefits of a brand’s innovation, commitment, and passion for the business model while dramatically lowering the risk of starting. It’s the job of the franchisor to use their leadership and knowledge to empower each owner with the tools, expertise, and confidence they need to succeed. For a brand like Marble Slab Creamery, franchisees benefit from 36 years of a proven business model, as well as, a team of hundreds of franchisees around the world focused on the same goal of spreading happiness in their respective communities.

What are the benefits of working with an international franchise?

The main benefit is global brand equity. For the new franchisees who enter our Canadian system, there’s tremendous value in partnering with an already-existing brand to bring an exceptional product to the Canadian market.

Poko Popcorn

What led you to start Poko Popcorn?

Poko Popcorn was an initiative by our team to develop a completely unique air-popped popcorn made with real quality ingredients. We used our experience in the franchise and quick service restaurant industry to help bring this distinct brand to life. Many of the same core values that made Marble Slab Creamery so successful were brought to Poko Popcorn. After doing the necessary research, we saw that there was a massive opportunity in the gourmet popcorn category and have never looked back.

What key factors sparked your recent period of growth?

This is an extremely exciting time for both Poko Popcorn and Marble Slab Creamery. With 15 new stores currently in development, we’re seeing a great mix of current franchise partners expanding and new, driven entrepreneurs entering the system. The frozen yogurt fad and niche competitors have declined over the past few years, however we’re still seeing strong demand for gourmet ice cream and popcorn products.

What has really made this growth period so special is our franchisees’ commitment to the brands and our products. The products speak for themselves and our dedication to quality, customization, and customer service are cornerstones of the businesses’ growth — we don’t see that slowing down anytime soon.