Meet the Frios Pops Franchise CEO
From Serendipity to Success: The Tale of a CEO Who Turned His Passion for Pops into an Inclusive Franchise Empire
A single bite of an extraordinary Key Lime Pie Frios pop unexpectedly changed the life of Cliff Kennedy, now the CEO of Frios Gourmet Pops Franchise
It all began when Cliff, who had been working in his family’s Mobile, Alabama oil and gas supply company, was stuck in daily school and work traffic. He would pass by a Frios pops trailer every day, and the trailer always had happy, smiling people outside. One day, curiosity got the best of him, and he decided to stop and see what the fuss was all about. Little did he know, this decision would lead to a life-altering moment. After trying the Key Lime Pie pop, coated in graham cracker crust, Cliff was instantly hooked. He knew at that moment he had to learn more about this business, its economics, and its potential.
From the fall of 2017 to May 2018, Cliff dove deep into understanding the franchise model, ultimately becoming a multi-unit Frios franchisee himself. Like any great entrepreneur, he noticed areas where the business could be improved. So, he took a bold step and called the owner to propose buying the business. With the help of investors, Cliff officially took over Frios Gourmet Pops Franchise on December 21, 2018.
Entrepreneur magazine ranked Frios Gourmet Pops to its Top New Franchises of 2022 list, granting this emerging brand a spot at #35. The Frios Gourmet Pops franchise has also received a ranking in Entrepreneur’s Top Low-Cost Franchise list as well as taking the number one spot in their category of Misc. Frozen Dessert Franchises. Frios is now the largest gourmet pops franchise in the country!
Adapting to Change: The Impact of COVID-19 and the Sweet Ride
The COVID-19 pandemic brought challenges to the world and the Frios concept, forcing Cliff and his team to adapt and evolve. Initially, Frios focused on brick-and-mortar locations, but the pandemic prompted a change in strategy. Instead of waiting for customers to come to them, Frios decided to go mobile and bring happiness directly to their customers!
The introduction of Frios-branded vans allowed the company to enter neighborhoods, brightening people’s days and spreading joy through gourmet pops. This transformative moment led to the reimagining of the Frios franchise model, ultimately creating a low-cost, low-overhead system that made it easier for aspiring entrepreneurs to join the Frios family.
Going mobile also gave birth to the Sweet Ride – the tie-dyed colorful van Frios franchisees Happy Hustlers ride around in their communities in. This isn’t a food truck – that’s an important distinction! Unlike a food truck, Frios sells only prepackaged pops, so there are far less stringent permitting required. The Sweet Ride is a modern-day take on the traditional ice cream truck. Everyone loves frozen desserts, and Frios engineered a menu that appeals to kids as well as their parents. In fact, adults often make up the majority of customers at some events!
The Modern Twist on a Classic Model
Though the Frios model may seem similar to the classic ice cream truck, it’s a refined and improved version of this nostalgic experience. Frios focuses on offering high-quality, gourmet pops with unique flavors, made from real fruits and ingredients. The company’s dedication to quality sets it apart from traditional ice cream trucks and has allowed it to expand into various markets, including wholesale distribution to toy stores, coffee shops, and more.
Join the Gourmet Pops Revolution!
Cliff Kennedy’s passion and vision for Frios Gourmet Pops have transformed the franchise into an inclusive, thriving business with a bright future. If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur looking for a unique and rewarding opportunity, consider joining the Frios family and be part of the gourmet pops revolution!
It is just a matter of time before Frios hits 1,000 locations. If you have ever wanted to own a fun and stress-free business, Frios is a sweet opportunity! Fill out our form here to start your journey towards a fresh-tasting future!