“The PBA made the introduction to Auntie Anne’s at the strategy sessions in New York. Charles also assisted with the relationship to the point where I got comfortable.”
Auntie Anne’s, the world’s largest hand-rolled soft pretzel franchise, recently announced retired NBA star Mark Blount as its newest franchise partner. Blount will team up with Auntie Anne’s to introduce its famous soft pretzels at both CityPlace and the Palm Beach Outlets, two premier shopping destinations in West Palm Beach, Florida. The locations are expected to open in November 2013 and February 2014, respectively.
Blount was first introduced to the Auntie Anne’s team at a Professional Basketball Alumni Association (PBAA) event. After months of back-and-forth communication, he determined that partnering with the brand made sense as his next business move.
“I was actively looking to break into the franchise industry, but I wanted to find a company that was a good fit for me,” said Blount. “I really felt that the Auntie Anne’s brand provided what I was looking for. After getting to know Mr. Dunn and the Executive Team intimately over the past few months, I am excited to officially join the company as a franchise partner.”
“Mark is an ideal addition to the Auntie Anne’s franchise community,” said Bill Dunn, President and Chief Operating Officer of Auntie Anne’s. “He is passionate about the brand, and he shares our desire to introduce Auntie Anne’s to new guests, while continuing to ‘wow’ our loyal existing consumers. Mark is well-equipped to take on this new challenge, and I wholeheartedly believe he will work hard to excel in this business, just as he did on the NBA court.”
Three years ago, Dunn started the initiative to work with retired professional athletes. He understood that these business-savvy individuals often retire at an early age and may be looking for business opportunities after their professional sporting careers have ended. Auntie Anne’s currently has two successful retired athletes in the franchise system, Shaquille O’Neal and Ed Muransky, and expects to partner with more in the future.
About Auntie Anne’s
With 1,400 locations in 48 states and 26 countries, Auntie Anne’s mixes, twists and bakes pretzels to golden brown perfection all day long in full view of guests. Auntie Anne’s can be found in malls and outlet centers, as well as in non-traditional spaces including universities, airports, Walmarts, travel plazas, military bases and the recently-introduced food trucks. It projects 100 new store openings in the U.S. throughout 2013 and continues to seek entrepreneurs interested in owning Auntie Anne’s locations. For more information, visit Auntie Anne’s website, franchising website, Facebook page, Twitter or YouTube account. Imagery and video are available upon request.
By: Kaitlin Scicchitano