1. How did the idea for RoseVine Winery come about?
My husband died in 2002. As you may know, he was the founder of Dunkin’ Donuts. That Thanksgiving some friends invited my daughter and her family and me to their home in Georgia. They took us on a mystery ride to a winery at a crossroads out in the middle of nowhere north of Atlanta. After 2 hours there, I was literally jumping up and down when we went out to the car I was so excited about the concept. That is where it all started. “You don't have to reinvent the wheel. Find someone is doing it badly and improve it.” This is something my husband used to say. And that is exactly what we did with RoseVine Winery.
2. Would you describe wine making as an art?
Wine making is no more art than making a cake. You just need to have a recipe and follow it.
3. What do your clients have to say about the entire experience of creating their own wine label?
Lots of people are interested. They enjoy being able to come in and make wine for birthdays and brides love doing it for their weddings. They can do small bottles and give them away. It is fun! They can say they did it themselves. It makes the moment they are celebrating more special.
4. Why did you decide to franchise?
Definitely because of my previous experience with Dunkin’ Donuts. Franchising is a good way to grow your business. It is the best way to do business in the world today. One thing that the United States exports well is franchised units.
5. What is the most gratifying thing about being a RoseVine Winery franchisee?
The kind of franchising we do is business format franchising. In this, people learn how to go into business for themselves but not by themselves.
Generally before a business is franchised, the franchisor has the links worked out.
If you are a franchisee, you don't have to reinvent the wheel. A franchisee does not have to make the same mistakes others make.
You can get them off running. After 5 years, 95% of the independent businesses are typically gone, but with franchising 90% are still operating.
6. Why do you think your franchising opportunity is great for women?
This is an interesting business and something that I think would work well for women. I am not saying women cannot do anything they want. But this business will suit women well.
Women tend to be social, and running a winery needs somebody that is social. Not just with customers but also with employees and the community.
My partner and I started RoseVine winery. Last June we decided to do a joint venture with a company in Texas called D’Vine Wine. They had 6 locations and we had 3. Now we have 15 altogether and have many more franchisees in the process of building out their locations. Because there were more D’Vine Wine units than RoseVine units, we’ve decided to go forward with the D’Vine Wine name only.
7. Describe your ideal franchisee.
The ideal franchisee would be someone who is able to afford the concept and who has some business acumen and is willing to learn. But the person must be able to pay the franchise fee and have enough cash and financing to take a leap.
She would also need enough money to finance her own expenses for 6 - 12 months. You cannot go into a business under funded. So that is the first thing you need to have.
She needs to be outgoing. She has to enjoy wine. My husband always said if you don't like coffee you won't like being a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise. I don't think age is a factor. Enthusiasm and lot of energy are also key.
8. What are your own experiences of juggling a successful business and a family?
My family is grown so I don't have to juggle a family and business any more. I have a grown daughter and grandkids. We always worked out of our home when my daughter was growing up, and I had my husband who was actively managing the business. By combining business and family, I did not have to make sacrifices or choices that a typical working mom would have to make.
9. How would you encourage women out there who are looking to own their own business?
I would recommend that women should push their daughters into math, science and business courses. I think women need to study things that give them a leg up when they get out of school.
You can always take liberal arts courses later if you’re so inclined. Irregardless of what you decide to do when you grow up, it does not hurt to have a business background.