Kona Ice Franchise Owner Discovers Passion for Frozen Treats and Can’t Let It Go

Lori Kona Ice Franchise Rock Star

If there were a human version of Kona Ice’s unique franchise business model, Lori Rewczuk would be it! An entrepreneurial business owner since 2012, she’s diligently grown her Kona Ice franchise from a single truck to 11 in her home community of Omaha, Nebraska—becoming one of the brand’s most successful franchisees in history. Once she got a taste for delivering Kona’s delicious, in-demand frozen treats, she couldn’t let it go! That’s probably why Lori was an obvious choice to be heralded as Kona Ice’s Franchisee Rock Star in the Multi-Unit category. 

Meet Lori Rewczuk—Kona Ice Franchise Rock Star

Lori was fascinated when she first saw a Kona Ice mobile refreshment truck. It sparked her desire to investigate the concept thoroughly, and she quickly discovered that the brand’s core values completely aligned with her ideals. She was one of the first initial franchisees to attend and complete the brand’s “Kona Kollege” coursework before rolling out onto Omaha’s streets in her first (of 11 trucks). She credits a large portion of her entrepreneurial success to the support of her family and children, who undoubtedly receive a first-class education in becoming your own boss. In addition to being an astute businesswoman, she also has a burning desire to give back in the way of charitable contributions to her community—something Kona Ice wholeheartedly supports. Recently, her daughter joined her growing empire of Kona Ice, making this franchise a legacy opportunity for generations to come. Sufficed to say, the business is likely in good hands far into the foreseeable future.

Why Kona Ice Chose This Multi-Unit Franchise Rock Star

Not only did Kona Ice choose Lori to represent the brand as a franchisee Rock Star in the Multi-Unit category, but they also describe her as one of the most successful franchisees in the history of their operation. But even though Lori expanded her operation into nearly a dozen surrounding communities, she wasn’t done building her entrepreneurial empire. She added another mobile refreshment truck to her arsenal in Travelin’ Tom’s Coffee – of which she’s now grown to two vans—making her a multi-unit, multi-brand owner (MUMBO). This is a prestigious honor that only a few franchisees will ever experience, and she built it all from scratch by trusting in the Kona Ice business model. As one might expect, Lori is deeply involved in continuing her Kona Ice education, participating in the brand’s Kona Konvention, Masters Klass, and earning the iconic KEV Certification. She’s a frequent guest on many panel discussions for franchisee development while also setting an admirable example of charitable giving in her home community.

In her own words, Lori describes her journey to multi-unit franchise ownership.

During your research, what made your franchise brand stand out?

I was overwhelmed with fascination when I saw a Kona Ice truck in 2012. I remember the exact moment and the feeling it gave me. It brought me an instant smile and filled me with childlike excitement. I needed to experience more of what Kona Ice offered and learn more about this opportunity. Once I began my research, it only got better! The core values of the corporate company are embodied by leadership and the corporate team. The vision was clear: it was about serving smiles and bringing communities together with Kona Ice. It was about giving back and doing good. This is how Kona Ice stands out. All of these things drew me in, and I never looked back.

How did the Kona Ice franchise help you prepare for and launch your business?

When starting in 2012, there were not the same resources available then that exist now. Corporate had just started a “Kona Kollege,” which I was among the first to attend. It was informational and had the tips and tricks to get going. However, the best support came from the staff. The corporate staff is top-notch and always willing to answer any questions that arise. Today, the support offered to franchisees is remarkable. Kona Corporate is in touch with the needs of the franchisees’ daily operations and is quick to implement teams internally to help navigate through this fast and competitive industry. Kona leadership and team listen and ask the franchisees questions to understand each region’s needs and are quick to adapt, help, and/or offer additional training and resources if needed.

What advice would you give to potential Kona Ice franchise owners?

Kona Ice is a great business for the right person who enjoys people and hard work. However, Kona Ice is More Than Ice! FIRST, we are a brand that gives back. We take care of our community and each other. The Core Values run deep, and your franchise’s success will solely depend on your effort, work ethic, and core values.

Name three key things that empower your success.

The three biggest factors in my life that have empowered my success are:

  1. My incredibly supportive family. My husband, children, and parents have been huge supporters of me. It’s not easy running and growing a business; without their continual support and understanding, it would have never happened.
  2. Kona Corporate has been an insurmountable help over the years. They have helped me focus on growing my area while they focus on other important aspects of the business, such as product development, marketing, software programs, and much, much more!
  3. Good Old hard work and Grit.

When you first became a franchisee, did you plan to purchase more than one territory?

When I first became a Franchisee, I was a Registered Nurse with a small, growing family. I knew I would have multiple units, although I didn’t necessarily know I would grow into an 11-unit operator. That just sort of happened as my lifestyle allowed me to grow, and various opportunities arose.

What are the most significant differences between owning one versus multiple territories?

When owning multiple territories with Kona Ice, the role changes. Instead of being in the truck with customers daily, my focus became showing my team who we are and teaching them how to show every customer the Kona Ice experience. It is a lot different but just as much fun!

Explore the Kona Ice Franchise Opportunity

To learn more about the Kona Ice franchise opportunity, visit ownakona.com, email [email protected], or call (800) 566-2423.