SOURCE: MaggieMoo's International

November 16, 2006 09:00 ET

MaggieMoo's International Honors 2006 Franchisee of the Year at National Conference

Peoria, Ariz. Franchisee Enjoys Success by the Scoopful

NASHVILLE, TN -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 16, 2006 -- Juana Bautista knows the key ingredients to running a successful franchise. She recently was awarded the 2006 Franchisee of the Year Award for MaggieMoo's International, a national franchise specializing in award-winning super premium ice cream, at the third annual national conference held Nov. 13-15 in Nashville, Tenn.

Each year, a team of MaggieMoo's executives evaluates all the franchisees based on the criteria of operations, customer service, marketing promotions and sales. Those demonstrating excellent performance levels are then analyzed and further evaluated, until the team agrees on one franchisee of the year.

"This year, we faced a tough decision," said Jon Jameson, CEO of MaggieMoo's. "We have many outstanding franchisees. However, Juana Bautista stood out.

"At our very first National Conference, I remember Juana saying that she wanted to be up on stage one day receiving this award," he continued. "She has not only been a terrific operator but a great partner with our brand, constantly and consistently delivering results above the customer's expectation and ours. It is interesting to note that in the beginning she knew nothing about ice cream or franchising, but her devotion to a product she loves, hard work ethic and superb customer service skills have rewarded her with success by the scoopful."

After 11 years working as a human resources manager for Sprint Communications, Bautista longed to do something completely different and fun. Though she had no previous experience in the restaurant industry, she was extremely impressed with MaggieMoo's International's overall dedication to customer service -- as well as with its delicious ice cream. In 2001, she opened a Treatery in Peoria, Ariz.

"I'm very honored to receive this award," Bautista said. She admits owning a Treatery has been a constant learning adventure. With no previous restaurant experience, "there has definitely been a learning curve," teaching her about everything from refrigeration processes to bookkeeping. "All in all, it's been exciting and very gratifying, working and learning with my employees," she added.

Bautista regards her staff as an important ingredient contributing to the success of her Treatery. "I have an excellent staff," she noted. "We work hard as a team to treat every guest to a memorable experience by greeting each customer, offering taste-tests and suggestions, and explaining each part of the mix-in process."

Accessibility to both customers and employees is another ingredient in Bautista's recipe for success. Her hands-on management style goes above and beyond normal expectations. When customers request flavors that aren't one of the current featured flavors, she does everything possible to make it happen, by either making it on the spot if the ingredients are available or, if not, then ordering the necessary ingredients.

"In those cases, we just call them when their ice cream is ready," she explained.

What's the final ingredient in Juana Bautista's recipe for success? "Running the Treatery is a family affair," she said. "My dad makes the ice cream, my mom decorates the cakes, and my brother and sister fill in whenever I need them."

About MaggieMoo's Ice Cream and Treatery

Based in Columbia, Md., MaggieMoo's (www.maggiemoos.com) currently operates more than 190 Treateries across the nation. Each location features a menu of freshly made super-premium ice creams, mix-ins, smoothies, sorbets, the country's first ice cream cupcakes and custom ice cream cakes. MaggieMoo's chocolate, dark chocolate, vanilla, vanilla bean and strawberry ice cream flavors all have been awarded The National Ice Cream Retailers Association's prestigious Blue Ribbon Award, for taste, texture and overall appearance for eight years in a row. MaggieMoo's is the only national retail concept to win all five awards.

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