Marty Ceranec, a Kitchen Tune-Up franchise owner in Downers Grove, IL is kindly interviewing another franchise owner to feature on our blog. Marty has been part of our franchise system since 1994. He calls these an “Interview with a Tunie, By a Tunie.” The first interview is with Stu Reid, one of our senior members, a winner of the very first Alaskan cruise, member of the original Advisory Council and all-around really nice guy! Stu has been a franchise owner since 1993 and is located in Fairfield, California.
Marty: How and why did you become a franchise owner of Kitchen Tune-Up?
Stu: I was a college administrator in California. When my department was downsized, the placement service posted a franchise broker who made me re-assess my future. Kitchen Tune-Up seemed like a good fit. When I arrived in Aberdeen, SD, it felt like I was coming home since I grew up in a small town in Nebraska. (Go Big Red!)
Marty: You went from home-based to store front to home-based to a design studio. Was that quite a journey?
Stu: I quickly found out that I did not enjoy working out of my house. I opened my first Kitchen Tune-Up store front about 15 years ago in downtown, Fairfield, CA. That was a great time until 2008 hit and business precipitously fell. Faced with the prospect of being home-based again, I opened a shop in an industrial park. Shortly thereafter, I opened a by-appointment only studio. That is a nice business model for me.
Marty: What advice would you give new Tunies?
Stu: Get and stay organized! Once you get rolling, you have to keep up with bids, orders, jobs, etc. You can’t let it get away from you or you wind up wasting a lot of time and money.
Marty: What has been your favorite event or convention with Kitchen Tune-Up?
Stu: I had to chicken-out on this answer, but every time we get together and hang out and share ideas is a favorite event. I also love coming home to the mother ship during summer meetings in Aberdeen. I guess if I had to pick a particular convention, I would go with Myrtle Beach, SC or Clearwater, FL. Both times we were right on the water (and there are no earthquakes in the Atlantic).
Marty: Tell us how the recent earthquake felt?
Stu: I was awakened at 3:20 a.m. with the bed shaking for 15-20 seconds. Fortunately we sustained no damage, but it was pretty scary because we didn’t know how long it would last.
Marty: Finally, if you were a fruit or a vegetable what would you be?
Stu: Coming from California, I would say a grape . . . which in time produces a fine vintage just as myself! On the other hand, I would say a tomato. A tomato has an identity crisis (fruit or vegetable) and I like to keep people guessing.