Marty Ceranec, long-time Kitchen Tune-Up franchise owner, kindly contributes to our national newsletter and our blog. He calls these an “Interview with a Tunie, By a Tunie.”
Tom & Debi Taube of Charlotte, NC are this month’s feature. What I like most about Tom is saying his name: Tom Taube, Tommy Taube, the Taub-Meister, Tom-Orama. The alliteration just rolls off the tongue! When Dave envisioned his franchise system, he saw us all as business owners. Well, some of us became owner-operators and Tom is an example of an owner who works more ON the business than IN the business. He and Debi have been part of our Kitchen Tune-Up family for 10 years and have been very active in the system. The Reunion in February was a sad time for Tom, as his beloved Panthers had just lost to the Broncos in the Super Bowl. It was nice to see the Denver area franchisees extend their condolences. NOT!
Q. When we were talking about our respective businesses at the Reunion, you mentioned you do 6 to 8 new kitchens and bathrooms each month, as well as your Refacing and Tune-Ups. Wow! How many employees do you have?
A. Counting Deb and myself, we have 8 full-time employees and about 12 sub-contractors. Deb is the orchestra leader. She does all the scheduling and coordinating. I do the sales, some office work, and generally stay on top of the business.
Q. We also talked about the influence of print ads versus online advertising.
A. There will always be a time and place for print ads. We’ve never done a significant amount in the newspaper. Most of our print has been in neighborhood publications and home magazines. We are very pleased with our online presence and leads generated from our online advertising.
Q. How did you find Kitchen Tune-Up?
A. A franchise broker presented it to us and we really liked the concept. The system was pretty unique since it offered such a wide range of services. We felt good with everyone we met in Aberdeen and here we are 10 years later.
Q. I know your franchise is in the Charlotte, NC area. Did you grow up there?
A. Deb and I both grew up in Sturgis, MI. After graduating as an engineer from Purdue University, I was offered a job in this area, and quite frankly, the weather is much more tolerable than up north. So we stayed.
Q. Can you tell us something about you that we wouldn’t know?
A. Deb and I are high school sweethearts, and we love to go biking on our Harley (in all of our spare time).
Q. What is your most memorable KTU moment?
A. No discussion, without a doubt, winning the 2012 Franny Award and the ensuing Alaskan cruise as our prize.
Q. What advice would you give new Tunies?
A. Make the proper investment in your marketing, including growing your online presence as quickly as possible with the help of our vendor. Start asking for online reviews. It costs nothing and the “street cred” is invaluable.