Veterans and franchising go hand in hand. The business model is an ideal structure for veterans, and their strong work ethic, perseverance, teamwork and dedication set them up to be successful entrepreneurs. To celebrate Veterans Day 2021, we’re sharing stories of some IFA member veteran franchise owners below.
Navy veteran and Tropical Smoothie Café franchisee
Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchisee, Clement Troutman, served as a Senior Chief Petty Officer in the Navy. Once he retired from the Navy in June 2001, he worked as a Systems Security Engineer defense contractor in Cyber Security, until he transitioned to franchising to open his family business. His wife, Jacqueline, also retired from the Department of Defense as a Government Senior Manager. With military backgrounds and leadership experience, the Troutmans were drawn to the Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchising model’s use of standard operating procedures coupled with duplication, which has proven to be a wonderful endeavor for the husband-and-wife team who consistently strive to reach their highest potential.
Clement and Jacqueline, along with their children, Jocelyn and Jordan, own a Tropical Smoothie Cafe in Capitol Heights, Maryland. Since their cafe opening 2017, the cafe has been the highest volume cafe in the system every year. In 2018, Clement and his family were awarded Rookie of the Year by Tropical Smoothie Cafe. Currently, Clement has a second cafe under development and continues to look forward to additional growth. He’s never complacent and each year makes it his goal to surpass his previous year’s successes. He even shares these goals with the leadership team at Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s annual conventions to hold himself accountable.
Army member for the National Guard and Mosquito Squad franchisee
Capricia Turner is a 20 year old veteran and active duty Army member for the National Guard, who first joined the Army in 2000 with her husband joining soon after in 2001. Her husband, Ethan Turner, is also an active duty Air Force member who serves as an Aeronautical Guard. Looking for their next venture, the husband and wife duo decided to find a business that served their local community. Capricia and her husband opened a Mosquito Squad franchise in Indianapolis, Indiana. Prior to opening the franchise location in 2013, she helped soldiers prepare for deployment and find jobs in her local community. As she was getting her business up and running, she had two daughters — one who was three months old at the time and the other who was one year old.
The franchise flexibility allowed Turner to remain active with the National Guard as her husband helps run the business. Capricia is able to empower her kids by being a female business owner, while also being an active military member. With the motivation of inspiring her kids that being the boss is possible, Capricia has grown her Mosquito Squad franchise from one location to three.
Navy veteran and America’s Swimming Pool Company (ASP) franchisee
Serving 23 years, Brandon Grigsby retired as Senior Chief Petty Officer from the United States Navy. He received a Humanitarian Aid Medal and Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and continues to keep community top of mind. It became time for Brandon and his wife to settle down and seek out his next career path. The couple made Port St. Lucie, Florida their new home. During their search, they found America’s Swimming Pool Company (ASP) through the VetFran program. The couple became Certified Pool Operators through ASP’s nationally recognized pool service training program to learn how to grow their business.
Grigsby purchased his franchise location in 2016 with the expectation of retiring from the Navy. As the couple was getting ready to turn to a new chapter, a long-awaited offer to move up in the ranks was offered to Grigsby and he decided to put his business on hold and return to the Navy. Benefiting from the flexibility of franchising, Brandon and his wife, Mary, were able to put their agreement with America’s Swimming Pool Company on hold for three years and opened their doors in February of 2020 to service the Port St. Lucie community.