Four Twin Cities-Based Franchises to Watch

Four Twin Cities-Based Franchises to Watch

From spa to fast-casual dining, these local businesses are set for national expansion.

The Twin Cities is headquarters to some of the nation’s most successful franchise operations, including Self Esteem Brands (Anytime Fitness, Waxing The City), Dairy Queen, Great Clips, Regis Corp. (Supercuts, Cost Cutters), and Winmark Corp. (Plato’s Closet, Play It Again Sports). Here comes the next generation.

Face Foundrié

Face FoundriéA Minneapolis-based express facial salon that offers 20- and 40-minute facials and walk-in appointments, with prices starting at $45. Other services include brow shaping, lash application, and dermaplaning. 

 The pitch:  Facials should be part of a regular skin care routine, not reserved for a “spa day,” which can seem time consuming and cost prohibitive.

 Founder:  Michele Henry 

 Locations: Three in the Twin Cities and one in Chicago; 15 under construction, including St. Paul, Phoenix, Houston, and Tampa.

Crisp & Green

Crisp & GreenWayzata-based fast-casual restaurant serving made-to-order salads and grain bowls. Its app for ordering ahead fueled fast growth during the pandemic and allowed an expansion into grocery, selling ready-to-serve fresh ingredients—diced tomatoes, grilled turkey—in 12- and 24-ounce containers.

The pitch: Making healthy eating easy. The company says 20 percent of customers visit at least three times a week. 

Founder: Steele Smiley

Locations: 10 in the Twin Cities, South Dakota, and Dallas; 43 more slated to open soon in 10 states, from Florida to Colorado.

*Crisp & Green founder Steele Smiley also plans to franchise Wayzata-based Stalk & Spade, his new plant-based burger restaurant.

Casa de Corazón

Casa de CorazónMaple Grove-based Spanish immersion early-learning program serving children from infancy through preschool, plus enrichment programs for students in grades 1 through 6. 

The pitch: Providing inclusive, diverse day care services in an intercultural setting, where kids of different cultures learn from one another.

Founder: Natalie Standridge 

Locations: Seven locations in the Twin Cities and Wisconsin and one under construction in Rochester; talks underway with potential franchisees in Texas, Colorado, Washington state, and Florida.

Bubbly Paws

Bubbly PawsMinneapolis-based dog grooming salon and dog washing service.

The pitch: “There’s no real leader in a grooming franchise, and most of the other companies are newer, with no track record of success, where we have 10 years already,” says co-founder Keith Miller. 

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Founders:  Keith and Patrycia Miller

Locations:  Four in the Twin Cities; talks underway in Idaho, North Carolina, Florida, and California.

Ninety-two U.S. brands started offering franchises in the first eight months of 2021, according to the International Franchise Association.

This story appears in the Fall 2021 issue of StartMN with the title “Ready to Go Big.”