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Meet the Young Family Behind Planet Smoothie Franchise’s First Vermont Location

Being first on the ground in a Northeast state will have special challenges, but this franchise owner is eager to get back to what she calls her favorite job

Most people, when thinking about the jobs they worked in high school, tend to be glad they’ve since found other employment. For Melanie Poley, a Planet Smoothie franchise job was so transformational that now, in a new part of the country and with a growing family, she’s eager to get right back to it.

“I worked at a Planet Smoothie when I was in high school in Pennsylvania, and even when I came home for breaks I would pick up some shifts,” Melanie says. “It was the only job I ever loved; I was excited to go to work!”

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Melanie Poley, along with her husband, Chris, and son, Benson, will be planting a flag as Vermont’s first Planet Smoothie franchise location when they open in the Burlington area.

A new territory for franchise and franchise owner

After college and marriage, Melanie found herself in Vermont, in a small community near Burlington. She had been working in the education field, but after the birth of her son, Benson, in April 2015 she began to seriously think about Planet Smoothie from an entrepreneurial standpoint.

“My husband and I always joked that we would love to open a Planet Smoothie someday,” she says. “But when my son was born I wanted to stay home with him. So I began to explore business opportunities that would let me do that.”

She reached out to Planet Smoothie and quickly got involved in discussions about opening her own franchise. Vermont has no Planet Smoothie locations, so she knows she’s in for a lot more than just picking a good location and getting up and running.

“I knew there weren’t any this far north. It gets pretty cold up here, and that doesn’t always lend itself to a smoothie franchise,” she says. “All I can say to that is that smoothies just aren’t a part of their life — yet. Wait until we get going!”

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Business offers flexibility for a growing family

The conversations Melanie had with the development team around her Planet Smoothie franchise were easy, she says, in part because of her familiarity with the concept and products.

“I’d worked there, so I knew the ropes,” she says. “I’m not just an investor looking to make money, but someone who really values the offerings and wants to provide that for the community. Now we just have to find the right location, which is always a challenge.”

As her family grows, she hopes her Vermont Planet Smoothie franchise empire will do the same.

“We are being very patient, because the first one has to be just perfect in terms of location,” Melanie says. “But I think we’ll open well and will be able to grow. My whole plan is to be able to operate a business that lets me stay home with our son, and other children in the future. I want to go on field trips with them, have a flexible schedule, and I know from my past experience with a Planet Smoothie franchise that owners can do that. There just aren’t a lot of opportunities out there that can say that.”

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