Thank you for your interest in joining the Keel and Curley family! As a nationwide network of proactive, positive, and enthusiastic entrepreneurs, we are on the path to making our financial goals a reality, and we hope that you will join us to share in our mutual success.
For all franchise questions and information contact Joe Keel at 813-610-6319 with any questions you may have.
As part of our business family, you will be given the knowledge that we have gained from owning and operating our own vineyard, brewery, wine bar, and many other national businesses, and listening to our ever growing family of franchisees.
In this information and in our FDD (Franchise Disclosure Document) which you can request by submitting the franchise inquiry form; we will give you an idea of what to expect. Those materials answer 99% of the questions that people ask us about owning their own business. Obviously you may have additional questions, and we are always happy to answer those in person or by email or telephone. contact Marcus Price at 813-486-3160 and we’ll get you started on the road to your success.
Keel and Curley?
Keel and Curley Winery was started in spring of 2003 in the kitchen of founder and owner, Joe Keel. Keel, a central Florida blueberry farmer, wanted to find something to do with his end of crop blueberries. He decided blueberry wine would be interesting and dabbled with his creation in the family farm house kitchen. He started that spring of 2003 with 10 gallons of blueberry wine. The wine came out okay, but drinkable. So he made 10 more gallons and it got better each time, until it turned into the unique and charming flavors that Keel & Curley is known for today and that people across the country travel for to visit our tasting room in sunny Florida.
A recent addition to our wines is our new beer brewery, Two Henry’s Brewing Company, which, with is 7 flavors of craft beer has quadrupled the number of visitors to our tasting room. Now couples and families while away the hours in our comfortable lounge or on our deck, sampling our many wonderful beverages, while their children play in our custom designed youngsters entertainment area.
In late 2013, Keel and Curley teamed up with experienced nationwide Franchisor GP Franchise Corporation. GPFC has been responsible for bringing to market several now nationwide brands totaling in the many hundreds of stores.
With the team of Keel and Curley’s incredible products and GPFC’s franchising knowledge, Keel and Curley’s Vino n’ Brew is already on its way to being a staple of American beverage and entertainment venues.
What is our goal?
There are two types of beverage entertainment venues. Those small independently owned, and those that are part of a large chain such as Hooters or The Hard Rock Cafe. Both have their advantages, and disadvantages. The advantage of being an independent small business is the opportunity to run your bar exactly as you please. On the opposite side of this is the fact that no one will help when you have a problem, you won’t have the benefit of an easily recognizable and trusted name, and you won’t have any clout with a vendor when you have an issue to be resolved.
While the big chains are very strict about how the business looks and runs, they benefit from the increased buying power of a large company for everything from drinks to office supplies and even health insurance. Being part of a large chain usually can come with a hefty price tag, sometimes in the millions of dollars just to get into the business.
Keel and Curley Vino-N-Brew offers all the benefits of being part of a large future chain without enormous price tag, and with flexibility as to how you will run your own business.
With a Keel and Curley Vino-N-Brew you can have the best of both worlds. With a fairly low initial investment of around $200,000, and with a lot of give and take between corporate and our family of business owners, we can bring the American Dream within the of reach of everyday Americans.
As a smaller direct management company, we can adapt quickly to changes in the marketplace while using the growing number of stores to build awareness and name recognition for our brand. By opening a Keel and Curley Vino n’ Brew location, for a relatively small investment, you can get the help you need to get started, and you can own and operate your own bar and entertainment venue.
We support our franchisees, offer free training (included in the price of the franchise fee), free continuing education, free telephone and email support, free networking assistance, free advertising and PR assistance, and much, much more. Unlike those of our competitors who are primarily interested in selling franchises (for sometimes as much as 10 times the cost of a Keel and Curley Vino n’ Brew) to make their money and then leave you “on your own” for problem solving and continuing education, we at Keel and Curley and GPFC are more interested in assuring the success of our individual franchisees, and in building a strong chain of very, very happy Keel and Curley Vino n’ Brew owners and customers.
What is a Franchise?
When you open your Keel and Curley Vino n’ Brew location you are an independent franchisee. You will establish and organize your business under your own name, and will be doing business as Vino n’ Brew, in just the same way as owning a McDonalds restaurant franchise or a Curves Fitness gym franchise. We will help you plan, build, and establish your new franchised location. Once your Keel and Curley Vino n’ Brew is open you will benefit from the growing public awareness of The Keel and Curley Name. In addition, we will always be there for you when you have a problem. The benefits of owning a franchise are essentially that you get to use a trade name, have a fairly standardized store appearance, receive standardized training, enjoy ongoing support, experience a reduced risk of failure (as opposed to figuring it out on your own and “winging it”), use a pre-tested standardized methodology to run your business, and other perks.
What is the FDD?
The FDD is the Franchise Disclosure Document. This is the legal disclosure document that tells you everything you need to know that is material to the business you are about to buy and about us as a company. It also includes the Franchise Agreement that franchisees sign and send in with their franchise fee in order to become a Keel and Curley Vino n’ Brew franchisee. The Federal Trade Commission mandates that all franchises provide this document in an approved format at least 14 days prior to entering into any contract with or receiving any payment from a franchisee. Some states have their own rules about how long you must have the FDD prior to signing any binding agreement with us but that is discussed in the FDD itself.
Why was GPFC the first company and still one of the only to provide the FDD on its website?
The first reason is economy. To print and mail out an FDD to everyone who requests one, at our current size, GPFC would have to collect an additional $800 per year from EACH of our franchisees just to cover the costs. We don’t think that would be fair to our franchises, so instead of spending huge amounts of money and killing hundreds of trees printing FDD’s, and paying the Post Office $8 to mail them, we put it right on the website where you can access it immediately, read it online, and then print it yourself for mailing in. If you buy a competing franchise that DOES send out nice glossy presentations ALL of the money to put on that show comes out of the money they collect from YOU!
Also, most companies want to get you on the phone before giving you any information so they have more chance of making a sale. We prefer to give you all the information and to let you make a decision and be comfortable before making phone contact. We always have a lot of new franchisees joining the chain, so we don’t find it necessary to pressure anyone into buying a franchise with a “hard sell” approach. Choosing a franchisor is very personal and the choice has to be right for YOU, not made by some salesman.
What if I don’t want to print it out?
Running a small business is a lot of work, and you will invest a lot of money into it. We find that if someone doesn’t want to spend a few dollars to print out the FDD, there is no-way they will invest almost two hundred thousand dollars and the effort required building a successful business.
If you do decide to come and make a personal visit here at our headquarters prior to purchasing a franchise we will be happy to provide you with a printed copy while you are here, as at that point you have already made an investment of both time and in travel expenses to come and see us so we know you’re serious.
What are Keel and Curley Vino n’ Brew’s greatest assets?
The name. The growing name recognition of the Keel and Curley brand will drive people to your bar to enjoy our fantastic line of beverages.
Our management, drive, ambition and creative ability. We are a dynamic team dedicated to the success of EVERY MEMBER of our business family. Our drive is apparent just from looking at the growth of our chain compared to everyone else.
Our approach to customer care. We actually care about our customers and their families. We strive to approach each customer as a cherished friend and we provide all of our customers with friendly service combined, all in a comfortable enjoyable atmosphere.
Our Flexibility. We will give you a lot of flexibility in how you run your location. Being in business is meant to be fun, and it’s no fun to have a massive faceless corporation breathing down your neck every moment of every day. Keel and Curley and GPFC aren’t like that, and never will be, no matter how large we become.
A multitude of other products. Our locations, alongside the standard wine and beer beverage selection carry a whole range of fun merchandize to increase the average ticket of each of your customers and to spread the brand even further than just work of mouth and advertising can.
How much will I make?
Just like any business, we can’t project what your location will do as every Keel and Curley Vino n’ Brew is going to be different based on the location, the initial investment, the economic conditions of the surrounding area, the overhead, your management style, parking availability, square footage and layout of your bar, your customer service skills, and a wealth of other variables.
How much work is involved?
Running your own business is the most rewarding career anyone can ever have, but the 9-5 of a regular employee’s life will be a thing of your past. For the first few years you will eat, sleep and dream your business. You will work harder and for longer hours than you could ever imagine, but you also enjoy the great pride that comes with owning a successful business that you have cultivated. The more employees you have, the less you will have to do, but obviously the less profit you will make at the end of the year.
What about building my location?
We will work with you from the first step until you are actually serving wine to your customers. GPFC has built hundreds of locations and with our 27,000 sq. ft. factory, our own shipping line, and our own crews, we will come in and your operation is basically turn-key.
What does it take to run a business?
It takes more commitment, energy, and passion to run your own business than it does to work for someone else. There is no taking a day off because you have a headache, or because you want to go to the beach. It also takes a more adventurous personality and a quick-thinking brand of intellect, as no matter how much you plan, you never really know what is going to happen tomorrow with your business.
Starting a business takes a lot of sacrifice that most people aren’t willing to make. If running a business were easy, everyone would have one. Ninety percent of people will say, “I could start my own business,” but in reality, only 10% of people ever take the plunge and do it. Just by researching a business opportunity you are already close to that 10% that lead the world in income and freedom.
With dedication, drive and realistic expectations, anybody can be part of the exclusive group of the nation’s business owners, but if you go into business with the notion that you’ll be driving big fancy cars in 2 months, moving into a palatial estate home with a butler in 2 years, and relaxing on an island while your staff does all the work, you’ll be sadly disappointed. It takes years of hard work to make it, and you have to be willing to work hard to make your life better. If you can’t take the stress of juggling bills every now and then, you won’t make it. If you think, “I’ll never have to juggle bills because I already have lots of money,” you may not have the hunger to succeed, or realistic plans, and you still might not make it. And if you don’t like to take responsibility for things when they go wrong, then you definitely won’t make it. Running a business, and every problem that needs to be dealt with in that business is ultimately the responsibility of the owner. If you want an easy life, the only answer is to work for someone else.
Before you start a business, what you have to ask yourself is: “Am I willing to give my business 100% of my effort for as long as it takes in order to make it a success?” If you are you could be part of the exclusive group that succeeds on building a large successful business to hand down to your children. If running a successful business were easy, everyone would have one.
We understand what it takes and we know first-hand about the sacrifices you will make, as we already made them ourselves years ago. Our chains are differently than some of the others since the founders of the both Keel and Curley and GPFC chain aren’t typical executive-types. We all worked behind the counter, fixed the toilet when it was broken, washed the windows when they were dirty, and built the successful business from scratch.
Your personality vs. your business
One of the most important personality traits is to be friendly. Running a small business is all about making your customers feel special. Our products and your customer service is why a person will visit your bar, and will be happy about it. If you pamper your customers, they will come to you, their caring neighbor, and will prefer to pay you for a nice evening in a relaxing atmosphere instead of just buying a bottle wine and drinking it at home.
Nothing makes a customer feel more special than knowing his name, being kind to him, and knowing at least a few details about his family.
Superior customer service, a positive outlook, necessary skills, confidence, energy, drive, and a friendly demeanor will be your best assets.
Do I need good credit?
No, but it obviously helps. Borrowing money for equipment is obviously easier if you have good credit. As part of our commitment to your success, we will help in any way we can. If you are looking to finance your business through a loan you will definitely need good credit.
Can I get funding?
The investment is large enough to qualify for an SBA loan and we can help you work with your lender to get your new business financed.
The best rates are always available on secured financing products such as home equity lines but you have to decide how much risk you are willing accept.
Do you have a business plan that I can use?
Yes. Our business plan is available to franchisees that have already signed a franchise agreement and submitted a franchise fee. We cannot provide it before you are franchisee as it contains sales figures which may influence your decision to join our chain. We want you to make that decision yourself and then be happily surprised.
Accessing my IRA or 401k? How does that work?
There are multiple companies and financial planners that will set up your new corporation, and a new retirement account within the new corporation, and then roll over your old retirement account into the new account. Then your retirement account purchases stock in the new company as an investment, just as it would purchase stock in GE or Wal-Mart as an investment. The money paid to purchase the stock from the new company is then available to the new company for everything from your franchise fee to buying equipment and paying rent. We aren’t in the business of helping people to access their 401Ks or IRAs, but if you have specific questions about the necessary steps and the process, we can direct you to financial professionals who can answer those questions for you.
Credit Cards, etc.
Most people have several credit cards available to them which can also be used for just about everything involved in opening your store. GPFC Postal is the only franchisor that has arranged to be able to accept your franchise fee via credit card, and we can also charge your complete store build out to your credit card. We don’t recommend using your credit card for is cash advances, as these carry a much higher interest rate.
How much money should I have set aside?
We recommend setting aside approximately 6 months’ worth of BOTH living expenses (this will vary according to your particular lifestyle, family, region, etc. so we cannot offer a ballpark figure without getting into more detail) AND 6 months’ worth of operating expenses (again, this will vary due to your particular area and your specific needs) combined. If you set aside 6 month’s worth of total expenses, then you can relax a bit and can enjoy owning your own business rather than worrying about those expenses. To figure out what you really need you have look inside yourself and be realistic. Are you willing to share a car, eat cheap, and put off all extra personal expenses until your location is consistently profitable, or do you want to keep the lifestyle you’re accustomed to regardless of building a business? The difference can be tens of thousands of dollars in your cushion and success or failure of your new business.
How long does it take to open my location?
About 3 to 6 months. From day one of obtaining permits and licenses, to you being in business with your doors open, the entire process should take around 20 weeks. Your initial groundwork will be to find a location. As it takes approximately 20 weeks to open your store, training will be booked on a first come, first served basis as the deposits and contracts are received at our headquarters.
Where should my store be?
We will help with this based on your initial scouting of your chosen business area. The benefit of a high traffic and high visibility location must be traded off against high rent payments, unless you have a large amount of back-up cash available at the time of opening to carry you through until the business becomes established.
Obviously, a fantastic location is a marvelous way to start off, but the strain of $20,000 or more per month in rent could finish your business off before it has a chance to become self-supporting. We want every franchisee whom we help to be a success and we want your business to cause you as few sleepless nights as possible!
You should also consider parking availability, the types of other businesses around prospective locations and if they would feed your shipping store or detract from it (such as a seedy neighborhood wouldn’t encourage foot traffic), and how close your prospective locations are to competitors.
What size and type of building should I be looking for?
While you can open your location in as little as 1,600 square feet if that’s all that is available, we have determined that approximately 2,000 to 4,000 square feet is optimal. If you are planning on having substantial live music on weekends you may want larger indoor space or even an outside area.
How much should I anticipate spending to open my store?
Our current franchise fee is $25,000, the cost of a complete buildout and all equipment for 2,000 sq. ft. is $129,000, and you should anticipate spending approximately another $50,000 on initial inventory, rent, utility deposits etc. for a total of around $210,000.
Do you tell me where to put my store?
No, we let you decide, as it’s your business. You know your town better than we do, but we are happy to help you choose between several locations if you are in a quandary. Important details are: location, square footage, rent, number of parking spaces, traffic access to store and parking (from both sides of the street versus one side of a divided highway, etc.), nearby businesses, building condition, etc.
Why do you charge a flat fee for your royalties?
The general practice in the franchise business arena is to charge a monthly royalty based on your gross sales, so the more successful the franchised location is, the more money the parent franchisor makes. We don’t think this philosophy is fair, and just because everyone else charges more than necessary, that doesn’t make it the right thing to do.
This will be YOUR business. The harder you work, the more money YOU should make. If you have to pay a royalty that is based on a percentage of your sales, however, that means that the harder YOU work, the more money the franchisor makes, and we just don’t agree with that at all. At Goin’ Postal, we have a hard time understanding how some retail shipping franchisors can justify taking fifty or sixty thousand dollars per year in royalties and ad fund contributions in order to provide the same services for their franchisees that we provide for our franchisees.
We know what it costs us to support an established franchisee each month, and we have set our $500 monthly royalty slightly above this amount (after all, we ARE a business…). Once you sign your contract this amount will never change.
We also charge a flat rate support technology fee of $200 per month that goes directly to our affiliate GPFC for providing technical and advertising support.
By charging flat rate fees, we have also streamlined the accounting process and have made substantial cost savings that can be passed on to our franchisees. Now, instead of chasing franchisees who are late in filing and paying their royalties each month (like most franchisors do), our flat rate system is an efficient automatic draft on the first business day of the month. We save franchisees and the parent corporation on both time and payroll costs, and has the ability to project accurate budgets with none of the work that is involved in a percentage based system.
It also produces content franchisees. A franchisee needs less and less support the longer they have been in business. Unfortunately, the longer you have been in business and the more successful your store, the more royalties you pay to a percentage based franchisor. This unbalanced approach causes resentment and creates franchisor/franchisee conflicts when franchisees realize all their hard work is only lining the pockets of their franchisor. Our system is much fairer for everyone. We get paid well for what we do, and the franchisees make more money for working hard.
How long does my initial franchise fee last?
Unlike most franchise license terms which typically expire after 10 years, our term is valid for 15 years. Should this policy change in the future, all current stores will remain under the policy in effect when they opened. There is no charge to renew your franchise for an additional 15 years.
What about advertising?
Instead of charging everyone a 2% – 5% co-op advertising fund like the majority of franchises and spending the money on massive national, regional and local campaigns that may not help the individual store owner directly, We will personally cover the cost of producing TV and radio ads which will be available to all store owners free of charge to run in their own markets at their own discretion. Generally when you take a look at most franchises and their ad funds, they do very little to promote an individual store so we prefer to leave the money in your pocket and let you spend it the way you feel is right for your situation.
Can I sell my Keel and Curley Vino n’ Brew Location?
Yes, again as long as the transfer is consistent with the terms of the Franchise Agreement and the transfer fee is paid. The franchise rights to operate a Vino n’ Brew location go with the individual location and are granted to the franchisee, which you may sell at any time, either to the franchisor or to an individual investor. However, the Keel and Curley corporate office must be notified that your store may be changing hands and there are requirements for the transfer
Can I open more than one Keel and Curley Vino n’ Brew?
Yes, and this is what we recommend and are working toward. However, we recommend opening one location and becoming proficient at the business (thus building a good, solid reputation for yourself), and then opening additional locations. To open additional locations, a franchisee fee must be paid and an agreement must be signed for each new location.
What about territory?
Once you open a Keel and Curley Vino n’ Brew, we will not allow anyone else to open a Vino n’; Brew in your protected territory. Should you wish to open additional locations in your protected area, once you have signed a franchise agreement and paid the appropriate fess, we will expand your territory as long as it does not interfere with another Vino n’ Brew owner’s protected territory. We will also not open any stores owned by us in your territory, further protecting you and your locations from competition. You must, however, supply us with an exact location/physical address for your store so that we can create a territory map for you, with your location as the epicenter of your protected territory.
How should I incorporate? As a C Corp., S Corp., LLC, or what?
That is a question that should be posed to both your accountant and your attorney. They will help you to make the best decision for your needs and situation. When you do decide to incorporate, please know that Keel and Curley and/or Vino n’ Brew MAY NOT appear anywhere in your incorporated name, as that name is owned by Keel and Curley Franchise Company LLC and is protected by both trademark and copyright law.