Why Entrepreneur Nancy Glass Left Corporate America to Open Atlanta’s first Clean Eatz Franchise

Welcome to another episode of Atlanta Franchise Today with host Leslie Kuban, expert franchise consultant and owner of FranNet Atlanta. Atlanta Franchise Today is dedicated to bringing entrepreneurs and business owners the best practices and tips for their franchise goals. On today’s episode, Leslie is on-location in Peachtree Corners, Ga. with Nancy Glass, owner of the first Clean Eatz franchise location in metro Atlanta.

Transcription: 

Leslie Kuban:
Hi everybody. I’m Leslie Kuban. Welcome to another episode of Franchise Today. We’re in Peachtree Corners this morning at Clean Eatz. This is the first franchise location to open in Atlanta. It’s a healthy lifestyle franchise brand that is growing like crazy. And joining me today is Nancy Glass, the owner, we’ve known each other for a few years now.

Nancy Glass:
Right, we have.

Leslie Kuban:
It’s great-

Nancy Glass:
Thank you so much for having me on.

Leslie Kuban:
It’s so great to see you again and congratulations on the opening of your new business, Nancy.

Nancy Glass:
Thank you. Thank you. It’s been super exciting.

Leslie Kuban:
So when we started talking about Clean Eatz in the beginning, we really focused on how this is a food business, but it’s not a traditional restaurant concept. Please tell us more about your business model, and who your customers are, and what you service in the community.

Nancy Glass:
Perfect. Absolutely. It is not a traditional restaurant. It actually is about a healthy lifestyle. So it’s the first step into a healthy lifestyle. If you are searching for something and you haven’t been able to find it, or it’s hard for you to go the grocery store and figure out what really needs to be combined to eat healthier. And we also make it fast and efficient. So one of the key things that we do are meal prep; meal plans.

Nancy Glass:
A lot of people in a healthy lifestyle are very familiar. They do their meal prep, typically on Sundays, they spend an entire day doing that and eating healthy is expensive. It’s expensive to go to the grocery store. So what we do is we do the prep for you. We take everything and we look at the macronutrients and macronutrients are your key carbs, fats, and proteins. And you need those in balance. It’s the fuel to the engine of your body, if you think about that. Putting the right gas in your car, so you get efficient mileage and you don’t get the breakdown that you normally would. So for us, eating healthy as a human being gives you energy, it gives you a longer life and it allows you to be your fullest potential with your children, your family, outside curricular activities, as well as working. who doesn’t love that?

Leslie Kuban:
That’s right. And things are just busier every day, we’re working longer, so the ability to eat healthy, but in a convenient and affordable way is all the more important for so many people, different types of customers. Who are the different types of customers that you find coming in to Clean Eatz?

Nancy Glass:
They are as vast as the ocean. So we have everyone from CrossFit, athletic, cyclists, those that are working out in all the gyms around here. We have families. We have moms and dads that want to prepare healthy meals for their family. But because some of us are still working from home, they are tired at the end of the day, and trying to create a complete healthy meal, especially if you have picky eaters, is difficult and and time-consuming. So, we provide that option as well. We have seniors that live in the community that let’s face it at some point, you just get tired of cooking, but you still want to eat delicious, healthy food. Well, we do that for you. So you can just microwave it in a few minutes and you’ve got a meal on the table and you can get the same meal for everybody and everybody can eat the same thing. Or you can say, “Go to the refrigerator; what do you want to eat tonight?” When you’ve got that one off, and everybody can sit down together as a family, which is so important.

Leslie Kuban:
And, and just to clarify, when you say meal plans, everything is already prepared. So it’s not getting ingredients and going home and chopping and grilling?

Nancy Glass:
No, you don’t get a box and you have to spend an hour, even though all the ingredients are in there; it is already prepared for you. We do fresh meals that every week, if you sign up for the menu, so there’s no subscriptions, no credit cards, we don’t trap you into anything because we believe if we provide a healthy, delicious meal, that’s going to bring you back. Plus great customer service. So we’re all about finding out where you are in your lifestyle and what your goals are. Some may be weight loss, but it’s not necessarily about weight loss. So may be building muscle and you need more protein. Some may be on a journey in terms of having some health issues like diabetes. So it’s looking at low sugar. We can help find that for you. Some it might be I need to be gluten free, or I prefer to be gluten-free. We can help make those choices for you as well

Leslie Kuban:
And you’ve been open about a month now.

Nancy Glass:
Yes.

Leslie Kuban:
As we were sharing a little bit before the show that you’re already seeing some great repeat customers who are coming again and bringing their spouses. And starting…

Nancy Glass:
So we know everyone when you walk in; we know if you’re a regular, or if it’s your first time. And my front of house person, Marissa, her talent is knowing names. Yesterday I was talking to a mom, she brought her baby in; her name is Brooke, Adelaide is her daughter, and Marissa had only met her one time before. And Brooke said to me, she said, “I’m just amazed that she remembered my name.” And I said, “I will be honest with you, that’s not my forte.” I try really hard, but it is a talent that she owns. So we really want to know everybody by name, know where you are in the journey, and be able to provide whatever you need.

Leslie Kuban:
And that’s so cool that you’re getting connected to people in your community.

Nancy Glass:
Yes.

Leslie Kuban:
but this was not your background.

Nancy Glass:
No.

Leslie Kuban:
You’re a corporate leader, working for a big company, had no food service background or whatsoever

Nancy Glass:
Back in high school, we all have done our duty, our debt in terms of working in food service. But it was just for a minute.

Leslie Kuban:
So tell us about, if you think back a couple of years when this journey started for you. You were in corporate America, but you’re in your own small business in a totally different industry. Just remember about that journey, just what that was about for you.

Nancy Glass:
I absolutely do. I have to say I loved my corporate job. I was in training and development, marketing, and some other assets in terms of working with doctors. So I had so many things that were given to me to really build my talent. Never a day, that he didn’t want to step my feet out of the bed and be excited to go to work. But there was still a yearning because my passion is about helping people. So every person that I interacted with it was about how can I ignite something in them that when they leave, when they’ve had their time with me, that they go out the door inspired to be better than they’ve ever been before, better for their family, more productive, and energized; never a day that they’re tired. So I wanted to create that and the best way to do that was by owning my own business. But I wasn’t really sure what type of business to do.

Leslie Kuban:
Hence we met.

Nancy Glass:
Yes.

Leslie Kuban:
And if you think back and we started off with a conversation about why do you want to own your own business? What’s important to you? What criteria do you believe would be important in choosing a business? Do you just recall a little bit about, kind of what surprised you in all of that? What did you learn about yourself as you started to go down this road of thinking about exploring, doing something completely different than you have ever done.

Nancy Glass:
Well, I do have to say that a franchise consultant is the most important ingredient, because even though I am an analyzer, and I dig deep, and spend a lot of time before I make a decision, you gave me things to think about that I hadn’t thought about. Number one is that you don’t have to have a skill set for the necessary business. You don’t have to be able to produce meals, but you have to be able to guide your staff in an effective way to give the best level of service. That’s where my background comes in in terms of training and developing people in a methodology that makes it really easy. And being able to hire the right people to make both of those things come together and then a business acumen as well, to be able to drive business and know what you need to do in terms of marketing to really get that repeat customer back and to grow your business at the level that it needs to grow.

Leslie Kuban:
And it’s such a great example of it’s really about your transferable skills and applying them to what the function of the owner of the business is. Not necessarily chopping up the broccoli all day yourself every day.

Nancy Glass:
Correct. Although, that’s part of who I am; I will get there. I’m in the trenches a lot of times, if we’re busy and I’m trying to get like an order done or something like that, I stop what I’m doing. And I help out because really that is my passion. That’s the most fun part of owning a business is being able to interact with the customers and kind of being mayor of your city.

Leslie Kuban:
Yeah, that’s great. So COVID.

Nancy Glass:
Yes.

Leslie Kuban:
We’re not out of the woods yet, but things are changing. Things are getting better. Interestingly, Clean Eatz has been on fire during COVID as a system. I’m sure been interacting with the other franchisees over the last year while you’re getting your location ready to open. So tell us about that. We all hear such bad things about what’s happening in COVID, but here’s a brand that’s rocking and rolling. What would you attribute that to?

Nancy Glass:
Oh, I know. It absolutely is. I mean you have to be honest with yourself when something like that happens because I’d signed the franchise agreement after quite a bit of due diligence and meeting with owners, and going to their cafes, et cetera. And then soon after that, that was when COVID hit. I have to be completely transparent. It takes your breath away for a minute. It’s the restaurant business, even though it’s a different business model, it’s still is restaurant. But that was one of the reasons why I looked into Clean Eatz, because if you look at everyone has to eat, you look at the affordability, you look at what we provide. It was exactly what we needed during COVID. And COVID, I think really tipped a lot of people into understanding if they were on the fence of being healthy, that you need to be healthy.

Nancy Glass:
If you don’t have a strong immune system, if you’re not feeding your body with the right food to fuel so that you stay strong. I lost some really dear friends that it came out of the blue and they got COVID. So it made everybody awake, and that helped us. We had like a little blip, and it was really about being able to transfer into curbside pickup because everything else is pickup. Meal plans are picked up today. Today is a day that you pick up meal plans. Our businesses come in and get it, take it out, or come in and dine in. So that part was really easy. And this has been the best year for Clean Eatz overall.

Leslie Kuban:
That’s amazing.

Nancy Glass:
I know. Right?

Leslie Kuban:
That’s incredible.

Nancy Glass:
Yeah.

Leslie Kuban:
So Nancy, what advice would you give other people, kind of in your situation. You’ve had this long career, you’re ready to do something different, but you’re taking a step into the unknown, which is of course scary for anybody to try something new. Just what, what advice would you give those who are questioning that.

Nancy Glass:
I am going to go back to Franchise Consultant. Number one, it’s a free service. Talk to an expert because they will interview you and really help you decide if this is what you want to do. Number two, being in a franchise means you’re not an entrepreneur. Can you follow the overarching rules that make this model successful? That’s a benefit, because you know it’s tried and true, but you need to be able to fit into that. Third, I believe it really is doing your due diligence and digging deep into the different offerings that you have to make sure that you’re making the right decision for you. And then finally, it’s looking at financing, because you have to be able to sustain yourself while you’re growing your business.

Leslie Kuban:
And all of those and many more are important.

Nancy Glass:
Many more, yes.

Leslie Kuban:
Such as, what’s your day to day time commitment going to be, what’s the function of the owner. So all of that. And you did take your time; you did a great job with your due diligence, and it’s so exciting to see you up and running now in the business that we started talking about.

Nancy Glass:
It is.

Leslie Kuban:
It seems like another lifetime.

Nancy Glass:
It’s opening day. It’s just a dream coming true.

Leslie Kuban:
So what is the address and how can people find you and get in touch with you?

Nancy Glass:
So we are at 3975 Holcomb Bridge Road, mailing address is Norcross, but we are annexed into Peachtree Corners. So you can find us on Instagram and Facebook at Clean Eatz Peachtree Corners, Georgia, please come see us there. And like our page and interact with us. We’ll keep you up to date with everything that’s going on. You can do orders online, again, cleaneatz.com, just drop down location, Georgia, and you’ll go to Norcross. You can do a meal plan sign up. Get signed up, because every Thursday we drop a new menu. We have five entrees and a breakfast that are offered and they change every week. And those are fresh. We also have Grab’N’Gos in our freezer, which are frozen, but are fresh meals as well. You can pick up the phone and call us. You can call in orders. You can walk in and eat in the cafe, or out on our beautiful patio. There’s so many ways you can get in touch with us.

Leslie Kuban:
We’re so glad you’re here. And that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to grab and go on the way home myself.

Nancy Glass:
Perfect.

Leslie Kuban:
Well, everybody, thank you for joining us for another episode. And we’ll see you next week on Franchises Today.


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