“If you believe your product or service can fulfill a true need, it’s your moral obligation to sell it.” –Zig Ziglar
Chris and Marybeth Fiengo met in 2005, married, and started a family in 2006 with a move to southern New Hampshire. For years, Marybeth and Chris dreamed of opening a restaurant.
“It takes years of deliberating what type of business you can put on the ground and also match the passion of the impact you want for that business,” said Chris. “For the time we have been up in New Hampshire, we always thought New Haven, Connecticut-style pizza would be a great business to introduce in New Hampshire.”
However, having four children who compete in sports made it harder for Chris and Marybeth to support the pizza restaurant venture. As coaches for their children’s sports teams, teaching kids about proper eating, hydration, and training became difficult while preparing for competition.
“The concepts of pizza or ice cream shops would be a bit hypocritical. The high volume of carbohydrates, sugar, and cheese in their bodies consistently was not the exact message we felt comfortable with. It just didn’t compliment our message and seemed opposite to what we tried to convey to our young athletes about nutrition,” added Marybeth.
In addition to the athletics piece, Chris travels all over New England for his medical device sales job, explaining that healthy eating options “on the go” are limited.
“Being on the road can lend itself to an unhealthy nutritional lifestyle. As we have gotten older, we have paid far more attention to our diets and tried to set a better example for our children by what we feed into our bodies,” said Chris.
Then came the pandemic, where ordering food from home or curbside pick-up became commonplace. Trips to the grocery store became limited, and finding healthy options in their living radius was challenging where we could trust the ingredients and nutrients we consumed. Conversely, the pandemic exposed the need for more preventative health practices, and awareness of healthy eating habits became extremely important.
“The pandemic became a time when nutrition and working out became a much higher priority in our household. Nutrition was always pressured and stressed with every decision we made for our eating options,” commented Marybeth.
In the Summer of 2021, Chris was coaching an AAU baseball team that qualified for an away tournament in New Jersey (the Jersey Shore, to be exact).
“The Jersey Shore is home to some of the best restaurants, food, desserts, and above all else, Italian food, our family’s favorite,” said Chris.
During that trip, discussing where they would go next in their financial journey was taking a more focused course. They were in contact with franchise consultants, real estate agents, and many other investment ventures to figure out which direction they should aim to expand their income.
“Marybeth had been home with all four of the children since 2007, and with our youngest getting out of the toddler age, we were ready for our next challenge,” exclaimed Chris.
During this trip, they woke up and set out to find a healthy meal. They walked the boardwalk with every food option, including mouth-watering, sweet, carb-loaded, beautiful, hearty breakfast foods. However, they were looking for something that would not weigh them down as they faced a hot day and double header baseball schedule.
“Chris directed the entire team to a place selling smoothies and bowls. To our surprise, the entire team followed us to the healthier option, and the decision to go with healthy food was made right then and there. It wasn’t just the parents. The kids guided their families with us,” said Marybeth.
They validated our thoughts about the health food sector as a safe, substantial investment, the post-COVID public reaction to eating better, and every major fast-casual brand adding healthier food options to meet consumer demands. The decision to invest in healthy eating seemed beyond viable.
With the many franchises out there, they described what they were looking for to their team and directed them to a growing franchise out of North Carolina. Because Michael Jordan was Chris’s childhood idol, he considered the recommendation good karma!
“Clean Juice is a faith-based company, and regardless of your beliefs, companies with this type of foundation present well to their workers and conduct strong principles selling to the public. Clean Juice is a company where we experienced an instant, awesome vibe. Their leadership and team are strong with charisma you want to feed off and simply just be around,” said Chris.
“We felt we were with family instead of a business proposition. Kat and Landon were very similar people to us. They are very down-to-earth, hard-working people. They are young parents trying to make an impact through their work, and we identified very closely with them,” added Marybeth.
The Fiengos were ready to walk away if the food did not live up to the hype. But there was no need as they were blown away with the product.
“No one believes in this brand more than us, and no one trusts the direction of this company more than we do,” said Chris.
Like all growing franchises, there are periods when change can be a struggle. However, the Fiengo’s years working to keep their family financially afloat, changing careers, and managing their lives have prepared them for this venture.
“We have built an infrastructure not just to build our first location in Nashua but have an overall plan in owning many of these throughout New England. We trust our vision and direction to guide this franchise in the challenging Northeast,” added Chris.
As we were building out in Nashua, the only existing Clean Juice in their territory lives in Simsbury, CT. The previous owners were physicians and were moving out of the fast-casual sector to focus their attention on their careers—the inability to allocate appropriate time to the business allowed this store to become available.
“It was a no-brainer to strike while we had the chance and launch Fiengo Enterprises into New England,” said Chris.
Simsbury is a beautiful growing community they are developing a close relationship with and will have both stores reaching for the highest levels of success. Marybeth has dedicated the past two years to building and guiding this franchise into their community, and Chris is the ambassador supporting the product’s sales. Both have very different skill sets that make them a complete team.
“We are extremely proud to see our children working hard in the stores. They are as much a part of the brand as we are. We aim to serve these communities a healthy product with nutrients they can trust. That is how we differentiate ourselves and build long-term relationships. Our family must have a business, but the impact this business can have on everyone involved is more important. It’s an investment that has become our passion, and we could not be more grateful,” concluded Marybeth.