The owners of Mr. Ronnie’s Hot and Famous Donuts in Houma are looking to expand into St. Mary Parish and currently are seeking those interested in purchasing a franchise between Morgan City and Franklin.
The company’s owners, Ronnie and Linda Picou, are going through the process to begin franchising and are looking for those who are interested in following the company’s well-established business plan locally.
“(We’re looking for) anyone who is a system person,” Rocky McMillian, a franchise broker for the business who works for Francorp Inc., a Chicago-area franchise consulting firm. “We’re not looking for entrepreneurs; we’re not looking for startups (or) people who have their own ideas about this.”
The original business, located on Tunnel Boulevard in Houma, has been open since 1994.
R. Picou has previous donut industry experience in that before he opened his own donut shop, he was a franchisee for the Tastee Donuts chain, owned by Al and Gilbert Copeland.
When A. Copeland turned his attention to the chicken industry, which led to the formation of Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits, he left the donut business in 1984.
Because Picou had signed a noncompete clause, he was forced to close his franchise and remain out of the donut business for 10 years before he opened Mr. Ronnie’s Hot and Famous Donuts in 1994.
Today, the Picous adult children, Bud and Wendy Picou, run the shop.
“I’ll put them up against Krispy Kreme or Dunkin’ Donuts any day of the week and twice on Sunday,” McMillian said of the company’s product. “They’re that good. Once we get some shops out there, I know the public will start to see that, and (there will) start to be a little buzz about them.”
McMillian said the company is targeting the Morgan City to Franklin area as well as the Lafourche and Galliano areas, and Norco and Donaldsonville.
Currently, the Picous are going through the franchise process with Francorp in which they are prepared to begin franchising.
“It’s going to be about six to nine months before they’re actually at a point to where they can sell (franchises),” McMillian said. “Right now what we’re doing, just because they’re not ready yet, we’re building up interest.”
He said the St. Mary Parish area was chosen because the company ownership wants to set up a shop in a town base initially while targeting the “5 a.m. crowd,” including the oil and gas industry.
McMillian said a price on how much one of Mr. Ronnie’s franchises would sell for is being worked out, and he declined to give figures on their business.
“The business rocks,” he said. “I’m not going to give you any numbers, but they rock out of that shop. (It’s a) very, very, very profitable business.”
While not releasing numbers, he said that informational seminars and discovery days would be held and potential franchisee would be able to view the shop from a customer’s perspective, would be able to sample the product they would be selling and would learn about the systems and operations Mr. Ronnie’s would provide.
“Mr. Ronnie was a franchisee, so he knows or has an idea at least of what franchisees are looking for in a support staff as far as rolling out new marketable items for seasons or doing different specials or deals or things of that nature to make franchisees more profitable at their independent shops,” McMillian said.
He said the company would not be selling any franchises until late 2012 or early 2013 but will be holding informational seminars next year.
Anyone interested in a franchise should call McMillian at 985-381-0164 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.