Interview with a Kitchen Tune-Up Tunie - Gary Stoltz

Marty Ceranec, long-time Kitchen Tune-Up franchise owner, kindly contributes to our national newsletter and our blog. He calls these an “Interview with a Tunie, By a Tunie.”  This interview features Gary Stoltz in Fort Lauderdale, a seasoned veteran with a long-term contract.

Q. You used to work for Paul Davis Restoration.  What prompted you to buy into Kitchen Tune-Up?

A.  I observed my friend from Paul Davis growing his business to sell, and I thought a franchise would be an easier business to sell.  When the time came, Deb saw an article about Kitchen Tune-Up in a KBB newsletter, which was kind of a similar business, so I made the trip to Aberdeen, SD.  I thought they were the salt of the earth.  That was fourteen years ago.

Q. How did you feel when you first become a Tunie?

A. I was sitting in my office at home and the only word that comes to mind was “overwhelmed.”  Looking over all the manuals and products, I thought “What the heck have I done?”  It turned out to be the second-best decision of my life.  Yes, by far number 1, it was marrying Deb!

Q. Does your wife work with you in the business?

A. That’s funny!  Debby is very good at what she does (in the banking business).  Frankly, I couldn’t afford her, but she is always here for moral support.

Q. What has been your best memory of Kitchen Tune-Up?

A. By far, I would say being named “Franchise of the Year” and the ensuing fabulous Alaskan cruise.

Q. I remember you telling me you prefer fewer large projects than smaller projects, what are your reasons?

A. It helps to set me apart by offering to be a general contractor.  Most refacers in my area will only work on the cabinets.  When I tell them I can do the lights, the flooring, the counters, and the tile backsplash, it makes me a one-stop-shop for busy homeowners.

Q. What would be your advice to a new Tunie?

A. Learn as much as you can about marketing.  I had no knowledge and consequently spent a lot of wasted dollars.  I have to tell you though, Kitchen Tune-Up made me track my leads, so when the advertising people came back, I had hard numbers to show them about my results.

Q. Being in Florida, have you lived through a hurricane?

A. When hurricane Wilma came in 2006, it took them four days to restore power.  I have an outbuilding shop with an emergency generator and that’s where we spent our time. 

Q. If you were able to have dinner with any couple, who would it be?

A. Well, we just had dinner with Barb & Marty in Chicago last week, but probably a close second would be Bill and Melinda Gates.  For as successful as he’s been, he still seems down to earth, is very philanthropic, and loves animals.  By the way, a fun fact is that we have four horses and three dogs.

Gary Stoltz

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