Interview with Kitchen Tune-Up Tunies - Mark & Mary Beth Levy
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.”
Mark and Mary Beth are this year’s reining “Franny of the Year” award winners! They have been with Kitchen Tune-Up for about 10 years and are located in Williamsburg, Virginia. They work as a husband and wife team.
Q. Now that you have won “Franny of the Year” and you will be going to Alaska (not Disney World) what do you think?
A. Really cool (no pun intended)! Mary Beth and I were not expecting to be chosen for this prestigious honor this year. There were and are other owners that were excellent candidates. There is always a buzz before the awards dinner about who will be selected for this year. Every year the recipient has been well chosen and we have been very happy for them. This year we were honored and excited to have been chosen and are really looking forward to our Alaskan cruise.
Q. How did you discover Kitchen Tune-Up and what prompted you and Mary Beth to become Tunies?
A. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and have been in several different types of businesses. We came across Kitchen Tune-Up in a local ad several years before becoming owners. Mary Beth kept the information for future work at our house. When we were looking for our next opportunity, we remembered that ad. After visiting Aberdeen, South Dakota, and talking to the folks, we liked everything they said and received nothing but good feelings. We just felt their integrity and down-to-earth attitudes aligned with our own values and have never been disappointed.
Q. What advertising and marketing have worked well for you?
A. For the first three or four years, we asked successful owners how they created sales and we experimented with the types of resources they were using. It didn’t take long for us to figure out what was working in our market. The important thing is that we followed the system marketing plan and always invested 10% of our projected sales in our marketing efforts - and do that consistently every year.
Q. I know your first ten years are up. What are your future plans?
A. After ten years, Mary Beth and I are still extremely excited about KTU and we would recommend it to anyone who would like to be independent. Everybody retires sooner or later and we know we have a valuable asset in Kitchen Tune-Up. When the time comes, we would like to sell it to someone who shares our passion and enthusiasm. In the meantime, we still want to keep growing.
Q. What pertinent advice for Baby Tunie?
A. Understand what the program is and have faith in it. A successful program/system does not fail—-individuals do!
Q. I know it’s hard to pick one, but which was your favorite Reunion?
A. Well this last one for sure, since we won Franny of the Year! 2012 was the most fun because of the land & cruise combination for Kitchen Tune-Up’s 25th Anniversary Celebration.
Q. Any final thoughts?
A. We, all of us, have a tremendous niche in Kitchen Tune-Up. We are the alternative to a $40,000 full kitchen renovation and while we fulfill our individual goals, we most importantly fulfill our client’s goal of improving their kitchen within their budget.