Mark Poling worked for fourteen years as a UPS driver prior to becoming the owner of three future California Tortilla locations. With UPS, Mark loved to take on responsibilities within the position such as working on committees and holding safety trainings for new drivers. Mark even wrote his own mentoring program. However, all of that changed in 2016 when Mark had an unfortunate accident in which his elbow was broken and he was unable to continue working as a UPS driver. Instead of dwelling, though, Mark and his wife saw this as a new opportunity. While Mark had little experience working in the restaurant industry, he knew he loved to cook and he was confident he could take the leadership skills he learned at UPS and apply them to a restaurant concept. Together, he and his wife, Christine, started looking at franchises in the Wichita area after hearing many franchising success stories.
“I have seen the success of restaurant franchises over and over and over again,” Poling says of living in Wichita.
They spent months researching franchises before coming across California Tortilla. After further research into the Mexican food franchise, Mark and Christine found that they loved the fact that California Tortilla was a blank slate in areas such as Kansas where it is virtually unknown. They could give California Tortilla whatever reputation they wanted and with high-quality ingredients such as grass-fed beef, fresh vegetables, and unique flavor combinations, it is sure to be a hit!
“Everything is fresh,” Mark says. “And you can feel good about eating it, too.”
After meeting with the owners of the Mexican food franchise and hearing about the excellent unit economics, strong corporate culture, and the proven system, Mark and Christine decided to take the leap! They hired Christine’s mother as the general manager, as she has extensive experience in restaurant management. Their two young daughters, Ela and Adelaide, are excited to be a part of the family business as well. Mark and Christine call them their “CalTort youth ambassadors,” and have given them the responsibility of planning fun kids’ activities.
The couple will be opening their first California Tortilla Wichita location in October of this year, and are planning on opening the second near Wichita State University. Mark says of his plans to open up to five locations of the Mexican food franchise in the area:
“It just depends where the opportunities are.”
To read the full article on The Wichita Eagle, click here!
To learn more about opening a Mexican food franchise with California Tortilla, click here!