What could be better than a strawberry-banana smoothie while scouting out the freshest fruit and vegetables in the county?
With the Maui Wowi stand now a regular at the Waxahachie Downtown Farmers Market held on Saturdays through October, franchise owner Mario Madrid offers just that — a sweet and, most importantly, cool treat — a perfect remedy on a summer’s day.
“We’re still pretty new,” Madrid said Saturday, just after serving up two strawberry-banana smoothies. “Our business has been good — we’re paying the bills.”
Maui Wowi opened in a leased space near the produce section in the Waxahachie H-E-B on Dec. 22, 2006.
“That’s when we opened and started our relationship with the city,” Madrid said.
The Maui Wowi in H-E-B is one of 400 operating. Twenty-five Maui Wowi franchises are scheduled for operation in H-E-B stores in Texas, with the Waxahachie Maui Wowi the northernmost franchise in the state.
“This is the furthest north they would let us go,” Madrid said.
Madrid was attracted to a location in Waxahachie for two reasons — the cooperation of the Waxahachie H-E-B and the people of Waxahachie.
“We thought, ‘This is a cool city — we can make it here,’ ” Madrid said of Waxahachie. “It’s a family-owned business and we have three other employees from the Midlothian and Waxahachie area.”
Maui Wowi serves Kona espressos and Cappuccino drinks and blended coffees directly from the Hawaiian Islands. And of course, Maui Wowi offers a variety of fresh fruit smoothies — strawberry banana, mango orange, pina colada and other flavors.
Madrid’s Maui Wowi fits in well along a row of vendors selling vegetables, fruit and plants. And he sees the time spent at the Farmers Market as a chance to advertise the product.
“Just being out here to talk to people is how I get people to go to the store,” Madrid said, adding that he is also been a part of the city of Waxahachie’s Moonlight Summer Movie series.
Ultimately, Madrid’s goal as an owner of the Maui Wowi franchise is to spread the “Aloha Spirit,” the spirit that has taken the once single, traveling smoothie stand to a franchise system boasting hundreds of locations.
“We try to provide Aloha Spirit,” Madrid said. “Just a little piece of Hawaii in Waxahachie — that’s what we’re shooting for.”
E-mail Mandy at firstname.lastname@example.org