Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt Franchise Owner Donates Store to Tennessee Nonprofit

Posted 11/4/2014

Proceeds from Knoxville Menchie’s frozen yogurt franchise will benefit Open Doors Tennessee

It’s not only delicious work owning a Menchie’s, it’s meaningful work, too.
Alan Sims, who owns several Menchie’s frozen yogurt franchises in Tennessee, is a shining example of how Menchie’s franchisees often combine running their stores with doing good works. Alan recently donated an entire Menchie’s location in Knoxville to Open Doors Tennessee, a nonprofit that offers education, training and advocacy resources for families of children with disabilities.

It started with one smile — that of Wesley Rice, a young man with a disability and a will to work. Wesley got a part-time job at the Knoxville Menchie’s with his mother’s help. Working a few hours a week made a noticeable difference in Wesley’s life, and it also touched others in a big way. After noticing how much the job helped Wesley — and the enthusiastic community response — Alan decided to give his Beardon neighborhood store to Open Doors so more adults with disabilities could find meaningful employment.

Alan Sims stands with Wesley Rice at the Menchie's in Knoxville, Tennessee's Bearden neighborhood.

Alan Sims stands with Wesley Rice at the Menchie’s in Knoxville, Tennessee’s Bearden neighborhood.

The heartwarming story caught the attention of WBIR, the NBC television news affiliate in East Tennessee.

“We sell smiles, and nobody does that better than Wesley,” Alan told WBIR.

Christie, Wesley’s mom, said working at a Menchie’s seemed like a great opportunity for her son and others like him.

“I know a lot of our kids with disabilities end up sitting at home all day long, and there’s nothing for them to do,” Christie told the station. “I decided I was going to find a job for my son. He gets a paycheck that to you and me would be minimal, but to him it might as well be a million dollars because he’s earned it. He’s learning a skill, and he’s doing it and that is priceless.

Steve Johnson with Open Doors Tennessee was “blown away” when he found out about the donation.

“When Christie called me to tell me she had worked out a deal with Menchie’s, I was thinking it was going to be a $25 gift certificate for an event,” Steve told WBIR. “When she laid it on me that they were willing to donate a whole franchise to us, I had to pull over to even process and get the tears out of my eyes because I was just so blown away — and I still am.”

The Bearden Menchie’s will employ those with special needs, along with typical workers. Alan’s idea is that the profits from the store will go toward opening other businesses where people with special needs would work. Is it any surprise that he’s already seen an outpouring from team members offering to come to the store and work on their days off?

A tradition of giving back

Allie Kat (pictured here) works at the Bearden neighborhood Menchie's in Knoxville, Tennessee. Proceeds from the store benefit the disabled teens who work there and their supporting organization, Open Doors Tennessee.

Allie Kat (pictured here) works at the Bearden neighborhood Menchie’s in Knoxville, Tennessee. Proceeds from the store benefit the disabled teens who work there and their supporting organization, Open Doors Tennessee.

Alan’s contribution to his community is certainly notable and magnanimous. The entire culture at Menchie’s promotes philanthropy and good will, and it seems to attract franchisees who are active and engaged within their communities. From discounts given at halftime contests at sporting events to sponsoring a local athletic team, our franchisees are giving back in many creative ways and are always looking for new ways to create smiles.

In fact, every year more than 500 local organizations receive support through the efforts of our local stores. Our guests become much more than guests; they become family. This type of connection is not contained within the walls of our stores. It flows out into the community.

While our franchisees are making an impact on their local communities, Menchie’s is also helping others on a national level. We look to partner with organizations that align with our values, some of which are health and family. A case in point: Menchie’s recently raised more than $350,000 for The Make-A-Wish Foundation. The funds will be used to help grant more than 35 once-in-a-lifetime wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Learn more about Menchie’s

If you think Menchie’s could be the franchise opportunity you’ve been looking for, we urge you to explore our brand. We have more than 400 franchises around the world, and we are continuing to expand. If you love making people smile and have a passion for entrepreneurship, you may be right for us. Our candidates need liquid assets of at least $100,000 and a minimum net worth of $300,000.

For more information about starting a Menchie’s frozen yogurt franchise, please read our research pages at You can also check out the latest news, including reviews from our store owners, on our blog. To start a conversation, fill out this form to request more information about owning your own franchise, or call us at 818-708-0316. We look forward to hearing from you!

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