Ray grew up in Iran and at the age of 20, moved to Montreal with
little knowledge of the Canadian culture and no command of the
English or French language. With $8 in his pocket and a third
cousin as his only relative and friend in Montreal he managed to
learn English, go to school for Civil Engineering and eventually
move to Vancouver where he started his own construction company.
Once the real estate recession hit in the late 90’s, he left the
construction business and founded Freshslice pizza and started his
own family. Ray feels that if he can come to this beautiful country
with nothing and make a success of himself, than anyone who is
willing to work hard and not be dissuaded by any diversity, can
BeTheBoss – Tell us a little about the
Ray Russell - Freshslice is the only
company in the world that produces their own multi-grain
dough that is sheeted on a specially designed pan, loaded onto to a
special patented spring-loaded racking system and delivered to each
location Fresh NOT frozen by one of our
BTB – How did Freshslice get its start?
RR - I started this company in 1999 with one
location at the corner of Commercial and Broadway in Vancouver B.C.
I had a vision to take advantage of an opportunity in the pizza
industry that others had missed and that was to produce a healthy
multi-grain dough and invent a dough making system that would save
500% on labour costs that could be directly passed on to
BTB – What did you do before you started
RR - Previous to Freshslice I owned a
successful Construction and Development company.
BTB – What are some of the advantages in
becoming aFreshslice Franchisee?
RR - Some of the advantages of being a
franchise owner: Benefiting from an already proven and successful
franchise system that charges no Royalty fees, no Marketing or
Advertising fees, manufactures a quality dough, provides training,
management, distribution, In-house financing, In-house project
management and has an equipment and small wares system in place for
every franchisee to utilize.
BTB – Who is your ideal franchisee?
RR - The ideal franchisee is someone who has
the Freshslice Vision, understands our brand, our core values and
BTB – Tell us a little about the Pizza
RR - The pizza industry today requires
companies to offer fresh quality products, be able to deliver in a
timely manner, offer more than just pizza products and have curb
and dining appeal for those high pedestrian traffic areas. In
today’s market, which is becoming more and more digitized every
day, there is less room for error now that any one at any given
time can e-mail, Facebook, tweet or blog a criticism or compliment
about your company that can be read by thousands in a matter of
seconds. In this competitive market, the ideal Franchisee needs to
understand what they are up against, believe in our system and know
that we strive to be the best in order to be steps ahead of our
BTB - What are some of the greatest lessons
you’ve learned in growing this franchise?
RR - One of the many lessons learned in growing
this franchise was how to get efficiency, productivity and
consistency to embody the pizza industry without sacrificing
quality. I achieved it by inventing a unique dough making system
not available anywhere in the world. Along with this dough making
system, I developed our own distribution system, small ware &
equipment system, in-house financing system, in-house construction
and design system, and an in-house project managing system for
every Freshslice location so that we can optimize productivity,
efficiency and be able to expand successfully in the
BTB - Do you have someone you use for
RR - While building this Franchise Empire, I
always found inspiration in so many mentors of mine like Ghandi,
Nelson Mandela, Terry Fox, Bill Gates and Jim Pattison. Their
trials and tribulations in their own lives resonated with my own
and I have always felt very fortunate to have such great examples
to learn from whilst living in a beautiful country that offers so
much opportunity and success to anyone willing to work hard for
BTB - What advice do you have for someone
looking to acquire a Franchise?
RR - The advice I would give to someone looking
to acquire a franchise would be to do your homework and know who
you are and what you expect from yourself and the franchise that
you want to involve yourself. You need to choose a franchise system
that will eventually take you to your desired destination and be
something you can afford both financially and emotionally. Take
your time and make an apple to apple comparison to each of the
franchises you find an interest. Narrow the field by contacting the
franchisor(s) and get the information you are looking for; in other
words... Do your part. Once you have eliminated all doubt and are
ready to take on the challenges and the rewards of becoming a
successful business owner you can now take the time to take a good
look at the benefits of being involved with a successful outfit
BTB – In your opinion, why do you think that
Freshslice would be a great opportunity for someone?
RR - In my years of owning, operating and maintaining the Freshslice Brand I can only speak from experience of the great opportunities I have seen first-hand of good honest individuals who have made great successes of themselves as a Freshslice franchisee, and it fills a very special place within me to know that my vision has helped create such prosperous individuals who have successfully carried on the Freshslice brand with great pride and respect.