First Franchisee To Competitor, To Co-Worker, To Friend
Updated: Nov 23, 2022
Hiring a direct competitor to run an entirely new division of your business may seem risky but there was absolutely no question in my mind that Ariel was the right person for the job.
From the beginning, I knew that Ariel was an extremely hard worker, his dedication to succeeding and his work-ethic was unmatched. Having immigrated from Cuba in 2007, Ariel quickly pivoted from working in the restaurant industry and knowing little to no English, to being a Cody Party franchisee and speaking the language fluently.
Admittedly, I wasn’t confident from the get-go. I knew that Ariel didn’t have a background in the business, but Ariel and his partner were determined to make it work and they succeeded every step of the way. What I didn’t know when I got into business with Ariel was how close we would become.
Fast forward to June 2013, my family and I suffered a tragic loss with the passing of my son. Understandably, I was a wreck and stayed in bed for almost nine months. During one of my darkest times, Ariel was there. Ariel stepped in and took care of business, virtually running our company.
When it came time to sell, Ariel and I partnered in two new locations. Despite our friendship and our success, we decided to part ways. Ariel decided to start Fiesta Ottawa, while we continued to work on Cody Party. 2019 was a great year for both businesses, we were competitors, but we were both thriving and supporting each other wherever possible.
Fast forward to 2020 which has arguably been one of the worst years in history to own a party and events business. Both Cody Party and Fiesta Ottawa were heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, I had been planning on opening up a community hub that Ruckify members could use to operate their rental business with a hands-free approach. I had the concept and the infrastructure, but I didn’t have someone to spearhead the project.
Knowing that Ariel's business had been impacted by the pandemic presented the perfect opportunity for both of us. Ariels skillset that he had acquired in the party and franchise business was exactly what I needed at the Ruckify TradingPost. Ariel was disciplined, intuitive, organized, and he knew how to run a warehouse! I called Ariel and like always he was all in.
Initially, this was going to be a story about turning a competitor into a co-worker but after writing it, I realized that it was the story of two friends standing the test of time. Ariel and I never closed the door and always supported each other with each and every endeavour. Today Ariel is successfully running the Ruckify TradingPost and I wouldn’t have It any other way.