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Under New Leadership, Franchise Veterans Plan To “Blow Out” Cherry Blow Dry Bar

By Franchising.com

Former MAACO Executive, Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa Developer to Grow Brand

CHERRY HILL, N.J. - A new concept in hair care has made its way to the U.S., growing what has become a $40 billion a year global hair salon industry. Meet Cherry Blow Dry Bar, an expanding franchise that provides blowouts, hair extensions and makeup services for a perfectly finished look.

Under new ownership of franchise veterans Steve Vicario and Fred Vicario, the popular Australian export is being reinvented to meet Americans’ growing demand for quality hair care while also providing a business opportunity to entrepreneurs interested in the booming industry.

Offering blowouts for hair of any length for $35, hair extensions starting at $395 and a membership program starting at $59 for two blowouts with a membership for unlimited blowouts available, Cherry Blow Dry Bar is making a new name for itself in an industry that has taken off since 2010. Aimed at creating chic styles in an elegant yet classic blowout-bar setting, it's targeted to any woman looking for beautiful hair, no longer needing to be justified by a special occasion.

“Cherry Blow Dry Bar is taking what used to be considered a luxury and turning it into an affordable way to maintain one’s hair style, far more frequently than would be possible at pricier salons,” said Cherry Blow Dry Bar President Fred Vicario, who, along with brother Steve, was inspired to take over a franchise concept they determined ripe for growth. “Our focus is going to be on creating the perfect membership model for the industry.”

“The way the blow dry industry is today, most businesses can’t keep up with the demand,” said Fred Vicario. “Cherry Blow Dry Bar meets that demand, but what makes our concept unique is that it does so by providing blowouts, which most women expect to be sold for a premium. Ours are at a price that that’s far more reasonable than most competitors, a cost that allows women to have their hair done often. Many of our clients come two to three times a week.”

Each possessing years of franchising experience, brothers Fred Vicario and Steve Vicario saw a lot of promise in Cherry Blow Dry Bar. Formerly an executive at Maaco for 20 years, Fred Vicario grew that franchise from 300 units to 550 units during his tenure. He was also a Goddard School franchisee for 15 years, and, along with Steve, a regional developer for Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa that they grew by more than 30 locations. The Vicario brothers knew a good business opportunity when they saw it.

“We saw a similar blowout concept in California and were intrigued by the potential,” said Steve Vicario. “We came upon Cherry Blow Dry Bar and liked what we saw. We became regional developers in 2014, initially signed up to cover Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. But after negotiations with the previous owner it became clear that under our leadership, we could truly grow the brand not only regionally, but beyond.”

Recognizing areas in the system that could be improved, the brothers took over the franchise and began to leverage their business acumen and contacts immediately.

“Our successful experience with Hand & Stone gave us the confidence that we knew what needed to be done to turn this system around,” said Steve Vicario. “We hired our Director of Education and Operations, MariLynne Cosmillo, to provide a level of training to help franchisees succeed out of the gate. MariLynne has been in the hair care and blowout industry for over 10 years and quickly focused on the key issues we needed to solve.”

With eight locations currently in operation throughout California, Florida, New Jersey, Tennessee and Virginia, the new owners of Cherry Blow Dry Bar see big growth for the franchise. Within the next five years they aim to add an additional 200 franchised locations to the mix. Given their background, Steve Vicario believes that goal is readily attainable.

“Steve and I already had our own ventures before coming to Cherry Blow Dry Bar, so we wouldn’t have come aboard had we not seen something special in it,” said Steve Vicario. “Cherry has the right concept and has a core set of principles we really believed in. With the changes we’ve made, the quality styling we provide and the additional services we hope to soon offer, Cherry has a bright future ahead.”