As you might have heard, Jamba Juice has moved its corporate headquarters to Frisco! With this new move comes a grand opening celebration, fun events and more opportunities for Frisco to build its reputation as a national destination for growing businesses. This will also bring new individuals to the community who will make a mark in Frisco’s unique business environment.
Jamba Juice’s recent move was headed up by the newly-appointed CEO, David A. Pace. He got the job on March 14 of 2016, but he has been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having lived in Texas before, he knows the neighborly thing to do is to allow his community the chance to get to know him better, as well as the company he leads.
Mr. Pace grew up in upstate N.Y., in the small town of Endwell. He said, “It was a nice town to grow up in. It was small, only about 25,000 people. We are the home of IBM and Endicott Shoes. Unfortunately, all the manufacturing moved away, but it was a great time to grow up there. In fact, my wife and I both grew up there.” He also noted that the 2016 Little League World Series Champions are from his home town.
Mr. Pace met Patti, his wife, in 1979, and they were married in 1982. Now, they are celebrating 34 years of marriage. They have a daughter, and she and her husband live in the Frisco area. They are also grandparents to their first grandson, who turns one this month. “This is the first time we have been able to live and work in the same area. It is great,” Mr. Pace says.
Professionally, Mr. Pace has been all over … different companies and different cities, as well as abroad. His experience primarily focuses on the restaurant industry. “From N.Y., I went to Boston, Orlando, Pittsburgh, back to N.Y., to London, to the island of Cypress for a couple of years, back to London, then to Los Angeles, then to Dallas, Seattle, Tampa and now back to Dallas. We were gypsies for a long time.”
Professionally, those locations lend themselves to some impressive leadership positions with different companies. Mr. Pace spent a lot of time with PepsiCo Inc., in four different operating divisions within the company. When YUM! Brands spun off from PepsiCo Inc., he took on the role of vice president of human resources. From there, he spent six years with Starbucks, then, on to Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. (the owners of Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba’s Italian Grill, among others). There, he ran the Carrabba’s brand as the executive vice president. Between 2014 and 2016, before he joined Jamba Juice, not only did he lead the domestic operations and development of Carrabba’s, but he also served as the chief resources officer. Mr. Pace had served on Jamba Juice’s board of directors since 2012, so it seemed like a natural progression for him, already having a strong understanding of the business and its long-term goals.
When it comes to living in the Dallas area, Mr. Pace says, “We originally were here in 1995 and have kept a home here for 20 years.” Whenever they would move some place new, Dallas always offered appeal, and they knew they wanted to come back, eventually.
Jamba Juice had been talking about moving the company even before Mr. Pace became CEO, as their lease was expiring in Calif. “We looked at a bunch of cities. We looked at Denver, at Orlando and at the Dallas area, but settled on Dallas,” Mr. Pace says. “When we settled on Dallas, my fellow board members asked if I would be interested in taking over as CEO. I thought about it and said ‘absolutely!’ It was a great plan,” he says. “We moved to Texas for a few reasons. One was that our operating and lease costs were significantly lower in Texas than they were in Calif. There is a lot more access to restaurant talent here. The Dallas area has a lot of restaurant and food service company headquarters, so it is great for recruiting. And it has a lower cost of living for our employees so they can afford a great quality of life. Finally, we wanted to expand our business strategically across the country, and being centrally located made a lot more sense,” Mr. Pace shares.
As for Jamba Juice’s future, over the last two years, the company has primarily focused on becoming a franchise company. Mr. Pace said, “We were a mixture of company-owned stores and franchise stores, and over the last two years, we have franchised about 90 percent of our system.” They want to focus on making sure the brand stays strong and expands both here in the U.S. and internationally. Jamba Juice has opened stores in Asia, the Middle East and will have their first store in Thailand before the end of the year.
Mr. Pace says, “The challenge is in how I build a great organization, a great team and a great culture.” He wants Jamba Juice to be known for its success for its investors, shareholders, franchisees and the communities where they operate.
Frisco’s family-oriented, outdoor-friendly, healthy living and sports-oriented culture were all things Mr. Pace specifically wanted to be associated with when choosing the exact location for Jamba Juice. “For us, it was important to be in Frisco because the community is growing and the types of businesses and organizations that are located here really align with our brand.”
Jamba Juice has been in their temporary space at Hall Office Park, but their permanent offices will open this month. Mr. Pace said it was a surprisingly quick process. They announced to their employees that the company would relocate on May 4, 2016. Mr. Pace gave credit to working with the entities in Frisco to get it done so fast. “We have had a terrific partnership with all of the people who have been helping us get moved. Hall Office Park was really great to work with. Cushman & Wakefield has been our real estate representative that helped us find office space and helped us manage the project. K2 Construction has been building out our space and doing the finish out for us. We had amazing support from the Frisco Economic Development Corporation. Mayor Maher Maso has been amazingly helpful both with Frisco and the state. They have all been wonderful partners for us. We could not be happier with how things are going.”
If you have yet to try a beverage from Jamba Juice, Mr. Pace recommends the Apples and Green. “I try to stay healthy, so I try to focus on the all fruit and vegetable smoothies.”
To be good neighbors, Jamba Juice has been planning their grand opening for months. They are planning a series of events that not only involve their employees, but also the Frisco community. “We want to help people understand what Jamba Juice is all about and that we want to be involved in the community,” Mr. Pace adds. One day of celebrations is not enough, so Jamba Juice has plans for the entire week.
The next time you get thirsty and need to stop for something refreshing, remember that Jamba Juice is a Frisco business now. Supporting local business is good for Frisco and you will be recharged for the rest of the day!