Ahoy, Nauti Fam! Ever curious about what the franchise journey looks like for the franchisee? Keep reading to learn more about our Sioux Falls franchisee, Lexus Paulson—whose dream to own her own business came true when she opened the first Nautical Bowls outside of Minnesota! 

If you would have asked me in college where I saw myself in 5 years, I would have told you that I would be finishing up dental school and searching for a job working in a general dental practice in Columbus, Ohio before opening up a practice of my very own. I always knew that I wanted to be my own boss, and build a life I would be proud of, but little did I know that it would involve Açaí bowls and not teeth.

After graduating from (The) Ohio State University, I decided to pursue a career in dentistry in Minneapolis—which is where I discovered Nautical Bowls. This became my spot for lunch 2-3 times a week, and when they made the announcement that they were franchising, I knew that Sioux Falls was the place that I needed to share Nautical Bowls with.

“I didn’t even know that people lived in South Dakota!” This is a phrase I heard so often when I met new people in college. Not only do people live in South Dakota, I believe that the best people live in South Dakota—I am so thankful to be from a community that is so supportive, close-knit, and driven. I knew when I discovered Nautical Bowls that this was a market that was lacking in Sioux Falls—healthy options on the go!

Fast forward 6 months from deciding to franchise, and here we are: our Sioux Falls store has been open for business since April 23rd! We were the first location outside of the state of Minnesota, so the pressure was on to spread the word to the Sioux Falls community about Nautical Bowls. Leading up to our grand opening, you could find my mom and myself putting flyers on cars at local football games, track meets, cheer competitions, you name it! If there was an event in Sioux Falls where you could find high school or college students, you could also find us! I also spent time with the local fitness studios (most of them I have spent a majority of my high school and college years working out at) talking about Nautical Bowls and bringing free bowl samples for the fitness communities to try.

Throughout the entire process leading up until our grand opening, I never felt nervous, I was always confident in myself and Nautical Bowls brand and product. However, the night and morning of our grand opening were when the nerves hit. I had prayed that there would be at least 50 people in line to receive free bowls from our store, but I was absolutely blown away when we were able to have a steady line of guests eager to try our bowls for over three hours! My cup was overflowing after a day filled with loud music, the best employees, and over 500 bowls made for the Sioux Falls community!

After our grand opening, Sioux Falls has still been loving our bowls! While we love to see our repeat guests, we enjoy meeting new people on a daily basis and being able to educate them on our product. In addition to our store guests, over the past few weeks it has been so amazing to watch our deckhands evolve; from barely even being able to pronounce the words Açaí and Blue Majik correctly—they are now able to educate our guests with confidence and produce bowls in well under 90 seconds—I couldn’t be blessed with a better and more fun group of girls to work alongside.

Bringing Nautical Bowls to Sioux Falls has been the most exhilarating, exhausting, and rewarding process that I could’ve asked for, and I am so happy and thankful that I was able to do it alongside my best friend and mother. Two weeks down and so many more to go!

– Lexus Paulson