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Why This Multi-Brand Franchisee is Charting a Fresh Start with Fresh Coat Painters

Brian Stern, the franchise owner behind eight TWO MEN & A TRUCK locations, recently decided to diversify his portfolio with the painting franchise in Vernon Hills, Illinois.

By Luca Piacentini1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 5:17PM 03/22/24

In the vibrant streets of Northwest Chicago, a new hue is being added to the local business landscape by franchisee powerhouse Brian Stern. Stern, whose entrepreneurial spirit has been sharpened through years of experience in the franchising world, is now channeling his expertise into bringing premium painting services to his community with Fresh Coat Painters, the residential and commercial painting franchise.

Stern's story begins in the moving industry, where he started as a frontline mover at TWO MEN & A TRUCK®. Over 18 years, Stern's dedication and business acumen saw him rise through the ranks, eventually becoming a multi-unit franchisee managing eight locations. This experience laid the groundwork for his next venture. 

“I have always harbored ambitions of owning my own business, and franchising provided an excellent pathway, offering guidance, knowledge and support necessary for becoming a successful business owner,” said Stern. “This experience has been instrumental in leading me to where I am today, ready to expand my portfolio and delve into new industries and business models.”

The decision to venture into the painting industry with Fresh Coat Painters was driven by this desire to diversify his portfolio and leverage his vast experience in home services. 

“We wanted to integrate a new venture that complemented the moving business,” said Stern. “We were looking for an opportunity that shared a similar customer model, had low overhead and offered good margins, which naturally led us to explore the painting industry.”

When looking for new franchise investments, Fresh Coat's proven business model and community-driven core values particularly resonated with Stern. 

“We felt that we aligned well with what they were seeking in a franchisee, especially at a time when they are focused on growth and scaling,” Stern said. “TWO MEN & A TRUCK is a home service-based company that just happens to move furniture. We go into people’s homes, we solve a problem, we build teams, we learn a trade, etc. All of the same skills apply to Fresh Coat — we are just painting instead of moving.”

Looking ahead, Stern hopes to leverage his established community relationships to scale his Fresh Coat franchise, emphasizing the importance of giving back and being actively involved locally.

“Expanding our portfolio offers the distinct advantage of working with similar customer models and vendor needs,” said Stern. “Many aspects of the business are relatable and familiar. This similarity allows us to build on the existing relationships we have, which are integral to developing our Fresh Coat platform. These connections are not just beneficial for building the business, but are also crucial in supporting it long-term.”

For those considering franchising for the first-time, Stern offers sage advice: "Invest in something you're passionate about. It's a lot of work, but the support system is there. Don't hesitate to reach out to professionals who can help navigate the challenges. That is the beauty of franchising."

Now, the Fresh Coat team is looking to help more passionate and qualified entrepreneurs to achieve their goals while expanding the brand’s footprint across the country. Target markets include Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Vermont.

“Fresh Coat continues to grow thanks to entrepreneurs like Brian, who not only seek business success but also aim to enrich their communities,” said Lisa Hudson, executive vice president of Fresh Coat Painters. “His journey from a mover to a multi-brand franchisee is very inspiring and really outlines the potential franchising offers entrepreneurs. We are excited to watch him grow in Illinois and beyond.”

For more information on franchising with Fresh Coat Painters, visit:

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.