bannerFranchisor Stories

Raintree’s Partnership with Voodoo Brewery Leads To Incredible National Franchise Growth

The Denver-based franchise sales company acquired the franchising arm of Voodoo at the height of the pandemic in 2021 and has exceeded sales goals by over 300%, selling 20 franchises while maintaining a small-town pub feel at each location.

By 1851 Staff1851 Staff Contributions
SPONSOREDUpdated 2:14PM 05/05/22

Since Voodoo Brewery’s founding in 2005, the brand has found a way into the hearts of  communities across the nation by crafting the best beer, as well as fostering a no-hassle, laid-back environment to socialize and listen to live music. In 2021, the popularity for Voodoo and its small-town pub feel grew even stronger after a year of pandemic-related shutdowns. The partnership between industry-leading franchise sales and marketing company Raintree and Voodoo also began in 2021, and the leaders at both companies — Mike Edwards, co-founder and president at Raintree, Brent Dowling, co-founder and CEO of Raintree and Matteo Rachocki, CEO of Voodoo Brewing, had one mission: growth while still maintaining the unique pub environment at each location. Now, well into 2022, the craft beer franchise has exceeded the companies’ goal of selling seven franchise locations.

Looking into the plans for continued growth with the partnership with Voodoo, Raintree is prepared to position the brand as a leader in the $33 billion craft beer industry by offering franchise opportunities in cities nationwide. And amid the rapid growth, Raintree has also stayed true to Voodoo’s culture in its marketing materials and continues to encourage individuality among franchise owners to make their locations their own. 

“At the end of the day, craft beer is about community,” said Rachocki. “And we've always said that craft beer without community is just beer. What's different about our concept is that we already built a massive production brewery that can service an infinite number of independent locations. We have a brew pub that doesn't have the headache of a manufacturing arm attached to it and it makes it a lot more approachable.”

Rachocki mentions that all of the brand’s locations — seven corporate-owned, with franchise units currently opening in CO, FL, KY, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX — become vital businesses in the community, and that’s what makes the franchise so unique as it continues to grow across the country.  

“We think of our stores as community projects,” said Rachocki. “We get involved immediately with the local groups, associations and chambers of commerce and get involved in local charities and nonprofits. And that's because these franchisees are from these communities — they have a vested interest in immersing the business in the community they live in. It’s often where they grew up, where they're settling down or where they're growing their families and they are looking for opportunities to drive business in their hometown.” 

Edwards furthers Rachocki’s sentiment of Voodoo as an integral community hub, stating that as the brand continues to grow — with each location a little different based on location and owner — that the appeal of the anti-corporate brand with its flexibility and supportive leadership team will grow at a galactic pace in the next few years as more people crave small social gatherings. 

"There is a tribal need to meet in the community and share meals and beer; it's a tradition that is thousands of years old," said Dowling. 

Rachocki stresses that in today’s post pandemic environment that so many people are looking for, regardless of their state, a place where they can do everything in one spot. 

“To have a place where your entire family can go, you can have a little bit of entertainment, a good time out, you can interact with your community, you can have excellent food and drink — that’s what people are leaning toward now,” said Rachocki. 

Also as a result of the pandemic, Rachocki notes that it has been a very interesting time for young professionals reconsidering their desk jobs and looking for an opportunity to be an entrepreneur with a company like Voodoo, where there is so much room for individuality. 

Dowling also mentions that the franchise model of Voodoo continues to be a very approachable concept due to the brand’s streamlined, vertical integration. 

“We have some of the best beers on the planet and there’s real validation behind the quality of the product,” said Dowling. “But even with this superior quality, franchisees don't have to brew it themselves; corporate delivers it and franchisees get to be the hero. That makes it a much simpler model.”  

As the brand continues to garner interest from both franchise brokers and individual candidates, Rachocki says the goal of the brand for 2022 with Raintree’s partnership is to build the infrastructure a year ahead of time on the development and support side, with the goal of doubling franchise count year after year. 

“It's been really nice to see Voodoo blossom and build the infrastructure accordingly, and we're going to continue to do that. We want to make sure that we're able to offer the same support to our 35th location that we did to the fifth.” 

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