Allie T. Mallad knows one must work hard to truly achieve success. In the last 30 years Mallad has built an enviable career, rising above his first job, which paid less than one dollar an hour, to become the largest Little Caesars franchisee in the world. Now he has founded his own business, Massage Green Spa, a spa franchise committed to building “healthy buildings and healthy bodies.”
“I believe in health and wellness and know that if massage services were more affordable, more people would incorporate the benefits of massage therapy into their lifestyles,” Mallad said. “So I decided to create a business that would work to promote healthy bodies inside healthy, green, buildings.”
Mallad came from humble beginnings, growing up in Detroit where his first job as a dishwasher earned him 99 cents an hour. Driven from an early age, he went on to work as a Delta flight attendant until he had enough money saved to buy himself a business.
“I purchased a convenience store when I was 27 years old and worked there seven days a week from open to close,” he said. From his hard work he was able to purchase two more stores. Hoping to expand his portfolio even further, he decided to invest in a Little Caesars franchise, a move that required him to relocate to Riverside, Calif., which he did in 1988.
“Little Caesars only offered me the opportunity to build two stores but I knew I was capable of more,” he said. Though no one had ever built more than two stores in their first year of ownership during Little Caesars over-30-year history, Mallad built six stores in only eight months. By the end of his first 30 months as a franchisee he had built 31 stores. In 1989, after his first year of ownership, he won the “Best New Franchisee” award, followed by the “President’s Cup” a year later. He was only 32 years old. In the next five years Mallad became a franchisee for 10 national brands, including Golden Corral, Big O Tires, Arco AM/PM, Mobil Oil, Chevron Oil, Applebee’s, Baskin-Robbins, Bruegger’s Bagels, Mobil Oil and Jiffy Lube and continued to rack up awards: “Entrepreneur of the Year” from Ernst Young & Inc. magazine in 1991 and a listing in the Top 50 Franchisees in the Country from Nation’s Restaurant News in 1993.
After working his way to the highest tier a franchise owner can achieve, Mallad decided it was time to launch his own concept. The idea for Massage Green Spa came to him while he was jogging. “I had an ‘ah ha!’ moment,” he said. “I realized that massage therapy is important for healthy living, but it needed to be much more affordable. I believed that if I could lower the price point without lowering the quality, more people would incorporate it into their daily lives.”
The first Massage Green Spa debuted in Dearborn, Mich. in 2008 and today there are 45 locations open in six states. In order to make Massage Green Spa into a reality, Mallad called on a dream team of franchise veterans. His chief operating officer is Ali Harb, former chief operating officer for the world’s largest Little Caesars franchisee for nine years and a franchise owner of multiple concepts such as Baskin-Robbins, Golden Corral, Jiffy Lube, Big O’ Tires and Arco AM/PM; Scott Adams, who has extensive experience as a franchisee and in executive positions with a variety of brands, including Wok Box, Pinkberry, Mooyah Burgers, and Quiznos Corporation serves as the executive vice president of global franchise development; and Kimberly Harte is the company’s director of marketing, leveraging experience from multiple executive marketing and operations positions with several franchise brands and from her days as a former Domino’s Pizza franchisee. Artema Byrd serves as the company’s director of massage therapy and brings with her a wealth of knowledge in the beauty industry.
With Massage Green Spa, Mallad has created what he calls “a luxury everyone can afford.” The company offers a low introductory rate of $29.95 for a 1-Hour Full Body Massage and no strings attached memberships for only $39.95 per month. “We want our clients to reap the fullest health benefits from massage by incorporating it regularly into their lives,” he explains. “That is why we offer a membership-based business model without any contracts, so you can cancel any time without fees and without hassle.” Massage Green Spa offers over half a dozen kinds of massage including Swedish, deep tissue, and pre/post-natal, as well as aromatherapy, Reiki, and European spa facials.
Massage Green Spa is equally committed to environmental responsibility and sustainability. “In order for our customers to receive the full therapeutic benefits of massage, they need to be in an environment that cultivates cleanliness and purity and reduces stress,” said Mallad. To that end, Massage Green Spa constructs their spas from mostly eco-friendly building materials such as recycled drywall, zero VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint, recycled cellulose insulation and ceiling tiles, engineered cultured stone and granite, low consumptive lighting and high efficiency furnace and water heaters. Additionally, the retail portion of the spa is stocked with environmentally-friendly products such as hypoallergenic lotions, essential oils and chemical- and preservative-free facial products. Even the table linens and towels are eco-washed.
Thanks to this commitment to high-quality, environmentally-friendly buildings and spa services, Massage Green Spa has grown to an astounding 500 spas under development in five years, with 50 locations expected to be open by the end of 2013. The company is aggressively pursuing national growth and currently has 11 area developers in California, Texas, Washington, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona to help facilitate expansion efforts in those markets. Other markets the company is targeting for growth include Florida, Illinois, Michigan and Nevada. Massage Green plans to have more than 100 locations open by the end of 2014 with a total of 1,200 spas open and operating within the next five years.
Mallad, a man who truly believes in his own concept, currently owns 30 corporate locations and employs nearly 500 corporate employees. The company has 16 franchisees to date and expects future growth to encompass both franchise- and corporate-owned locations.
“Our ideal franchisee has a great attitude, is good with people and is community-oriented,” Mallad said. “What I have learned over the years is that money doesn’t make you money, people do. So more than background, we look for driven people who are able to follow our proven system and are committed to this brand and to working hard.”
Mallad is sure that Massage Green Spa is a concept that will not just benefit its owners, but the communities it enters as well. “We are under so much stress today,” he said. “We need to be good to ourselves. That is what I am doing here – providing a way for more people to be good to themselves and the environment at the same time.”