DOMINO’S FRANCHISEE CHRISTOPHER BAUM
When Domino’s franchisees Christopher Baum and Fernando Cruz had purchasing 14 locations across Massachusetts on their menu, they turned to bankESB Vice President, Commercial Lending Melissa Soto, to make those plans a reality. Read more about how Melissa helped them unlock their potential!
To help fund his college education and plans to become a lawyer, then-high schooler Christopher Baum started out as a delivery driver for his local Domino’s. But you might say that experience ignited a passion and a whole new career path to become a Domino’s franchisee himself.
So, he and fellow driver Fernando Cruz were thrilled to land the opportunity to partner with a senior franchisee for the past eight years and learn the business from the ground up. Earlier this year, the duo was ready to strike out on their own and fulfill their plans to purchase 14 stores from their retiring senior partner—in other words, to take on the whole pie of franchise ownership.
The only obstacle? Finding a local bank with franchise experience that didn’t treat them like just a number. They kicked the tires of as many as seven banks, recalls Christopher, but says it was bankESB and Vice President, Commercial Lending Melissa Soto who offered up all the ingredients they needed.
“Other banks made us feel like they were too corporate, too big—even if they weren’t,” recalls Christopher. “But with bankESB, Melissa, and Trent [Taylor, Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending], right from the start, it felt like just the opposite. They had the experience but made it feel local and personal. That’s so important to us because that’s how we run our business.”
Christopher ultimately purchased five locations solely and another nine in partnership with Fernando, backed by two loans totaling more than $15 million from bankESB. According to Christopher, the transaction went even more smoothly than he could’ve expected.
“Honestly, I was expecting the process to be painful, and after previous experiences with other banks, I wasn’t expecting [bankESB] to be as helpful as they were,” admits Christopher. “But they took the time to understand our goals and our timeline. They wanted to grow with us. They made it feel like a partnership.”
“bankESB took the time to understand our goals and our timeline. They wanted to grow with us. They made it feel like a partnership.”
– Christopher Baum, Domino’s Franchisee