How one man's dream turned into one of the top chocolate companies in the world (and a franchise business opportunity)

Frank Crail at the original downtown Durango store 

Frank Crail had a dream­ to raise a family in a quiet, small town environment. 
Not having a plan to support his dream in Durango, Colorado, the quaint Victorian-era town in which they had chosen to settle, he began surveying the town's local residents and merchants. "It came down to either a car wash or a chocolate shop," recalls the father of seven. "I think I made the right choice." 

Today, a shop still stands on Main Street, with its sights and smells tempting tourists and locals alike to experience a cornucopia of chocolatey treats before a breath-taking ride on the scenic Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad or after a half-day white water rafting trip through town. Nearly 40 years later, from that tiny shop downtown, emerged the need for a 53,000 square foot factory located on the town's outskirts, built to supply hundreds of franchised stores throughout the United States and the world.

Crail gives credit to the growing number of independent franchise operators that have bought in to his concept. “They are the ones that really make this company a success,” he remarks. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory continues to claim high marks in surveys that rate the best franchise business opportunities.

In 1985, Crail took the Company public, where it is now found on the NASDAQ exchange under the symbol RMCF.  “A great deal has happened over the years,” recounts Crail with a twinkle in his eye. “I never imagined that in my search for a place to raise a family things would turn out so sweet!”