May 11, 2004

Mr. Happy Crack Hits the Bigtime! Yes, today we here at The Donk are proud to step down from our lofty perch, as we are now only the second-most prestigious publication to extol the wonders of Mr. Happy Crack. (I'm not counting The New Yorker as those are paid advertisements, and frankly, the quality of the magazine has gone down a bit over the past two years.) Today, the fine folks at the Money/CNN site have finally given the Crack Team the attention it deserves, in the unfortunately condescendingly named "Fringe Franchises."
No, it's not a rock-cocaine supplier. The Crack Team's franchise units fix cracks in basement walls. Started by Mike Kodner — son Bob calls him "the Ray Kroc of Crack" — in 1985, it first sold franchises in 2001 and has grown to eight units.

The Crack Team charges a $15,000 franchise fee, which gets you training, access to "proprietary" crack repair products, and marketing help. Bob Kodner claims his franchisees hit the ground running: With its Web site and 800-number, The Crack Team "can support a franchise and really make their phones ring," he says.

A profitable catalogue line of apparel and novelty items featuring a SpongeBob-like mascot — Mr. Happy Crack — has "spearheaded name recognition," according to Bob Kodner. You can order tee shirts, sweats, even thongs, complete with Mr. Happy Crack spouting the company slogan, "A dry crack is a happy crack."

Kodner says the company does not offer any claims on how much franchisees can earn, but noted that franchises have low overhead and that an operation can generate sales in the low to mid six figures a year.
We just hope the Cracksteins don't forget us little people who knew them when.
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