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24.02.2014
Where else can you go surfing in the morning, drive an hour or two, and go snow skiing in the afternoon?Don Tollefson, franchise owner since 1995, recalling what it was like living in Southern California in his twenties. California native, Don Tollefson, grew up in Northern California, and then moved to Southern California during high school, where he worked in the restaurant business in Orange County during his teens and twenties. In Minnesota, Tollefson joined his uncle in his egg farm business, eventually buying it from him and converting it into a shower-in and shower-out hog farm. Coincidentally, as he was looking at every possible franchise option available, he ran across a classified ad for employment at a local Batteries Plus store in Apple Valley, MN. The business model of this franchise is so good that longevity in and of itself will breed success. In addition to working with family, Tollefson continues to enjoy the evolution of the company in general. With four stores currently open and plans to open two more shortly, Tollefson remains optimistic about the future growth of his business and the vast opportunities that await him. Batteries Plus Bulbs is owned by Roark Capital Group, an Atlanta-based private equity firm. With the opening of the first all-battery retail store in 1988 in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Batteries Plus, as the brand was then known, quickly became the uncontested leader in the battery market, differentiated by superior product knowledge, product availability, helpful service and advice. DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
In a world where many noteworthy events tend to be negative, we would like to focus on the positive accomplishments we have been privileged to be a part of in 2013. The most rewarding moments of 2013 for Batteries Plus Bulbs, however, came from assisting residents in times of need, and donating to many worthy local and national charities. In the wake of the devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma in May, our stores in the Oklahoma City area donated thousands of dollars’ worth of batteries and flashlights to the victims in their area.


Our stores in Spokane donated 1900 batteries to a local organization, Treats 2 Troops, in honor of Veterans Day. And recently, our franchise in White Plains, NY held multiple events in conjunction with the American Red Cross to support the Haiyan typhoon relief efforts. Also, in 2013, Batteries Plus Bulbs was fortunate to partner with the world-renowned charitable organization Habitat for Humanity, and donated more than a half million dollars’ worth of energy-efficient CFL bulbs to build sites in Alabama, Arizona, Missouri and Wisconsin. Furthermore, 2013 saw the franchise get recognized as one of the “50 Top Franchises for Veterans”. Finally, we’re pleased to announce that we have opened our 600th and 601st franchise locations, for a total of 55 new stores in 2013. A leader in energy-efficient lighting replacements, battery and light bulb recycling, and the portable power provided by batteries (both electrically and solar charged!), we are happy to continue to be a one-stop-shop for all of your power and lighting needs, for both residential and business customers, now and for years to come.
Our customer service will continue to be our priority, and our gratitude for your continued business and support cannot be overstated. After getting married, however, he traded in the waves and sunshine, moving to rural Spokane, WA, and then to Minnesota, in pursuit of a business opportunity and lifestyle that would support and accommodate his family.
Responding to consumer demand, Tollefson used tireless work and innovation to turn his business into one of the largest of its kind in the state, serving the Twin Cities and raising over 95,000 hogs! Upon inquiring about the job, in-person, with store owner, Bill Criego, he was given a free phone battery and some prompt advice. However, if you really apply yourself and know how to effectively operate a business, you can do really well owning a Batteries Plus Bulbs.
It’s a special opportunity for each of them to learn from each other and complement each other’s skills, effectively growing the business through their unique teamwork.
Noting that years ago, when he opened his first store, many people he talked to were skeptical about what he was doing and now, everyone he talks to about Batteries Plus Bulbs understands the need for this business, appreciating the niche that it fills.


Roark invests primarily in consumer and business services companies, with a focus on the franchise, food and restaurant, specialty retail, environmental services, waste management, and business services sectors. As we officially changed our name and announced it to the world, we made a commitment to our customers to be a major player in the rapidly growing $17 billion* light bulb replacement industry (*according to Freedonia Research Study). Having started with a single store in Green Bay, WI and growing to become the largest nationwide franchise for batteries and light bulbs, with hundreds of locations throughout the country and Puerto Rico, is definitely something to be proud of and humbled about. Not to mention, associates in the Milwaukee area even had the privilege of donating a couple days of manual labor to local sites, as well. With dozens more planned to open in 2014, Batteries Plus Bulbs is poised to continue to add hundreds of new jobs each year, at both the corporate and local levels, and we are proud to continue to create more employment opportunities. Eventually able to leverage his market share, Tollefson ended up successfully negotiating a buy-out of his business to a large corporation, and then decided to look into his next business venture.
Apparently, Tollefson wasn’t too convincing, and Criego knew all too well that Don was interested in becoming a franchisee, not an employee. Furthermore, the product selection and overall scope of the business continue to grow, just like the square footage of his stores; his first one was only 975 sq. Soon after their meeting, it didn’t take long for Tollefson to realize that this was truly the best franchise opportunity around.



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