Mandy Calara has been the CEO of Forever Brands since he founded the company in April 2014.
As CEO, Mandy implements his vision of making franchising about sharing the best local, craft brands with the country through an aggressive and streamlined expansion strategy. He is responsible for the strategic management and development of all of the unique brands that are invited to join the Forever Brands collection.
Mandy first found success in the franchising industry by co-founding the popular chain Forever Yogurt. As the first franchisor to bring the self-serve frozen yogurt craze to Chicago, Mandy was able to expand the brand around the world to over 30 locations, winning countless awards from TimeOut, Groupon, Chicago Reader and more.
While serving as CEO, Mandy responded to a need for simplified franchise funding by launching CrowdFranchise, an equity crowdfunding website tailored for franchise businesses. The new funding tool quickly gained attention from top franchisors, savvy community investors, and publications like The Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, Chicago Sun-Times and Franchise Times.
Since then, Mandy has continued to be a leader in innovation for the franchising industry. He founded the BEE & TEA concept, the first franchisor to modernize the bubble tea trend, and has taken the locally popular Falafill brand under his wing to develop into the next Mediterranean franchise chain.
Mandy is a trained biochemist turned serial entrepreneur. Prior to Forever Brands, he led a vacation rentals brokerage, pharmaceutical research firms, and was even a professional poker player.
Mandy earned his Master's in Epidemiology the University of Illinois Chicago in 1996, and lives in Chicago with his wife and two children.