Naz Ozokur with Tropical Smoothie Cafe

Naz Ozokur with Tropical Smoothie Cafe

On this week's episode, we sit down with Naz Ozokur. Naz is the owner of Tropical Smoothie Cafe, a restaurant franchise selling smoothies and sandwiches with an emphasis on health. Listen to hear his story about moving to America and why you need to love the game of business, and not simply watch the scoreboard.

Produced by Blue Fish in Mobile, Alabama


Naz Ozokur: My name is Nazmi Ozokur, aka Naz. I own Tropical Smoothie Cafe.

Marcus Neto: Awesome, Naz. Man, it is great to have you on the podcast.

Naz Ozokur: Great to be here.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, we've talked a number of times, usually sitting poolside, about our experiences in business and your thought processes around success and stuff like that. So I'm very excited to have you on the podcast here.

Naz Ozokur: Glad to be hear. Yeah.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. Well to get started, and I know you have quite an extensive backstory, but give us some information about who you are, where you're from. Did you go ... Well I'm pretty sure you went to high school. Did you graduate? Did you go to college? Married? That kind of stuff.

Naz Ozokur: All right, cool. So I was born originally in Istanbul, Turkey. So I moved here in 2001 on a student visa to learn English with about $800 in my pocket. I had a one way ticket. So my brother was doing his master's at South Alabama. He had a scholarship. So because of him, I chose Mobile and I came here with a lot of faith, with a lot of uncertainties, went insane amount of hunger to make it happen. So I came here in 2001. My first job was, I was flipping rugs on airport. There was a place called Oriental Rugs. They tore that place down and built Macaroni Grill I believe.

Marcus Neto: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Naz Ozokur: And then after that I got into food. First food job was the concession stand at the bingo hall on Government Street. I was making spring rolls and popcorn. And then I ended up landing my real job at TGI Friday's as a server. So I became a server, bartender, hourly manager, and then I became a full time manager. So when I came here, I was a student. I went to South, I was a drama major. I did not end up graduating. In 2004 I won the green card lottery, and I treated that as my graduation from college.

Naz Ozokur: I was able to convert my student visa to a permanent resident, and after that I was able to actually work full time as a manager at TGI Friday's. And then the rest is history. I was with Friday's for awhile. I moved to north area, New Jersey area with TGI Friday's. Didn't like the job over there, didn't the location, and I quit my job and I got a job in Manhattan with a high end sushi restaurant owned and operated by Benihana group. It was an amazing sushi restaurant right around the corner from between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue.

Naz Ozokur: It's an amazing location. So I worked there for a little bit. After that, I wanted to come back to South, and I went. Instead of coming back to Mobile, I decided to go somewhere else. So I went to Jacksonville, Florida, went back to TGI Friday's. I was managing a location over there, where I started going to Tropical Smoothie Cafe as a customer. So I was going to Tropical Smoothie almost every day. I loved it. I was working at TGI Friday's over there, and that job was not, I guess, giving me a lot of fulfillment.

Naz Ozokur: I decided to come back to Mobile. At that time, my brother was still here and I came back to Mobile. I got involved with this brand called the Wine Loft. I opened a location for them at Legacy Village. And while I was working there, we had a Starbucks in front of us, and in 2008, Starbucks shut down 600 locations. One of them was this location. They put these brown papers around the windows, and I walked around that building at least 30 times, no joke. I was like, I want to do something here, I want to do something here. And then I remember one day-

Marcus Neto: You were manifesting.

Naz Ozokur: Yeah, I guess so. I guess at that time, I had so much desire to do something because I was not happy going from one job to another. And I actually made a decision that if I didn't have something going on, I was going to move back to Turkey. So one day, I remember one of the paper from the top of the window, kind of at the corner, fell. I put up a ladder up against the vacant building, and I was peeking through the window to see, oh, they have nice floors, nice this, nice that.

Naz Ozokur: So long story short, out of nowhere, not necessarily. I actually wrote my resignation letter. I sat on my resignation letter, I was going to quit the Wine Loft so I can start something. I sat on that thing for about two weeks, and then after two weeks I was like, you know what? You better get out of your comfort zone. So I gave myself about a year, if I didn't have something going on, I was going to move back to Turkey. But if I moved back to Turkey, I didn't want to regret and I didn't want to say well, I didn't give all I've got. I had to quit my job and go after it. So I turned in my notice. I quit my job. It was November or December, 2008, and April-

Marcus Neto: Which is a great time to try and start a business.

Naz Ozokur: Which was right after the recession.

Marcus Neto: Right? I mean let's-

Naz Ozokur: And I'll tell you more story about it. It's kind of funny. I quit my job, and then April, 2009, it was our grand opening Tropical Smoothie Cafe.

Marcus Neto: Nice.

Naz Ozokur: Yes.

Marcus Neto: So you started with that location, and you now have another location in West Mobile? Is that correct?

Naz Ozokur: Yes, yes.

Marcus Neto: Okay. And I mean you've had a couple of other ventures in there, and I know you're probably editing-

Naz Ozokur: Yeah, between the first location until now, I ended up opening five restaurants, two of them being Island Wing Company, which I ended up starting the first location in Auburn University. And then we ended up doing the second one in mobile. And it came to a point that I kept hearing this saying, you cannot chase two rabbits and expect to catch either one of them. So we were kind of spread too thin trying to build Island Wing Company, also grow Tropical Smoothie Cafe. So at that moment, I decided that I wanted to stick with Tropical Smoothie. So we ended up turning the Island Wing Company to the corporate office. And then we kind of parted ways, and I put all of my focus back at Tropical Smoothie.

Marcus Neto: That was good. Now I want you to go back in time. I mean, and it can be back in Turkey. So what was your first job, and were there any lessons that you still remember from that job?

Naz Ozokur: I sold Rainbow vacuum cleaners when I was 16 years old.

Marcus Neto: In Turkey?

Naz Ozokur: In Turkey.

Marcus Neto: Okay.

Naz Ozokur: Door to door. Yeah. Rainbow vacuum cleaners. And I remember we went to a very good training, and one of the things that stood out with me and always stayed with me was never judge a book by its cover. They would always try to convince that do not go into these homes thinking that they're not going to buy. The least expected home might end up buying two vacuum cleaners. Literally going to these beat up homes in the middle of nowhere. It's almost guaranteed that there is no way these guys would have that much money, and they would pay cash and buy two vacuum cleaners, and these are over $2,000 vacuum cleaners. So that was one of them.

Marcus Neto: Almost millionaire next door kind of stuff, where the unassuming person is oftentimes the one that-

Naz Ozokur: Yeah, that stuck with me.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Naz Ozokur: And I always remember that when I was a server or a bartender, as you're going to the table, it's like a lot of people are like oh, they're not going to tip me. And I would always remember that conversation, and I would always deliver the highest level service I can. I would always assume that even though they might not look like they're going to tip me, I don't want to be limited with my own judgment. So that always helped me throughout the years.

Marcus Neto: That's really good stuff, because you really don't. You don't know what a person's going to do. You can't really judge them by that.

Naz Ozokur: Yep.

Marcus Neto: Now, Tropical Smoothie Cafe, I mean it is a franchise, but just because it's a franchise doesn't necessarily mean that it's easier to get started. And so I know that there's, I mean people are probably very familiar with, well, if you're franchising a business, then you're going to contact corporate and all that other stuff. But you have to come up with the money, right?

Naz Ozokur: Absolutely.

Marcus Neto: And there's a lot of hoops that you have to jump through. So I mean, give us a little flavor of what it was like to start that business.

Naz Ozokur: To me, I guess with all the emotional and spiritual challenges that I was going through, it was like, I call it like it's almost like skydiving. I jumped first without knowing if I had parachute. I quit my job, and I was so committed. I guess I linked so much pain to the ideal of not doing something that I didn't care anymore how difficult it was going to be. So I was almost oblivious to all the difficulties. Actually, at that moment I didn't even care, because deep down inside, maybe subconsciously, I was trying to avoid whatever it takes to go back to Turkey. Again, I never faced that, dealt with that. I never cared about it. But so what I did when I quit my job, the biggest thing I had to figure out, figure out a way to come up with the funds.

Naz Ozokur: And then at that time it wasn't a digital application. You have to print out a PDF and then fill it out and fax it in. And I even told this to the corporate people years later that when I filled out the application, I made up old information. I said, I have this many assets, this going on, that going on. I was so much in debt, but I was so determined that I was going to figure out a way. So I started going to all the banks, literally. I literally printed out this 277 page FDD document, franchise disclosure document. And at that time, my English wasn't even as good as it is right now. So I didn't even read-

Marcus Neto: I'm sorry, what was that you said?

Naz Ozokur: I didn't even read. So I grabbed this thing and I started going to these banks, and I remember in front of where the fresh market is, it used to be RBC Bank. I would set up these meetings, dress up with the managers, and I said, "I'm going to open a Tropical Smoothie Cafe. I'm going to do it." I had this absolute certainty .I don't even know where that came from. Now looking back, I'm just like, almost like a-

Marcus Neto: Well, I mean, so I find that, because I've had some conversations with people about this recently, because oftentimes I speak in certainties. And I think what it is, is as entrepreneurs, and especially, I'm first generation American, you being an immigrant, there's a mindset that we apply to our own brain that we think that this is going to happen, or that we're trying to motivate people to move in a certain direction. And so we have a tendency to speak more in in absolutes than if we were just having a bullshit conversation with somebody. We may speak, like if it's 85%, I'm going to say with 100% certainty you need to do this. But if it was just you and I talking I'd be like, "Hey man, it's a pretty good chance that this is going to happen."

Naz Ozokur: The sexy name of that is the law of attraction. I guess that's ... So I remember that conversation with the bank lady. She was like, "We can gladly do this, but we're going to need a collateral." And I said, "Sounds good. I'll bring you the collateral." And I left the bank, and I googled what collateral meant. That's how determined I was.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, I love it.

Naz Ozokur: Literally, I swear. I'm like, what the heck is their collateral? But I was going to find it. I don't care what it was. I was going to find it. So at that time, my previous job, there was a local investor, and then he found out that I was leaving. And he approached me, he was like, "Hey, whatever you want to do, I want to be a part of it, because you have a very great work ethic." So we somehow partnered up a silent partnership, and I still ended up, he ended up co-signing a loan for me. I ended up taking a personal loan in my name with a co-signer in exchange for that. I gave him percentage of the business and that's how it all started.

Marcus Neto: Nice.

Naz Ozokur: Yeah.

Marcus Neto: That's really cool. And I love that story because oftentimes people don't understand, like how do I get started? Even with a franchise situation, if you're starting a business from scratch, it's a little bit different. I mean you might be able to just buy a computer and hustle and get it done, but with a franchise situation you can't. You have to come up with the funds, otherwise they won't issue the license for you to operate. Do you remember that first, maybe the first day, or maybe it was the first month or something like that where you were like, it clicked and you said, hey there's something to this. I made the right decision, full force ahead. We're doing this thing.

Naz Ozokur: Absolutely. I've always been value driven person. I want to add value. Like when I was a server, I always wanted to be the best server, the best bartender. So anything I do, I always figure out a way to push myself to the highest level and become the best. So when I actually had my initial meeting with the Tropical Smoothie corporate office, my approach to them was like, "Hey, you know what? I picked you guys because I want to make a difference in your brand." And then instead of making it look like I'm so glad that they accepted me, I let them know that, "You guys are lucky to have me on board," with integrity and with respect, not in a cocky level.

Marcus Neto: No.

Naz Ozokur: Because as long as I approach it that way, I will always hold myself to that higher standard and deliver. So to me, I did two things. I did something major for the brand. From day one, I wanted to do that. And also, I believe that since day one, I was making a difference in the community because, I mean, I hate to say it, we live in one of the highest obese states, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and I'm opening a restaurant that doesn't have fried chicken. We don't have anything fried. Everything is made to order. It's made with real fruit, real ingredients. So back in the days, people used to consider us rabbit food. If it's healthy for you, it's rabbit food. So it's kind of like hey, you know what? Do we go after the transaction, or do we go after the value? So to me from get go, I was almost inside, deep inside, having this responsibility of making a difference in where we are.

Naz Ozokur: There's that saying, no perfect people allowed, or not only the great physical state people should go to the church. So it's like, if I wanted to just be rich, I guarantee you I could have opened a fancy schmancy fried chicken place. I guarantee you it would have more traffic. But it wasn't going to serve me. So I wanted to do something that's going to also fulfill me. So from day one, I knew that it's more a mission driven business. And then of course in the beginning, it wasn't as clear as it is right now. In the beginning I also wanted transactions, I hope we can survive.

Naz Ozokur: There was the scarcity and the fear. So yeah, the mission, we didn't start it off with a huge cash in the bank. So we had to go after the business, the transactions, always knowing that we're going to add value. So I created this belief throughout the years that if anybody comes to Tropical Smoothie Cafe, that means they get to live one day longer because they didn't go somewhere else that could have actually not served them through the nutrition. It's just, I made myself believe that. Because there are not many places that serve good for you options.

Marcus Neto: Right. No, it isn't, especially in the fast casual kind of space.

Naz Ozokur: Yes.

Marcus Neto: And especially in Mobile in 2009, 2010. It's getting more popular now, but even then, I mean it's just not that many options. Now, if you were talking to someone that wanted to get started in running their own business, what's the one bit of wisdom that you would impart to them?

Naz Ozokur: I would say, be very clear with what that value is going to be. I tell people, if you're in your head, you're dead. If you're trying to create a business through your head, through your logic and all of that, stop. Find something that triggers your heart. Find something that when everything is upside down, you're still willing to get up and push through it because it's a part of your mission. It needs to be some value driven. And then until you are 100% clear of what that value is going to be, and I believe that the value has to be, like if you're doing something that's good for you, that's good for others, and good for the environment, there's value in there.

Naz Ozokur: If you're trying to do something that's only good for you, not so good for the others, somehow the universal powers, energy, whatever, it's going to put you to your knees. Because being a business owner, when people plan on starting a business, I hate to say it, they always look at the positive sides. They always, it's going to be great. We're going to do this, we're going to do that. We're going to do this, this. And then they do some research, and they don't think about the truth. the reality. There are going to be moments you're going to be so filled with uncertainties that you're going to be almost like hypnotized.

Marcus Neto: Even for those of us that see success, we're still paralyzed by uncertainties of times, right?

Naz Ozokur: Yeah.

Marcus Neto: I mean, there are days where I walk through the door here and I'm just kind of like, what the heck am I doing? You know what I mean? And I hope that's not news to folks. I mean, I would hope that they would ... I mean, that's just the reality. I mean, sometimes reality just has a way of smacking you in the face.

Naz Ozokur: Yes.

Marcus Neto: But it's that desire to see our clients succeed and to see Mobile become better through some of the things that we're doing. That's what drives us and really kind of keeps us in the game.

Naz Ozokur: Absolutely. One of my mentors, one of the things he said has stuck with me. The quality of your life is in direct proportion with the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with. Uncertainties are always going to be there, but are they going to make you uncomfortable and are you crash-boom-bang? Are you still comfortable in all the uncertainties that are happening? Because that's the only way you're going to be able to push through it. Otherwise-

Marcus Neto: How much more can you tolerate?

Naz Ozokur: Yeah, how much variety you can tolerate. Because you're never going to be able to change the circumstances. You can change the meaning of those circumstances. And if you want to be a business owner, you have to be a little bit variety driven person because it's going to be a lot of variety.

Marcus Neto: Right.

Naz Ozokur: Yep.

Marcus Neto: When you look to the business world, and I don't necessarily mean Mobile, I mean the larger business world, the world, is there one person that motivates you?

Naz Ozokur: Tony Robbins. Yeah. I'm actually a senior leader for his organization. I've been to his seminars. I started with a small seminar years ago. I walked on fire, and I got hooked on it and I wanted to serve and I wanted to add value to his organization. So once I went through all the seminars, events, I started sending my employees, actually. I took people-

Marcus Neto: That's a huge commitment. Because I mean, they're not inexpensive.

Naz Ozokur: Some are not some, some are. I would say the least expensive event is $895 plus hotel, plus travel and all of that.

Marcus Neto: Air fare and all that stuff, yeah.

Naz Ozokur: And it could go up. So I actually started crewing, volunteer, and I started going to their environment. So I love his mission and I feel like I became a part of his mission. Almost two years now, I'm a senior leader. I go to anywhere from six to eight events all around the world. I'm flying next Wednesday going to Vegas for a business mastery, and I'll help the participants over there. So yeah, I look up to Tony Robbins tremendously.

Marcus Neto: Well that goes into my next question. So I normally ask, are there any books, podcasts, people, or organizations that have been helpful in moving you forward? And I mean you can expand on that if you want, but I mean, do you want to add anything as far as-

Naz Ozokur:, Darren Hardy. So Darren Hardy, he used to be the editor in chief of Success Magazine, and he turned it over to somebody else. So I did Darren Daily. He randomly sends text messages every day. It's a two to five minute video or message. I'm a huge fan of Jim Rohn, which used to be Tony Robbins' mentor. I finished all of his programs that's available right now, videos. Last weekend I was in Atlanta. I went to NAC, National Achievers Conference. There was two sharks, Tony Robbins, Grant Cardone. During that two day event, there was a bunch of people, they were in there. So I am very into personal development. All of my social media, all of my emails, text messages, I am surrounded with insane amount of personal development content.

Marcus Neto: It's the positive reinforcement that we need in order to move forward. Right?

Naz Ozokur: Yeah.

Marcus Neto: I mean, because there's so much negative going on in the world today, it's easy to dive down into that and never come up. But if you're really wanting to build success, and as somebody who did not grow up in the United States, you are keenly aware of what the other options are. So I've been to Brazil, I've seen where my dad grew up, and I'm very familiar. I mean, I've traveled to South America, not just Brazil, but Venezuela, and some other areas around the world. And it's just like, I remember one time, going into Caracas, Venezuela when my father and my stepmother were stationed there. And you fly into the airport, and then you have to drive through some mountains in order to get to Caracas, which are on the other side.

Marcus Neto: The airport is on the ocean. And we flew in at night, and I just remember seeing all the lights in the mountains. And my parents were pointing out, well that's the favelas. The poor people live up there, and they may only have one plug that they plug a light into so that they can see at night. You know what I mean? It's like all these people living in these mountains in tin roof sheds and stuff like that. So you can very easily go down that path. But the more you feed into your brain positive thoughts and new ways of thinking about things, and the energy, the positive energy that these guys are all espousing, the more your brain focuses on those things, and the more concepts and the more ideas you get for how to increase your success. Right?

Naz Ozokur: Absolutely. So I believe that one of the words that stuck with me throughout the years was growth. I was very growth driven. I was hungry for growth. And I also believe that any business relationship, personal life, finances, one thing makes us all happy is progress. Progress literally is one word of definition of happiness. Because you can be a billionaire, but if your net worth is staying the same for the next five years, you are unable to experience progress and that. So it's not about the money. I believe that it's about the progress that we all experience. And then what you were saying about the focus is that our brain, there is a thing called the RAS, the reticular activating system. Whenever we are so intentionally having this desire towards something, when you focus on something, our brain actually helps you to be able to see more of it.

Naz Ozokur: Like if you were interested in buying a new car, or end up buying a new car, next thing you know, you're driving, you realize that, holy cow, I didn't know we had this many of the same vehicle out there. It's because of the RAS. Just because in came into your reality, you're able to become more aware of it. So that's one thing. A lot of people unfortunately watch the news, listen to the news, and they get hooked into all the drama around social media, and then there are like, oh, I'm so miserable. Because that's what's that around you.

Marcus Neto: That's what they're feeding.

Naz Ozokur: I don't know the numbers, but I unfollow people so quickly on my social media that I don't think there's anybody that does it the way I do it. Anybody puts out there some dramatic content or something negative, I unfollow I don't necessarily delete them because I don't want them to try to come back. I unfollow them. That's what I love about ... So my social media is so designed to be so happy, positive, amazing, because anybody with negative information, it's gone. I don't see them. If somebody's making it only about them, somebody who's making, whatever, anybody's sharing something that's not serving me or lifting me up or increasing my energy, gone.

Marcus Neto: Yup. I think we would all, I do a very similar thing. And what I have to do is at times I just kind of sit down and purge. And I think there's a lesson for most of us in that. So what's the most important thing that you've learned about running a business?

Naz Ozokur: Every day is a new day. Make sure you're celebrate your success along the way. A lot of people focus on what's missing, so they're kind of feeling, I'm not good enough. And along the way we forget that, especially if you're a solo entrepreneur, it could be so lonely. And then if there is nobody else to cheer you up, you got to be able to put your hand on your back and give yourself a pat on the back, because that's very important. If you do not celebrate along the way, you're going to start losing excitement or enthusiasm.

Marcus Neto: It's the fastest way to burnout, right?

Naz Ozokur: Yes. I get a lot of calls, if I may. Some local business owners or potential franchisees or other franchisees, within the Tropical Smoothie organization, they look up to me with everything that I have done over the years, I get calls. And people call in when they're burned out. People call me when they're stressed out, they're filled with uncertainties. And one thing I try to get them to do is just to manage their state. Because usually if they are burned out, whatever, it's the state that they're in. And I try to bring them back to the same state that they had the first day they opened the business.

Marcus Neto: That excitement.

Naz Ozokur: Because in the beginning, it wasn't about the scoreboard. And I try to tell them, "Did you do any sports when you were kids?" I played soccer a lot. We had Coca-Cola cans and stuff like that. We could have probably played all day long. And it was hey, we keep score, but as soon as the game is over, we will start another game. It was never about the scoreboard. It was about the love of the game, because it was about whatever, friends we were hanging out with, whatever we were doing, and all of that.

Naz Ozokur: So what happens is business owners, they started with that place, intention of heart and game and all of that, and then they start only focusing on the scoreboard. So when you're ahead, you get comfortable. When you're behind, you get stressed out. But if you were to commit to your business, if the scoreboard did not matter as if it didn't matter, and then give all you got every day, no matter what, you will have a bad ass business. It doesn't matter, as long as it's also started off with the value in mind. So yeah, I mean I would say that that's the biggest thing for a business owner to be able to manage your state.

Naz Ozokur: But your state is direct linked with what you're focusing on. If you're focusing on the scoreboard. I see a lot of people, they focus on all of their competition. And if there is one person doing better, they immediately feel like I'm behind. I'm not doing it as good as I'm supposed to be doing. So learn from the competition, model somebody if you need to model, but don't compare yourself with your competition to see, to evaluate your own success.

Marcus Neto: That's a surefire way to a more negative mindset.

Naz Ozokur: Yep.

Marcus Neto: How do you like to unwind? How do you like to relax?

Naz Ozokur: Unwind.

Marcus Neto: What do you do for down time?

Naz Ozokur: I have an almost four year old daughter, amazing wife. We spend insane amount of time together. I love it. We spend a lot of time together.

Marcus Neto: It's one of the benefits of business ownership, right?

Naz Ozokur: Yeah. I meditate. I have some meditation devices. I also have, I do meditate. I make sure that I get my me time. It's not a lot. I don't necessarily needed it. And also, rather than unwinding, and I think, I call it, I go get my fix when I go to these Tony Robbins events. That's my thing. I serve people. I add value to their lives, and then since I became a senior leader, I end up doing one on one coaching, and then people come to us with whatever problems they might be experiencing, and then we're able to help them overcome that or experience breakthrough. That's my fix. That's my biggest joy out of everything.

Marcus Neto: There's great joy in helping others for sure.

Naz Ozokur: Yes. So I do that, I would say eight, nine, maybe 10 times a year. I went to London this year, I was in West Palm twice. I'm going to Vegas next week. We were in Atlanta last weekend. So there is always something going on.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. Well, tell people where they can either find the locations, or if they want to find out more about you.

Naz Ozokur: For years, even now, I have my cell phone number on the business card. I-

Marcus Neto: Let's not do that, because we're trying to-

Naz Ozokur: No, I'm not going to throw it out there.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, we're trying to get you closer to, yeah.

Naz Ozokur: No, I'm not going to throw it out there, but if somebody's, and I gave some speeches at the University of South Alabama when I had stores in Auburn, and I made myself available. If somebody out there has hunger, drive, and a little bit of connection with what I'm saying, and if they're kind of curious, they will easily figure out a way to get in touch with me.

Marcus Neto: Right.

Naz Ozokur: That's where I was going with this. I have my business card at the stores, and I don't want to make it so easy. If somebody wants something, if somebody needs something, they got to be willing to put-

Marcus Neto: They can get you. And I only said that because I know you're trying to let the stores manage themselves and stuff like that, but you have two-

Naz Ozokur: No, but yeah, I am available.

Marcus Neto: Two locations.

Naz Ozokur: Yes. One's on airport in front of academy, and the other one we celebrated our 10 year anniversary in April at Legacy Village Shopping Center.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. So if you're interested, check out Tropical Smoothie Cafe. They have wonderful smoothies, great sandwiches and stuff that. I eat there often. And there's also, and it's not associated with you, but if you're on the Eastern Shore, there is one in the Eastern Shore as well. Well, I want to thank you again for coming on the podcast. To wrap up, any final thoughts or comments you would like to share?

Naz Ozokur: Be consciously aware of what you're focusing on every single day. I hear it a lot. A lot of people, they kind of blame and point fingers at Mobile. Mobile is small, Mobile doesn't have this, Mobile this, that. So instead of focusing on why things are not going to work, you become the reason how you're going to make it happen.

Marcus Neto: No, I mean that's excellent.

Naz Ozokur: Go from victim to victor.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, that's the tact that we have ... I mean, it's no secret, we've kind of positioned ourselves as we want to be involved in heavily influencing the people that are making the changes here in Mobile for the better. That's what all this is about. That's what this podcast is about. It's about sharing your stories, the stories of the entrepreneurs and the business owners, the positive side of things, because there's so much good that's happening in this community. So I love what you're saying.

Naz Ozokur: Be the change you wish to see in the world, right?

Marcus Neto: There you go, man.

Naz Ozokur: Yeah.

Marcus Neto: Well Naz, I appreciate your willingness to sit with me and share your journey as a business owner and entrepreneur. It's been great talking with you.

Naz Ozokur: Thank you.

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