Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Hand & Stone was featured on CNN Money, April 15th, 2014 about the best Tax Day deals around the country! Preview the article below or read full story here.

At Hand & Stone, a massage and facial spa chain with locations nationwide, you can get a 50-minute massage or facial for $39.95 on Tax Day, about $10 off the normal price.

Full article here.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Relax The Tax

Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa offers a deal every year on Tax Day. They call it Relax the Tax and this year is the best one yet. One-day-only nationwide sale - offering a 50-minute introductory massage for just $39.95.

Tax Day Causes Stress for Americans Nationwide; Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa Offers Relief

“Relax the Tax” Helps Americans Unwind from Tax Season

Hamilton, NJ – With the tax filing deadline on April 15, Tax Day is looming around the corner, and millions of Americans are feeling the stress that results from having to get their yearly taxes in order. Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa looks to provide a staple of relief to Americans this tax season by providing a much needed deal called “Relax the Tax” on the dreaded Tax deadline day.

On April 15, participating Hand & Stone locations will offer customers an unprecedented one-day-only nationwide sale - offering a 50-minute introductory massage for just $39.95. This will be the fourth annual “Relax the Tax” in Hand & Stone’s history, and the sale is becoming an ever more popular alternative for customers who are looking for a little extra relaxation after submitting their taxes.

“Over the past three years many guests have taken advantage of ‘Relax the Tax’ and left our spas feeling significantly more rejuvenated after just an hour session,” said Hand & Stone founder and COO, John Marco. “If there is one day of the year that Americans deserve to take an hour to themselves, it’s Tax Day. In these ever increasing stressful and uncertain times, Hand & Stone is here to offer a calm and soothing environment to recuperate and relax.”

With Tax Day drawing near and April being National Stress Awareness Month, it is no wonder why people need relaxation now more than ever. Spring marks a time of renewal, rejuvenation, and restoration, but it can also contribute to people feeling a lot of tension and anxiety. Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa has made a commitment to reducing these stressors with their “Relax the Tax” day initiative.

According to Marco, stress is the number one reason why consumers receive regular massages. Massage therapy relaxes the muscles which aids the body in generating more blood flow, and therefore helps repair and regenerate muscles faster.

A massage on Tax Day will have effects that extend far beyond relaxation. It also:

· Relieves Tension and Stress

· Decreases Pain

· Lowers Blood Pressure

· Increases Circulation

· Strengthens the Immune System

· Improves Recovery Time from Injuries

· Reduces Fatigue

“At Hand & Stone, we are constantly trying to find ways to make massage accessible to more guests than ever before, and what better way than to offer a great deal on Tax Day,” said Marco. “With all of the continued added health benefits, consumers will see measurable results and feel great once again.”


Hand & Stone is a 150 unit massage and facial spa chain with a mission to bring massage and facial services to the masses. Launched in 2004 by a passionate physical therapist, John Marco and now led by franchise veteran Todd Leff, Hand & Stone now has locations in 21 states and Canada. For more information on Hand & Stone, visit

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

"Meet new members from Hand & Stone"

Hand & Stone was recently featured in the Irving Chamber of Commerce’s Monday Business Report on Monday, March 31st, 2014. The article discusses Jeff and Laurey’s background, their plans with Hand & Stone, and the fact they will be opening one of the largest spas in the system. Preview article below or read full article here.

Meet new members from Hand & Stone

High school sweethearts, Laurey and Jeff Sperring, 53, have been by each other’s sides since the ninth grade, and will now be experiencing another major life event together: opening their own business. The couple will also be opening one of Hand & Stone’s largest spas in the system.

Laurey, 53, graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a degree in management information systems. After 10 years of programming and systems work, she became a full-time mom until 2012. Prior to signing with Hand & Stone, Laurey worked as an instructional assistant for students with disabilities and also partook in some substitute teaching.

Jeff, 53, graduated from Lehigh University with a degree in industrial engineering, and has had two careers. For the first 13 years after graduating, he worked in various positions revolving around information systems and process improvement. He kick-started his second career in 1996 by becoming the executive vice president of operations for a market research company and has since taken various managerial roles in the market research industry. He is currently the Vice President of Business Operations of Revelation, and will manage the backend operations of Hand & Stone.

Read full article here.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Spa franchise Hand & Stone continues to expand since moving corporate offices in Hamilton

By Mike Davis/The Times 
Follow on Twitter 
on February 16, 2014 at 7:10 AM

HAMILTON — They started out in towns near the Jersey Shore, small day spas offering massages to people on the go.
Within a few years, they’d become hot spots in the New York and Philadelphia markets.
Now, there are nearly 150 Hand & Stone locations throughout the United States and Canada. Like many other businesses looking to spread their name far and wide, Hand & Stone operates as a franchise business, allowing individual investors to own and operate one or more stores.

“Using a franchise model for development of a brand is tremendous for a business with low capital,” Hand & Stone president and chief executive officer Todd Leff said last week. “You have franchisees use their capital to help grow the distribution and breadth of the brand.”
“And of course, they profit from that. It’s their own business,” Leff said.

In 2005, chief operating officer John Marco founded Hand & Stone in Toms River after years as a physical therapist. Within five years, the business expanded to more than 40 franchise locations and has more than tripled that number since then, operating 145 locations.

Leff, who became CEO in 2010 after working as CEO for Cottman and AAMCO Transmissions, attributed the success to a changing business model to attract a changing customer base. As the job market went south, Leff said, the company switched from a long-term membership contract to smaller month-to-month commitments and began offering simple day services, such as facials and waxing. Facials quickly became the fastest growing sector of Hand & Stone’s business, Leff said.

“We positioned the brand as a health and wellness business,” Leff said. “People wouldn’t spend $2,000 or $3,000 on a vacation where they could get a massage, but they might spend $50 or $60 on health and wellness. We had to make adjustments.”

Continued strategic growth is the goal in the future, Leff said. He projected between 50 and 60 new spas to open up each year but only with thoroughly vetted franchisees and in areas prime for growth.

New Jersey has been one of the fastest growing markets for Hand & Stone, which hit more than $90 million in sales in 2013, but the brand also has taken off in Houston, Dallas, Denver and south Florida.

But it takes a lot of scouting before opening up in new markets, Leff said. For example, before committing to bringing Hand & Stone to the Atlanta area, the company will seek a franchisee willing to open between five and 10 locations. With multiple locations, the company can advertise on television and ensure viewers have a Hand & Stone within driving distance.

“It’s hard to support locations that are far out in the field and we need to have a concentration of stores in any given TV market,” Leff said.

In 2015, the business could grow even more with the help of a $10 million “franchise fund” from Benetrends, a firm that provides loans and consults with small business owners on how to develop or expand their business and how to fund it.

The “franchise funding” will streamline the process for franchisees looking to open a Hand & Stone location, having already pre-approved the Hand & Stone product and business model.
“One of the biggest concerns of people deciding whether to buy a franchise is having sufficient capital and getting funded,” Leff said.

“This takes a lot of the worry away from them. If the candidate meets some pretty objective requirements, they’re basically guaranteed funding. That takes a lot of the guesswork out of the process and a lot of fear away from the franchisees.”
Contact Mike Davis at (609) 989-5708 or 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Porter Ranch Grand Opening

Congrats to our Porter Ranch location and their very successful Grand Opening over the weekend!! If you're in the are come visit us or call (818) 366-8866 for more information. The owners, Henry and Sheryl Mandell have a fantastic story of how they came to Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa, and have great plans for the community.

 Henry Mandell, 57, joins Hand & Stone with over 30 years of experience in executive-level positions in the apparel, technology licensing, entertainment and consumer products industries. Among his vast experience in entrepreneurial environments, Henry affected a turnaround as CEO at a Silicon Valley technology company, and served as President of Ed Hardy from 2006-2008, growing the brand from a 15 million dollar business to 275 million over the time that he managed the company. In 2008, Henry became a partner of a financial consulting company, stabilizing companies that were experiencing a crisis during the economic downturn. Currently, he is the general manager and CFO of U-PIC Insurance Services.

Henry grew up in New York and received a business degree from Syracuse University in 1978. He also received an MBA from San Jose University in 2003, earned mid-career at night.

Henry met his wife, Sheryl, a Los Angeles native, when he moved to California to work at Twentieth Century Fox in 1981. Before leaving the work force to take care of their two children, Sheryl worked as a mortgage loan processor. When she returned to work, she found her true passion in the catering business, which she has since worked in for the past 15 years as a consultant. This experience has equipped her with the customer service skills needed to run a Hand & Stone spa.

Henry will continue working full time at the insurance agency, and will be charged with managing the financial side of the business while Sheryl will be the hands-on owner of the spa. This is the first Hand & Stone located in Los Angeles.

How did you learn about Hand and Stone?
I decided early this year that I wanted to properly investigate franchises so I hired a franchise broker. Based on our strengths, interests and financial expectations, he pitched various opportunities to us, including Hand & Stone.  My wife was interested in the concept and felt that her skills would be transferrable on the customer service side. I saw it as a growing company in a market experiencing strong growth. It’s a business that can’t be outsourced or made obsolete by technology.

Why is it poised for success in LA?
People in LA are concerned about health, wellness, looking and feeling good. There’s a strong demographic in Porter Ranch area in terms of its income and population, while the psychographic profile matches perfectly with the target market for Hand & Stone. It’s a mature area where there are longtime home owners, it’s an upper middle class area, and there is disposable income. We’ve already received strong feedback from people in the neighborhood and have sold memberships pre-opening.

What are your development plans? End goal?
We will be developing three franchises, with the first in Porter Ranch, in the north San Fernando Valley and then two more over the next three years. We have the East Ventura County and West San Fernando Valley territories.

How many jobs will you be adding to the area?
I will be adding at least 10 jobs initially, and eventually getting up to at least 50. I plan to be a job creator. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

San Antonio Express News: Retailers rush to fill empty Blockbusters

January 17, 2014

SAN ANTONIO — Less than a week after Blockbuster closed its remaining stores, businesses hoping to make their debut or expand their footprint in San Antonio have targeted the newly vacant — and apparently prime — commercial real estate space.

Blockbuster officially closed its last 10 locations here Sunday, just two months after the embattled video-rental company announced it would walk away from the few hundred remaining stores it operated across the country.

During the holidays, bargain hunters scoured the bins and shelves at area Blockbusters, hoping to score a cheap movie from the latest victim of online competition.

Already, a First Choice Emergency Care clinic has started moving into one of the now-empty stores, at 13434 Nacogdoches Road.

Other Blockbuster locations across the city have appeared on the radar of fast-growing franchise chains, including Frisco-based Mooyah, a fast-casual burger and shake chain that opened its first restaurant here two years ago.

Similarly, spa company Hand & Stone and 24-hour gym operator Workout Anytime might consider some of Blockbuster's old digs to establish an initial presence in San Antonio.

“It's kind of an irony or, I guess, just an evolution of business that Blockbuster disrupted the video industry by changing the way people watch movies,” said Todd Leff, president of Hand & Stone. “And then business evolved again: Blockbuster's out, and now we're coming to change the way massages and facials are delivered.”

Since 2012, the New Jersey-based franchiser has opened 14 spas in Austin, the Dallas-Fort Worth area and Houston, with six more locations in the works.

Leff wants to open at least three spas in San Antonio and has paid attention to Blockbuster locations in the city.

Blockbuster officially closed its remaining 10 locations in San Antonio, opening real estate space for other retailers. This location is 2951 Thousand Oaks Drive.

“We've done some investigation into the real estate there, and things like Blockbuster are a key component for us to be able to get into big-box anchored shopping centers at a reasonable rate,” he said. “We've identified some key locations, but it's all about finding the right developer at this point.”
Businesses like Leff's have waited months for Blockbuster to vacate its space.

The company operated more than 9,000 retail locations less than a decade ago. But crippling pressure from online streaming services and video rental kiosks pushed Blockbuster's owner, Dish Network Corp., to announce in November that it would close its remaining stores.

The official closure last weekend cleared the way for opportunistic retailers looking to find a home here.
“With the real estate climate being what it's been the last few years, we haven't seen much” new construction, said Alan Hixon, vice president of development for Mooyah. “Availability is what really drives your real estate.

“So without a lot of projects coming out of the ground, you're going to need second-generation space,” he added.

Mooyah franchised its first location here at 22502 U.S. 281 near Stone Oak, but the owners hope to debut as many as 20 more restaurants in the city.

Like Hixon, Randy Trotter, vice president of development for Georgia-based Workout Anytime, described the newly vacant Blockbusters as attractive places to open the company's first San Antonio gyms.

“They are normally in grocery-anchored shopping centers, with great visibility, access and parking,” Trotter said. “A large company like (Blockbuster) did their homework back in the day and really picked quality real estate.”

Friday, January 10, 2014

Hand & Stone is proud to be the first to receive $100 Million to fuel growth!

Benetrends Announces New $100 Million Fund To Fuel Franchise Growth
Hand & Stone Secures $10 Million in Initial Funding to Drive its Expansion Across U.S.
NORTH WALES, Pa.Jan. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Benetrends, the trusted leader in franchise funding, announced today the creation of a new proprietary $100 million franchise financing program. The new franchise lending program was created to help International Franchise Association franchisor members provide qualified candidates with direct access to capital for new store development. Hand & Stone, a rapidly growing spa franchise, is the first franchisor selected by Benetrends to participate in the new fund. Hand & Stone has been provided $10 million in initial capital to assist with its franchise growth.
"Benetrends is excited to now provide franchisors and their franchisees access to the critical funding needed to expand their current operations or purchase their first franchise," said Rocco Fiorentino, president & CEO, Benetrends, Inc. "We're pleased to award Hand & Stone the first $10 million from the new fund as they look to meet their future development needs following their record-setting growth in 2013."
Franchisors and franchisees selected to participate in the program benefit from:
  • Direct access to capital
  • Simplified qualification process
  • Dedicated loan officer from application to closing
  • Loan proposals within 48 hours of receiving initial application
  • Loan commitments within 10 business days of receiving loan package
  • Consistent communication with lender and single point of contact
  • Experienced PLP SBA lender

"Capital access challenges are going to affect every franchise system's unit expansion for the next few years," said Bob McQuillan, Hand & Stone vice president of franchise development. "The days of building relationships with preferred lenders in advance of expected loan applications are gone and we're now experiencing a paradigm shift in the ways franchisors and lenders interact. A fund like Benetrends will continue to allow brands such as ours to grow organically and bring in best-in-class franchisees and operators." 
In addition to the new franchise financing program, Benetrends also offers a full suite of funding options to help entrepreneurs secure the capital needed for their small business or franchise. The company originated the 401(k)/IRA tax-deferred and penalty-free rollover process more than 30 years ago and has created more than 85,000 jobs with $4 billion in retirement assets invested in America's small businesses. Additionally, Benetrends features a wide range of loan options covering every type of business need, including SBA loans, equipment leasing, merchant cash advances, securities-backed lines of credit, and more.
"Part of ensuring sustained franchise growth across the country includes offering access to strong, franchise-focused lending programs such as Benetrends new $100 million fund," said Steve Caldeira, president and CEO, International Franchise Association. "In doing so, we are providing both existing and prospective franchisees with the tools and financial resources they will need for long-term growth and success."  

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