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Streetwise Coffee’s careful design brings customers together under the awning
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Streetwise Coffee: 'This is a turnkey business, so we'll provide you with everything you need from full training to stock'
Jol Glover & Alison Revell of Streetwise Coffee
To get business, you first have to get noticed – and that’s something which Streetwise Coffee certainly achieves. With sweeping curvature and strong graphics, they’ve taken the traditional coffee cart and turned it into something very striking. It was vision like this that led to the creation of the brand, as franchisor Jol Glover explains.
‘Back in the early 2000s, Streetwise founder James Ballard decided to get into picture framing. He found a suitable shop but decided he needed more foot traffic in the area so he added coffee to attract customers. It was so successful that he nearly caused the local café to go bust! Realising the future was in coffee and not picture frames, he and Craig Cameron chopped up an old Ministry of Works smoko van and started the first Streetwise Coffee outlet.’
That was the start of a business that now has 14 franchisees operating 23 locations around the country and is still growing fast. Jol and his wife Alison joined the business soon after. ‘We all like those wonderful American chrome streamlined caravans,’ says Alison. ‘So James and Craig got a local designer to mock up some ideas. As you can see, the final result is eye-catching, but it’s also very practical with a built-in awning providing shelter and creating a conversation area for customers and franchisees alike.’
Despite having wheels, Streetwise Coffee carts are relocatable rather than mobile, as Jol points out. ‘All Streetwise Coffee carts need is a car park or equivalent in a high-traffic location, then we’re always there for our regulars – although being self-contained means they can be moved should road layout changes or other circumstances affect profitability. That’s a bit of an advantage over fixed premises and, unlike mobile vans, there are no additional overheads such as fuel, rego or WOF.
‘Since we started franchising in 2006, we’ve learned that customers take ownership of us within their community. They like to see a familiar face serving freshly-made coffee using beans specially roasted for us by Wellington’s Havana Coffee Works. Most outlets are seven-day operations, and we’ve found our franchises do particularly well if their owners are there regularly. Some franchisees do choose to work weekends, which are often the highest traffic times when getting the right staff is harder.’
And success breeds success. ‘One franchisee opened a second cart quite close to their first, which had been established for five years. Within a week, and without damaging their first cart, sales at their second cart reached the volume that had taken the first one 18 months to achieve. When people have a choice of destination, both sites grow quicker, which is why several franchisees now own multiple outlets.
‘One of our franchisees took a year’s leave of absence from their career to “try Streetwise out”. Nine-and-a-half years later, they have three Streetwise Coffee outlets and their combined turnover now exceeds seven figures. They haven’t returned to their original career …’
What qualities do you need to join Streetwise Coffee? ‘You need to be honest, reliable, friendly and enthusiastic about delivering great service and great coffee,’ Jol says. ‘This is a turnkey business, so we’ll provide everything you need from full training to stock. We’ve had long experience of choosing sites and getting council consent – often the hardest part – so all you will need to do is turn up with your cash float on the first day. We’ll stay with you for the first week or two to help you establish your business. It’s a good sign when you’re fed up with us being there – it means you’re ready to roll!’
The latest updates to Streetwise Coffee’s unique carts have been carefully designed to house everything from the three-group espresso machine to touchscreen POS systems in a way that maximises sales efficiency while still encouraging interaction with customers. It all works to build repeat business, which builds loyalty. The total investment is $150,000.
‘If you expect to make a quick buck, we will turn you away,’ Alison warns. ‘But if you love what you do and take the time to grow a strong, sustainable business, our figures show that, once established, you should be able to cover everything for your business and gross $90,000 for yourself. Many franchises are doing a lot better than that, which is why nearly 60 percent of our first franchisees are still with us and really happy. Those who have sold had a real asset to sell.
‘We love the social aspect, too – the way that people you’d never usually see in the same shop will start talking to one another under our awning. Great friendships have started there and it’s a wonderful feeling seeing coffee bring people together. To be a part of that while writing your own chapter in the Streetwise Coffee success story, contact us now.’
See this advertorial on page 67 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 26 Issue 4
Contact details for Streetwise Coffee
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This material is copyright © Franchise NZ Marketing Limited, Franchise New Zealand ™ magazine and Franchise New Zealand On Line . While it may be downloaded for personal use, no part may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the specific written permission of the publisher.