COFFEE-COLOURED GOLD RUSH
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South Island franchisees bring fresh ideas, fresh locations to Columbus Coffee
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Tess and Ian France, Columbus Coffee "It doesn't feel like work at all!"
Fennad Wortelboer "I found Columbus Coffee through Franchise New Zealand magazine"
Cate Sutherland, Columbus Coffee, Timaru
For Ian and Tess France, and for Fennad Wortelboer, Columbus Coffee offered the chance to change careers. For Cate Sutherland, it was a chance to put her hospitality management experience to use in her own business. The result is three new franchisees for the award-winning brand as business booms in the South Island.
Ian France spent 30 years in retail finance and his wife Tess was a development coach with a large corporate. ‘Along the way, we picked up a lot of skills that turned out to be surprisingly transferable to the hospitality industry,’ smiles Ian. ‘The key is having a passion for people.’
The Columbus Coffee café in Riccarton that Ian and Tess bought earlier this year has been thriving for 12 years. ‘We’d been customers there many times and knew it well, so when we learned that the original owners wanted to move on to a new challenge, it got us thinking,’ Tess recalls. ‘We wouldn’t have gone into the café business without a franchise – we wanted the support, and we wanted a brand and a café we could be proud of. Columbus Coffee Riccarton is very much that.
‘After our thorough training with Columbus, we then spent two weeks with the outgoing owners learning Riccarton from the ground up. We love it and think enjoying what you do is half the battle. The Columbus brand attracts people and if you are hospitable to everyone who comes in, they keep coming back. Maybe it’s the honeymoon period, but actually it doesn’t feel like work at all!’ Ian laughs.
Fennad Wortelboer started his hospitality career around the same time when he bought a busy café located in the Mitre10 MEGA store in Hornby as part of an exclusive arrangement between Columbus Coffee and the retail giant.
After a long period working in office products and stationery retail, including five years overseas, Fennad says that he needed a change. ‘I wanted something that was not going to be trounced by the internet. The great appeal of a café is that people will always want to go out, eat, drink, meet friends – and spend money. I found Columbus Coffee through Franchise New Zealand magazine, and the more I learned about the brand, its track record and its support systems, the more attractive it became.’
Fennad says that the Mitre10 MEGA location was another benefit. ‘Two very strong brands and an established outlet took pretty much any risk away, especially after the training I received. The café was already running like a well-oiled machine and the staff all knew what they were doing so initially my role was to get comfortable before starting to make little improvements. Customers have commented on how things have changed, but they keep coming back so I’m getting something right. It’s still early days, though, and my mind is so full it is almost broken, but I do have a fantastic business!’
Further south, chef-by-trade, Cate Sutherland has just opened the very first Columbus Coffee café in Timaru. ‘I spent 19 years as catering manager for the local high school and although I’d loved it I’d been thinking it was time for a change when I saw the advert from Columbus,’ she says. ‘They had already acquired a good site on a well-placed development, and my local credentials counted in my favour.’
‘Perhaps the hardest part of being in business is giving up the security of the salary,’ says Cate. ‘I felt it would be a big risk to walk into a building and turn it into a fantastic café on your own, but with 66 stores Columbus Coffee’s systems have all been thoroughly tested in the market place. Throughout the whole process of opening I’ve been going hand-in-hand with all the expertise that the franchise has been sharing with me so I don’t feel as if I’m going in blind. The franchise offers a solid foundation from which I can sprinkle a little of my stardust to make it mine and give it some local flavour.’
Columbus Coffee is continuing to expand, with new cafés opening around the country. ‘Opportunities in Mitre10 MEGA and high street locations are available from $280,000 to $380,000,’ says Columbus Coffee general manager Peter Webster.
‘As our new South Island franchisees have demonstrated you don’t need hospitality experience, but you do need to have good people and management skills. We’re a totally New Zealand-owned and operated franchise so if you fit that bill, I’d like to hear from you. We have good new potential locations in many parts of the country.’
This advertorial is taken from Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 25 Issue 2
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advertiser info: franchise business opportunity
|industry food and beverage||investment $250,000 - $450,000||number in NZ 71 and globally 71||FANZ member yes|
|contact Peter Webster
p 0-9-520 1044 m 021 883 852
|telephone||listing funding info evaluate|
|industry||food and beverage|
|investment from||$250,000 - $450,000|
|number in NZ||71|
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.