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COLUMBUS COFFEE
HOME AWAY FROM HOME

by Columbus Coffee,
last updated 27/06/2017

Columbus Coffee creates a unique hospital outlet from passion and expertise

click images to enlarge

Tanesha & Amitesh Sharma "We feel part of the Columbus family"

Tanesha & Amitesh Sharma "We feel part of the Columbus family"

Columbus Coffee has new & existing outlets in Mitre 10 MEGA and high street locations available

Columbus Coffee has new & existing outlets in Mitre 10 MEGA and high street locations available

Over the years, Columbus Coffee has used its innovative approach to menu design to raise the bar in New Zealand. Changing food trends and dietary demands have served as both challenge and opportunity for the franchise – something which has increased sales and attracted people like Tanesha and Amitesh Sharma. 

Tanesha and Amitesh both had well-established careers – Amitesh in corporate and retail sales, and Tanesha with a District Health Board – before they decided to follow their passion for food and build their own business. ‘We spent three years seeking the right outlet, travelled all over, but nothing seemed quite right,’ says Amitesh. ‘Then Columbus Coffee told us they had won the tender to open a new café at Middlemore Hospital and our plans fitted perfectly.’ 

Tanesha had developed an interest in nutrition whilst at the DHB, and is now studying as a nutritionist – as well as running the busy café that she and Amitesh opened in January. ‘We began to see the benefits of healthy eating three years ago, after changing our diet because I had some health issues,’ Amitesh explains. ‘My symptoms disappeared and that really fired our passion for real food. Where better to offer that than in a hospital?’ 

71 cafés and counting

The outlet at Middlemore is the 71st Columbus Coffee to open. ‘As you can imagine, the DHB has exacting standards for a café in a hospital, as we found when we opened our Auckland Hospital location five years ago,’ says General Manager Peter Webster. ‘But that was a valuable experience for us – everyone knows that food trends are changing and people are seeking more healthy options, so we made it our business to address this. 

‘Columbus has been proud to offer gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free and vegan options nationwide through our Lifestyle Favourites range for some years now, and we’ve developed a range of lower calorie hot chocolate, smoothies, frappes and mochas which contain over 70 percent less refined sugar. It’s been highly successful for franchisees, as customers learn that, wherever they are, they can find something that meets their dietary needs at their local Columbus. 

Of course ingredients in more specialised diets can be more expensive than mainstream foods, but Columbus Coffee’s in-house food team worked hard to ensure all products not only met the DHB’s requirements but, vitally, produced acceptable profit margins for franchisees. ‘The aim was not to have to charge a premium so it was hard work but they are a very experienced team and it has worked out very well,’ says Amitesh. ‘And Columbus is continuing to develop new products in line with the Paleo diet, which is great news – long hours and shift work can mean hospital staff find it hard to eat healthily, but our Paleo muffins are proving very popular with them!’ 

welcome to the family

This sort of challenge is, forgive the pun, meat and drink to the Columbus team. The very first Columbus Coffee café opened in Auckland in 1995, started by four coffee and tea aficionados who wanted to share the café experiences and coffee-brewing methods they’d discovered during their international travels. The seriousness with which they regarded coffee was soon extended to food, and the franchise has become a multi-award-winning Kiwi success story. Still New Zealand-owned, there are now franchisees in high street and mall locations around the country, as well as in-store cafés within Mitre 10 Mega outlets. 

Given the passion and experience behind the brand, it’s no surprise that Amitesh and Tanesha speak very highly of the attention to detail they found when they started their training in August. ‘In addition to the extensive training from the support office, we also got in-store experience at Columbus Coffee in Glen Innes, where the franchisees were wonderfully supportive. We were welcomed into a very busy, superb café, put our training into practice and learned heaps more. We now feel we are part of the Columbus family. 

‘Best of all, we are really enjoying the delight of our customers as they realise we do offer something for everyone!’ 

opportunities abound

Columbus Coffee constantly has new and existing outlets in Mitre 10 MEGA and high street locations available from $280,000 to $400,000. Peter says, ‘We have a very strong culture around the art of coffee, valuing our baristas, our staff and franchisees, and are always happy to tailor a café to a particular site. So if you’re interested, contact me – we’d love to hear your ideas. As Tanesha and Amitesh are proving, you don’t need hospitality experience.’

Amitesh Sharma says that the franchise fee is ‘Worth every penny. We’d never have got this far doing all our own marketing, menu development and the million other things you need to do to open a café – let alone in this location. We feel like we’ve come home.’  

See this advertorial on page 31 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 26 Issue 1

Contact details for Columbus Coffee

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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 telephone email listing funding info evaluate

advertiser info

industry food and beverage email phone
FANZ member yes
investment from $250,000 - $450,000
number in NZ 71
number globally 71
contact Peter Webster

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