The Market

by Simon Lord

last updated 18/11/2014

Franchise Awards 2013/2014 - Unique double as history repeats

by Simon Lord

last updated 18/11/2014

Bethlehem’s Ivy Joe stays on top as New Zealand's top franchisee and The Coffee Club reigns supreme in the Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards for the second year running

The winners (left to right): Joy Marslin of major sponsors Westpac; Brad Jacobs of The Coffee Club; double Supreme Franchisee Ivy Joe; Ian Robertson, chairman of the Franchise Association; Andy Lucas of The Coffee Club.

This article is about the 2013 Franchise Awards - see the 2014/15 results here.

It was ‘black to the future’ at the year’s Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards as The Coffee Club repeated last year’s success in taking out both Supreme titles. While it has been known for the same company to win the Supreme Franchise System of the Year title two years running, no franchisee has ever been named Supreme winner more than once. But Ivy Joe of The Coffee Club Bethlehem did exactly that to win Supreme Franchisee of the Year for a second time.

The Coffee Club's feat marks an unprecedented double in the 19 years that the Awards have been presented.


Winner - Ivy Joe, The Coffee Club, Bethlehem Tauranga

This year is the second coming for the lady we dubbed ‘The Star of Bethlehem’ last year when she won the Supreme title at the 2012 Awards. Ivy Joe and her husband William are both originally from Guangzhou, and on arriving in New Zealand established a Chinese restaurant and lunch bar in New Plymouth before deciding they wanted to develop something with a bit more potential and opening The Coffee Club Bethlehem in 2007. This is Ivy’s second success in a month, having been named the winner of the 2013 Westpac Tauranga Small Business Awards on 1 November. She said, ‘Wow, this is my lucky year. You want to know my secret? I always bank with Westpac! Thanks to my family, my staff and my customers for all their support. I can't really believe it.’

In making their historic decision, the 2013/14 Franchise Awards judges said that Ivy continues to be a standout franchisee. ‘The Coffee Club Bethlehem maximises the strong business systems and reporting information of their franchise system. They combine this with a comprehensive understanding of their customer base and innovative approaches to customer relationships.   Operating in a small and competitive environment, the attention to detail of Coffee Club Bethlehem is second-to-none. A deserving winner.’


Winner – The Coffee Club New Zealand

The Coffee Club made it three wins in a row in the Food & Beverage category but, more importantly, two in a row as Supreme Franchise System of the Year. That makes it an incredible ten titles for The Coffee Club – five each for franchisors and franchisees – won in New Zealand since 2009. The company was brought here from Australia in 2005 by youthful master franchisees Brad Jacobs and Andy Lucas and, following a carefully-structured plan, has grown to have 47 cafés around the country. Each café has a full kitchen and serves a full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu.

According to the judges, ‘The Coffee Club is a sound franchise system which truly sets the benchmark. They’ve taken yet another step up from last year with further development in their approaches to understand and respond to customers.  They’ve clearly taken on board feedback from previous years to continuously improve their business systems and reporting. The Coffee Club’s approach to align the strategy, structures and processes in their business is approaching “role model” level.’

Andy Lucas said that winning the title for a second year was 'overwhelming. It's been a busy year, we've made a lot of big changes and just rolled out a whole new menu.' Brad added thanks to the Awards judges 'who pushed us on a score of the points and made us dig deep. Entering the Awards is a big process; it takes around two to three months to pull it all together and Andy puts in 90 percent of the work, but it helps us get stronger and stronger.'


Awards were presented to franchise systems and franchisees in each of five categories. The winners of the Westpac Supreme Awards were then chosen from the category winners. The five categories were:

  • Business Services
  • Home Services
  • Lifestyle Services
  • Retail
  • Food & Beverage


Franchisee of the Year

Winner – Bruce & Sara Mildon, Paramount Services, Hawkes Bay

Business Services Franchisees of the Year Bruce and Sara Mildon (right) with Paramount founders Galvin and Suzanne Bartlett

In just two years, Bruce and Sara Mildon have turned their $200,000 commercial and carpet cleaning franchise into a thriving  business employing 25 people and turning over almost $600,000. ‘Paramount Hawkes Bay is a focused and well-operated commercial cleaning franchisee,’ the judges commented. ‘Bruce and his wife Sara are clear about where their opportunities lie and take a well-planned approach to tackle them. Paramount Hawkes Bay has a solid approach to structuring its business with a robust approach to communication that ensures all staff understand the business direction and plans,’ said the judges.

Other finalists: Atul Patel, Paramount Services, Kelston; Spring Jiang, Paramount Services, Auckland

Franchise System of the Year

Winner – Paramount Services

Paul Brown (right), managing director of Paramount, receives the Business Services award from sponsor Keith Goodall of KGA

Paramount is another regular winner at the Awards, having previously won this title in 2011, 2009 and 2008, and won the Supreme Award in 2008. Paramount franchisees have been multiple winners, too. ‘Entering the Awards is a way of measuring your progress and maintaining your competitive edge,’ says Paramount general manager Paul Brown, who also paid tribute to Paramount co-founder Suzanne Bartlett, 'who semi-retired in May this year after 34 years of sterling work - though she still comes into the office each day!'

The judges said, ‘With 122 franchisees, this company shows a number of strengths and is performing well on the back of clear leadership, planning and execution. They have clear plans for growth and international expansion, which will build on their sound systems and processes and well-trained people.’ Paramount launched into Australia in 2012.

Category sponsored by KGA


Franchisee of the Year

Winner – Courtenay Stefanek, V.I.P. Home Services, Mt Maunganui

Courtenay Stefanek, of V.I.P. Home Services Mt Maunganui, pictured receiving her award from category sponsor Simon Lord of Franchise New Zealand magazine & website.

Courtenay Stefanek has owned her own V.I.P. home and office cleaning business in Mt Maunganui for five years. According to the judges, ‘With a clearly-demonstrated vision, this winner shows good business understanding and a clear focus on running a successful business.’  The judges were impressed with Courtenay’s good empathy with customers and their requirements, and the consistent focus on providing services as efficiently as possible. Winning the Award may not be the most exciting thing to happen to Courtenay this year, though – she’s marrying fiancé Steve on New Year’s Eve.

Other finalists: none

Franchise System of the Year

Winner – Green Acres

Logan Sears of Green Acres, the Home Services Franchise System of the Year, with Green Acres Auckland manager Raewyn Caines and sponsor Simon Lord of Franchise New Zealand.

Green Acres was one of the pioneers of home services franchising in New Zealand and, with over 800 franchisees across a wide assortment of services, might be forgiven for sitting on its laurels. In recent years, though, the brand has re-invented itself with a bright new image and renewed focus on support. The judges say, ‘Green Acres shows a robust mature system with good supporting planning and business processes. They understand the changing market and competition in grass cutting and gardening, showing efforts to diversify. The franchise system works well with transparency in all systems and expectations.  The business continues to achieve good growth.’

Other finalists: Mr Fencer; Hire A Hubby; Refresh Renovations

Category sponsored by Franchise New Zealand magazine & website


Franchisee of the Year

Winners – Brent & Mary Lemon, Just Cabins, West Coast

Brent and Mary Lemon from the West Coast are the Lifestyle Services Franchisees of the Year

Over the past 10 years, franchise awards winners have come from all over New Zealand but never before from the West Coast. Brent is a shearer by day and on being invited to the black tie awards dinner, joked, 'Will a black singlet do?' Accepting the Award, Mary thanked Just Cabins franchisor Fenton Peterken and the other franchisees for all their support, as well as the local West Coast community that chooses to use their products. Brent thanked Westpac 'for lending us the money to get going.'

The judges were clearly impressed by Brent & Mary Lemon’s ‘small but well-run’ Just Cabins operation and say that ‘They show a clear understanding of their competition in the portable cabins market, with a strong sense of the values and behaviours needed to succeed. They work well with their franchisor to determine agreed and achievable business goals. They pay close attention to customer needs and are continually evolving their business. Just Cabins West Coast demonstrates clear targets, use of comparative data, and sound results.’

Highly Commended – Clare & Eugene Williams, SKIDS Willowbank and Sancta Maria, Auckland

2013 was third time in a row for Safe Kids In Daily Supervision franchisee Claire Williams and her husband Eugene. The couple won this category in 2011 and achieved Highly Commended in 2012.

Franchise System of the Year   

Winner - Just Cabins

Wayne Billings of sponsors Waipuna Hotel & Conference Centre (left) presents the award to Just Cabins franchisors Fenton and Cindy Peterken.

It was two in a row as Lifestyle Franchise System of the Year for Just Cabins, which rents out portable cabins as extra rooms, offices or on-site accommodation. According to the judges, Just Cabins ‘provides sound systematic approaches and information to support its 26 rental cabin franchisees. Its sustained growth has been testament to the rigorous planning, implementation and monitoring of business goals and performance. Just Cabins shows changes in products based on their systematic understanding and focus on customer needs.’ The judges were also impressed with Just Cabins’ recent efforts to obtain preferential bank financing for franchisees.

Other finalists: Mike Pero Real Estate; Safe Kids In Daily Supervision

Category sponsored by Waipuna Hotel & Conference Centre


Franchisee of the Year

Winners – Lala Liang, Mr Minit Shore City, Auckland
              Mustufa Primuswala, Mr Minit The Palms, Christchurch

The Mr Minit team celebrated together as Mustufa Primuswala (left) and Lala Liang (second from right) shared the Franchisee of the Year award in the Retail category.

Mr Minit repeated its 2012 clean sweep of the Retail category, but there was a surprise this year – the franchisee category was too close for the judges to call, with Mr Minit franchisees from the North and South Islands sharing the title.

In 2009, Mustufa Primuswala was a finalist for Retail Franchisee of the Year but his business at The Palms in Christchurch was one of many affected by the earthquakes. He has bounced back to take the title this year, though. The judges were impressed with his ability to recover and respond positively and in particular his approaches to leadership and innovation, which are reaping strong business results. They said, ‘Mister Minit The Palms implements its strong franchise system very effectively.’

Fellow Mr Minit franchisee Lala Liang shared the Award. According to the judges, Mister Minit Shore City operates in a mature industry which relies on growth through category and service innovation. The judges were impressed with this franchisee’s good strategy and comprehensive customer focus, which are reaping rewards through good customer, market and financial results.’

Other finalist: Alex Xue, Mr Minit, LynnMall & Downtown, Auckland

Franchise System of the Year

Winner – Mr Minit NZ

Mr Minit's regional manager Stan van der Ham with Philip Morrison of Franchise Accountants, sponsors of the Retail category.

Mister Minit New Zealand has been operating here since 1971, making it one of the oldest franchises in the country. The company provides shoe, key, engraving and watch services through 35 franchisees nationwide. The judges commented, ‘This is a well-run business with a clear focus on customer service and the quality of its people. They demonstrate comprehensive and systematic approaches across the business which is approaching “role model” levels in many areas. They provide sound training systems for their franchisees and solid information and measurement processes to help them run their businesses.

Category sponsored by Franchise Accountants


Franchisee of the Year

Winner – Ivy Joe, The Coffee Club, Bethlehem Tauranga

Ivy Joe (centre) with Bhwana Magan, business development manager for The Coffee Club, and Martin Bremner of sponsors Super Liquor

According to the judges, competition in this category was strong but The Coffee Club Bethlehem shone out above the rest. ‘Coffee Club Bethlehem is a top-notch business that’s well-run and has clear processes. They clearly understand their customers, their competition, and how to maintain their leading place in the community. Supported by a good franchise system, The Coffee Club Bethlehem has taken the system and used it well. They understand their business, how to grow it, and how to build alliances.’

Ivy went on to be named 2013/2014 Westpac Supreme Franchisee of the Year.

Other finalists: Shiraz Hajee, Jesters Mt Wellington; Scott Manderson, Muffin Break Barrington Mall

Franchise System of the Year   

Winner – The Coffee Club Franchising (NZ) Ltd

Martin Bremner of category sponsors Super Liquor (left) with Andy Lucas and Brad Jacobs of The Coffee Club.

For regular winners The Coffee Club, the Franchise Awards aren’t just about being the best – they’re a way of measuring progress and inviting feedback to give them something to work on for the future. The judges noted this, saying, 'The Coffee Club has excellent, systematic approaches which have been improved year-on-year. They demonstrate thorough and integrated planning, and they’ve aligned their organisational structure and processes really well with their plans.’

The Coffee Club went on to be named 2013/2014 Westpac Supreme Franchise System of the Year.

Other finalists: BurgerFuel; Muffin Break

Category sponsored by Super Liquor Holdings & Lion


Special Awards were also made in each of the following categories. Winners of these awards were not eligible for the Supreme titles.

  • Emerging Franchise System of the Year
  • Franchise Exporter of the Year
  • Service Provider of the Year

Emerging Franchise System of the Year

Winner – Pack & Send

Dan Toms of Silver Chef congratulates Pack & Send's Matthew Everest on being named Emerging Franchise System of the Year

The Emerging Franchise System category was introduced this year to give franchises which have been trading in New Zealand for under five years the opportunity to be independently tested against their peers. In this category, Pack & Send stood out for their approach to developing and continuously improving their franchise system. The company was brought to New Zealand by Christchurch master franchisee Matthew Everest in 2008 after it won the Australian Franchisor of the Year title in 2007. The judges say, ‘Pack & Send are innovative, clearly implementing improvements and gaining results from their efforts. They have a well thought-out business model for which they’ve established good regularly monitored KPIs. Pack & Send have already identified and are implementing improvements and innovations that will stand them in good stead in the future.’

Accepting the Award, Matthew thanked his wife for putting up with his change of career ('my little mid-life crisis'), the Pack & Send franchisees who have made it all possible, and his 'massive head office team - all two of us!'

Highly Commended – Refresh Renovations

Refresh Renovations was founded in 2011 to target the huge yet uncoordinated home renovation sector. Backed by some well-known names in the building sector, the company has grown rapidly and established a considerable presence in the market.

Other finalists: Dream Doors; Mike Pero Real Estate

Category sponsored by Silver Chef

Franchise Exporter of the Year

Winner – BurgerFuel Worldwide

Rory Macdonald (far left) of sponsors Macdonald Bailey Law with some of the team taking BurgerFuel to the world.

Winning this category again, BurgerFuel continues to go from strength-to-strength in the export space. ‘Not only do they focus on improving their franchise system, but they demonstrate systematic approaches to market research and adaptation of their model for international markets,’ said the judges. ‘They have clear goals and are deriving increasing success from their well-planned approach into the Middle East. We were impressed with BurgerFuel’s strategic approach to exporting their franchise model and driving exports of products and services provided through their local New Zealand supply chain. A true Kiwi franchising success story.’

Category sponsored by Macdonald Bailey Law

Service Provider of the Year

Winner – Franchize Consultants

Dr Callum Floyd of Franchize Consultants (left) receiving yet another Service Provider of the Year award from Daniel Cloete, National Franchise Manager of Westpac.

2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013… Franchize Consultants makes a habit of winning this Award. The company is a mature, well-run business, ‘as you’d expect for a franchise consulting group,’ said the judges. ‘They have secured a niche in the market and operate with effective and systematic approaches. Franchize Consultants demonstrate a commitment to excellence and continuous improvement.’ 

The judges were impressed with how they established a clearly-planned approach to deal with the impact of the global financial crisis and have implemented it with successful results.’

Category sponsored by Westpac

About the 2013/2014 Awards

The Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards criteria are some of the most demanding in the world, being independently evaluated and judged under the internationally-recognised Baldrige criteria for business excellence. They are administered by the New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation rather than the Franchise Association, with additional judging on the Export award from New Zealand Trade & Enterprise. Entry is restricted to Franchise Association of New Zealand members only.

Recently, a suggestion by the World Franchise Council that franchise awards should be standardised across the different national associations foundered because, according to FANZ chairman Ian Robertson, other countries don't have the same exacting criteria and the Kiwis 'weren't prepared to compromise their standards.'

Speaking at this year's Awards, Ian said, ‘This event allows us to recognise excellence by awarding those members of the Association who have had their business evaluated and judged, whether as franchisors, franchisees or as service providers within the franchise community. In entering the Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards, each entrant opens up their business to the scrutiny of the evaluators and judges. Through this process those entrants learn more about their business; its strengths and its weaknesses, which in turn enables them to better chart their roadmap for on-going success.

'From first hand experience, I know that preparing your application and then taking part in the judging process provides significant insight and clarity not only about where you are now, but also about where you want to be in the future.'

A Denuding Experience

Head judge Sarah Beaman commented that, for many people, 'Entering the Awards can be a denuding experience as you strip your business to the bones and invite inspection from the judging panel. But there are huge benefits from getting independent feedback, and the robust process offers a great guide for those who really want to improve their businesses.'

Mike Watson, CEO of the Business Excellence Foundation, said that this year the judges had been impressed by the entrants’ commitment to customer service and the entrepreneurial spirit and leadership on display. ‘The evaluation and judging process provided a valuable insight into the health of the franchise industry and there were inspiring stories being told, coupled with the achievement of some exceptional results,’ he said. ‘In spite of the challenging economic climate, the franchising sector continues to evolve and grow.’

Speaking on behalf of principal sponsors Westpac, Joy Marslin, Head of Private Wealth Management, Westpac, said, ‘We know the importance of businesses of all sizes to the economy – that’s why we’ve sponsored these prestigious awards for 19 years. Over that time we’ve seen the franchising industry grow, develop and enhance its reputation both domestically and internationally. Franchising is a key driver of growth in New Zealand and an important part of our economy and we’d like to congratulate the Franchise Association of New Zealand for the partnership we’ve now built up over many years. It’s a real tribute to the industry that so many franchises entered this year’s awards and that a number were also acknowledged in the various local Business Excellence Awards around the country.’

The Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards 2013/2014 were presented at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Auckland, before an audience of over 200 people.

Results from previous years are available here: 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012

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