Business Profiles

by Coffee Culture

last updated 22/09/2019


Ground Control

by Coffee Culture

last updated 22/09/2019


Coffee Culture provides former airline staff with dream business of their own

After 20 years each in the airline industry, Jason and Annabelle Sare wanted a complete change from corporate expectations. ‘We needed to break away and build our own future,’ Annabelle explains. ‘Today, thanks to Coffee Culture, we have 11 staff and a thriving business. The franchise has given us the flexibility and rewards of being our own boss, and we love it.’

Annabelle and Jason were based in Christchurch for a few years during their airline careers. ‘It was there that we first heard of Coffee Culture,’ says Annabelle. ‘The first store opened in Sumner in 1996 and we rapidly became regulars. We were thinking about a business of our own, and realised we’d found what was ideal for us, as our previous experience in the airline business had taught us how to build relationships with customers and how to retain them. In addition, we were used to managing people, so we reckoned we had some of the necessary skills at least!’

Having fallen in love with Coffee Culture’s concept and magic, the Sares set their hearts on finding a way to get their own outlet going. ‘It took a few years and we had to work hard to achieve the goal but finally, four years ago, we were able to finance it through our super fund. A great strength of the franchise is that they will work with you and the banks to achieve the right lending structure. That really removed a lot of the stress for us, as did the initial training and the on-going help and advice we’ve received ever since. Support has always been a priority – there is someone assigned to each franchisee at Coffee Culture’s office who is available seven days a week.

‘In addition, we regularly get together with other franchisees and managers to share ideas, from which extensive training and operating systems are developed to ensure consistency. Equally important is the commitment by Coffee Culture to keep right on top of coffee trends and innovative food offerings. The menu is always changed from season to season, and it is always exciting to see what is coming up next.’

Something different

Founded in Christchurch, there are now 18 Coffee Culture outlets around the South Island, plus a store in Hamilton and another in the North Island opening soon. ‘Because this is a formula that has successfully crossed the Cook Strait, we are now looking for enthusiastic candidates who recognise the potential here for something a little different,’ says Sacha Coburn, COO for Coffee Culture.

‘If you want to join a thriving New Zealand-owned coffee shop franchise which offers the finest service, glorious coffee and lashings of decadent treats on the side, come and talk to us. We are a coffee shop, not a café, and the key to our success has been nurturing our brand by nurturing our franchisees, their staff and customers. We’ve never opened a store that we would not be proud to own and run ourselves, and we offer many advantages to people wanting to build their own business.

‘There is no on-site cooking and therefore no requirement for larger premises, expensive equipment or chefs. Instead, we build arrangements with local suppliers who provide cabinet-ready food. Within our dedicated support team, we have a food specialist who keeps our menu tip-top with local and seasonal flavours being a priority, so there is always something fresh for our fan base.’

A great financial opportunity

Coffee Culture also has a unique approach to store design, as Annabelle explains. ‘I adore the way the franchise creates beautiful stores that are individually-designed and purpose-built to suit their local areas and operators – there is nothing boring or dull about the designs, and as franchisees we had a lot of input into what we wanted.’

Unlike some coffee outlets, Coffee Culture is open until late. ‘You’d be surprised at the amount of cake we serve later in the evening,’ says Annabelle. ‘We’ve found the key to operating our store is having a great attitude. If you have that, and a genuine interest in people, then you can learn all the rest.

‘Owning this store has been a great financial opportunity that allowed us to leave our jobs and work for ourselves whilst building a real asset. Coffee Culture is a fantastic, superbly supported business and I’ve learned heaps in the time we’ve owned it!’

Don’t be stopped

If you are excited about owning your own business with a proven formula behind it, then Coffee Culture can be an exhilarating challenge. ‘It costs between $350,000 and $450,000 to step into your own business, much of which can be financed thanks to our strong track record,’ says Sacha.

‘Ideally, you’ll love coffee, have service industry experience and have a management role or small business ownership on your CV – but if you haven’t, don’t let it stop you applying if you have the passion it takes! As Annabelle and Jason have shown, some of our best customers have become our best franchisees!

‘Call us to see where we’re going next and find out if you could be a part of it.’   

See this advertorial on page 37 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 28 Issue 2

Contact details for Coffee Culture

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