Business Profiles

by Anchor Franchise

last updated 08/12/2019

Strong Bones Strong Business

by Anchor Franchise

last updated 08/12/2019

Anchor Milk franchisees grow husband-and-wife business into multi-million dollar success

Harvey and Kerry Weir have made a resounding success of their Anchor Milk franchise, growing a husband-and-wife opportunity into a multi-million dollar business over 16 years. Last year the Oamaru couple received the company’s 2018 Franchisee of the Year Award.

Anchor franchisees operate independently-owned businesses supplying Anchor’s national clients and developing local customer bases for products such as Primo, Fresh N Fruity, Mammoth, Mainland, Kapiti and Calci-Yum, as well as Anchor itself.

Anchor Milk is part of the New Zealand-owned Fonterra Co-operative Group, and Harvey is quick to credit the company with being the driver behind their success. With a territory cutting a 100 kilometre-wide swathe from Glenavy in South Canterbury through Dunedin to Clinton deep in Southland, Harvey gets to see more of the country than most.

The couple started small, with Harvey and a driver on deliveries and Kerry balancing her career as a dental surgeon with administration. Back then, Harvey would often be up at 1am and not home until 6pm, but today Anchor Milk Otago has five refrigerated milk trucks and two ice cream trucks, with its main depot in Dunedin and a smaller one in Oamaru. ‘We currently employ eight full-time drivers/customer contacts/recycling collectors, an office administrator, a relationship builder/sales rep and a Dunedin depot manager/sales rep,’ says Harvey. ‘I’m mainly involved with staff management and being the public face of Anchor Milk throughout the territory, while Kerry is more behind the scenes, looking after our payroll – as well as Oamaru’s teeth.

‘Our customer base is fairly typical for a rural-urban mix territory. Dairies, superettes, restaurants and cafés – part of being local is getting to know the baristas, who generally take us with them when they move. Then there are the businesses, supermarkets, service stations and other places like McDonald’s where Fonterra has national agreements.’

Keys to success

‘The first 10 years were hard work, but so worth it. We didn’t get a holiday for a while but now we have time for vacation catch-ups and family activities with our three teenage daughters and our 13-year-old son. We couldn’t have grown both a business and a family without Kerry’s parents, who moved up from Invercargill to be here for us. Having that sort of family support is something everybody needs to consider when investing in a franchise.’

Another thing to look for in a business is whether a franchise imposes a ceiling to growth or has conditions that could stifle opportunities for franchisees to expand, suggests Harvey. ‘With Anchor Milk, the sky’s the limit. Maybe it’s because it’s a New Zealand company that Anchor responds so positively to new ideas for additional income streams. When we approached Anchor saying we’d like to distribute Charlie’s and Phoenix drinks they encouraged us to go for it. Markets change and you need to be prepared to change with them. With the success of things like My Food Bag, maybe we might even consider reintroducing home deliveries of milk, yoghurt and cheese into Dunedin’s high density residential areas.’

That sort of community focus carries over into other areas. ‘We’re big supporters of Fonterra’s Milk for Schools programme for the contribution it makes to health, particularly dental health – Kerry knows the difference that makes,’ Harvey says. ‘Recycling’s another area that’s important to us. Each of our drivers spends at least 30-45 minutes every day bagging milk bottles for despatch to Christchurch to become raw material for plastic fence posts and crates.’

See what’s possible

Shannon Davidson, National Franchise Manager for Anchor, says that there are currently a number of Anchor opportunities available around the country with investment levels ranging from $750,000 to $1,300,000.

‘Look, it takes hard graft and it won’t happen overnight, but the Anchor Milk franchise has huge potential for growth,’ says Harvey. ‘Brand awareness is huge; community support is strong; and the franchise support from head office is amazing and on-going – there’s a real “can-do” attitude to seizing opportunities and making them work. If you can manage a fast-moving distribution business and build a team, Anchor’s the one to be with. Give Shannon a call and see what’s possible.’

See this advertorial on page 15 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 28 Issue 3

Contact details for Anchor Franchise

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