Business Profiles

by Columbus Coffee

last updated 11/12/2019

Barista To Boss

by Columbus Coffee

last updated 11/12/2019

Buying a Columbus Coffee franchise was a natural next step

The biggest asset Columbus Coffee has is our network of franchisees,’ says franchisor Graeme Tait. ‘As well as seeking new people looking for an award-winning opportunity, we also seek to recognise and reward people from within our family. Pavel Zhuravlyov is a fine example of this. Starting as a barista trainer, Pav now owns the Columbus Coffee café in Mitre 10 MEGA Takanini and has done a fine job with it.’

Now in his mid-thirties, Pav was brought to New Zealand from the Ukraine by his parents when he was 14. ‘For most of my life I’ve worked in cafés,’ he says, ‘and I knew I wanted my own business at some point. I joined Columbus six years ago as Head Barista Trainer; my wife, Marianna, was about to have a baby and it was a good way to increase my earning power, and as I learned more I began to see the advantages of the franchise.

‘With Columbus, you have a whole lot of collective experience to tap into because so many people have done it before. You never have all the answers yourself when you first start in business, but in Columbus you can rely on proven systems and first-class support.’

Columbus Coffee was founded in 1995 by some of the most respected names in the coffee trade, and has since grown to be a major player in New Zealand’s café scene. There are now over 70 cafés around the country, including a highly successful collaboration with Mitre 10.

It’s up to you

Becoming a franchisee has been a long, sometimes challenging, but very rewarding journey for Pav. ‘I knew the Columbus system inside out and it has given me a fantastic opportunity.

‘My parents were unsure whether I was ready,’ Pav admits, ‘But as I rapidly discovered, no-one is ever really ready for their first business! You have to be a jack of all trades, understand all the costs and be able to do every job. Even with a franchise behind you, it’s still up to you to make your business succeed. Presentation and standards have to be immaculate and only you can make sure your staff deliver on those things. It’s been a heck of a learning curve – I just knew that a lot of people had put a lot of trust and faith in me, and I had to make it work.’

Pav states unhesitatingly he would do it again. ‘I’ve been running this store for three years now and we continue to grow year-on-year with great results. The store was originally an older café within Mitre 10 MEGA that had been there for nine years. The franchise brought their expert teams together to supervise the conversion into a Columbus Coffee café for me, so all I had to do was convert the existing clientele and build new customers. If you enjoy hospitality, and love working with people and communicating with customers, then Columbus offers the very best system to do it with.’

Creating the experience

‘Hospitality is all about the overall experience from the moment you walk in the door,’ says Graeme Tait. ‘In a fast-moving and highly competitive market, serving great coffee or having a fantastic and seasonally updated menu are not necessarily enough for discerning customers – store environment, staff, customer service and marketing all play an important role in customer engagement.

‘In addition, you have to manage staff, rostering, costs and a whole host of other details. All of these are covered by our proven systems, but putting it together on the spot comes down to the local franchisee. That’s why we put so much effort into finding the right people, then training and supporting them to build the best businesses they possibly can. We also encourage our franchisees to share ideas and learn from each other through regular meetings and online forums.

‘Columbus Coffee is constantly developing initiatives to stay fresh and relevant, and we also have our innovative Columbus Rewards programme which now has a database of over 330,000 members – that represents a valuable local marketing tool.

‘People like Pav demonstrate the passion and the drive you need to succeed. We have opportunities nationwide with investments from $280,000, and have a fantastic team of people with hundreds of years of experience between them to support you. If you want the Columbus Coffee team behind you, contact us today.’   

See this advertorial on page 21 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 28 Issue 4

Contact details for Columbus Coffee

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