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THE COFFEE GUY - REFRESHING BREAK
Returning after a 10 year OE, Darren Pepperell found The Coffee Guy offered exactly what he wanted
It's a long way from the seething millions in China to the peace and quiet of Dunedin, but that's where Darren Pepperell decided to settle when he returned to New Zealand at the end of July last year after spending 10 years teaching youngsters in expat schools. He's enjoyed a change of career, too - since November, Darren has been building his own business as a mobile espresso franchisee with The Coffee Guy.
‘Establishing myself from scratch, I particularly wanted a business that would give me immediate cash flow,' Darren says. ‘It's been in my head to be self-employed for a long time, but the hardest thing is getting started. Through reading Franchise New Zealand magazine I discovered that franchising offers support for franchisees and a structure that eliminates the painful and costly processes associated with establishing your own brand.'
But first, Darren searched for a place to live. Though his family near Auckland would probably have preferred him to settle nearby, Darren and his partner travelled around the South Island discovering many places that had the character they sought. ‘If you ask me, I think Dunedin is the best place in New Zealand,' he says. ‘It's compact, it's got everything and you soon get used to the varying weather.' Decision made, he then researched the city's potential for a Coffee Guy franchise. ‘I soon found the city outskirts were not well served by cafés, nor was there much competition - yet people love good coffee.'
It was Darren's own enjoyment of coffee that attracted him to The Coffee Guy franchise initially. ‘Then I realised the other advantages: an immediate cash flow, the idea of being mobile so I wasn't dependent on any one site or subject to competition in the same way, and the fact that I could get to know customers all over the city.' This latter point has helped him get established fast. After his initial training, The Coffee Guy operations team came to Dunedin and went out with Darren each day for two weeks to establish an efficient and profitable route for him. His highly-visible vehicle is now a welcome sight when it arrives at offices and workplaces all over the city and Darren himself has become a well-known face.
‘The result of The Coffee Guy's carefully planned marketing is that franchisees can generate a turnover of not less than $100,000 per year,' says Richard Karam, who created The Coffee Guy franchise. ‘Over 30 franchisees are already achieving this, which is a testament to the efficiency of our systems and the quality of the product - not to mention the fact that our franchisees learn to make such good coffee that customers keep coming back.' In fact, so confident is the company that it provides franchisees with a guaranteed minimum income after three months.
Most of The Coffee Guy franchises so far are operating in the North Island, ‘but there's plenty of room for more all over the country,' says Richard. The investment of $37,500+gst includes full barista training, territory and the minimum income guarantee. The specially-designed mobile espresso van is an additional item, but Richard believes he can always offer a van payment method to suit any potential franchisee.
Darren Pepperell certainly has no qualms - he says his main concern now is growing the business. ‘Every week I canvass new places to let them know I'm in the area. Customers soon become regulars even if it's only on Fridays, the day that a lot of people seem to treat themselves just because it's the end of the week.' And he is highly satisfied with Dunedin as a place to live. ‘It's almost like being on your OE still. I'm sure that franchisees in Auckland don't have as far to drive, but on the other hand there's far less traffic in Dunedin so I never get stressed about that. And while franchisees in the big cities seem to finish their rounds earlier than I do at the moment, give me time to build up my clientele and I'll be finishing at one or two o'clock as well,' he grins. ‘I could almost do that on Fridays already.
‘I wouldn't kid myself that it's easy, though. You do have to work hard, you have to be reliable, you have to be good to people and, above all, you have to produce great coffee. But if you can do that, it's great - it feels like a holiday to me. I'd encourage anybody who thinks of themselves as a go-getter to consider The Coffee Guy franchise.'
This advertorial is taken from Franchise New Zealand magazine Volume 17 Issue 1
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This material is copyright © Franchise NZ Marketing Limited, Franchise New Zealand ™ magazine and Franchise New Zealand On Line . While it may be downloaded for personal use, no part may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the specific written permission of the publisher.