Get to know:
We’ve been getting to know Christine, our franchisee in Darford while she’s in training. She launches her business in the second week of June.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name’s Christine, I’ve been living in South-East London all my life. I now live in Welling, which is on the border of Kent. I’ve worked at various jobs, my last was with the Civil Service for 17 years, but I’ve also been a holiday rep and worked in restaurants and cafes.
What made you decide on starting your own business?
I just got fed up at work. I kept getting overlooked for promotions and other opportunities, and I just felt really trod-on. It wasn’t going anywhere and the restraints on pay was a big factor in me moving on.
I was getting bored of doing the same thing, and I felt really under-appreciated by my bosses. I wanted to be challenged, so I thought opening a franchise with Coffee Blue was the perfect next step.
What stood out the most to you about Coffee Blue?
The team were incredibly supportive when I first met them. They are fully behind you all the way and, they’re not going to let you go out on your own if you’re not comfortable and they give you loads of support.
It was more about that really; the fact they help make it easier for you to start your own business. Plus, the coffee is great and the van is kitted out really well and looks amazing!
How has your training gone so far? Are there any favourite drinks to make?
*Chuckles* well my favourite to make is the espresso because it’s just coffee. I’m hoping by the end of the week I nail the milk.
Getting the right texture and temperature of milk for each of the different drinks has been quite tricky. It makes you realise the skill that goes into making them. It’s all about trying to get the milk right and not just heating it up and pouring it into a cup.
It’s a real art form that takes time to master, but I’m confident now with how I’ve progressed since the start of my training. Martin and Chris have been great in guiding me through my barista training.
How has the Coffee Blue team helped you along your journey?
They’ve been amazing. If I have any questions, I just email them and they get back to me straight away. Plus, they’re always at the phone so I can just ring them whenever and they’ll help me out on the spot.
They’ve also helped me out with other aspects that are more business-centric. For example, managing finances, sorting insurance, things you might take for granted that you need.
The whole support has been really excellent.
What advice would you give to someone considering becoming a franchisee?
Just go for it. Do it, don’t hesitate.
If you feel in the slightest this might be the right move for you, take that leap of faith and do it.
Why should people consider Coffee Blue for their next business venture?
Again, I think because the company is really supportive. They’ll come out with you and help you set up a round, they’re not going to leave you floundering, and they’re always going to be there to support you.
What are your hopes and plans for the future of your van?
I just hope I can live a happy, comfortable life. I do love making coffee, I’ve decided that. I could just go all day.
Being able to combine that with becoming my own boss and setting my own hours, all while having the support I need to make that process easier, has got me really excited!