Get to know:
We’ve been talking to Emma, the latest franchisee to Coffee Blue. Get to know your new favourite barista in Neath!
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I’m 31, originally from Neath, but I’ve been away for the last 10 years working in London in the retail industry. I’ve recently moved back to Neath and aside from loving coffee, I love my two cats and crafting.
What inspired you to become a member of the Coffee Blue team?
One: because I love coffee, and two: I’ve always wanted to go into hospitality, so it was a natural move from retail. I spent a lot of time researching what my options were in terms of opening my own shop or doing something mobile. But when I came across Coffee Blue and met everyone, I made up my mind.
I wanted to have that support network where I had people around me who had previous history in doing it themselves or other experience in the industry. The people at Coffee Blue really sold it to me then.
How has your training gone so far?
Training has been really good. I’m in my last week now before I take my van away. I think compared to last week where I was doing my barista training, I feel very confident going out now that I know what I need to do and what I’m going to deliver to my customers. So yeah, it’s been really good.
In your mind you think: “It’s just coffee. It’s easy.” But there’s a lot more to it that I didn’t think of or came up when I was doing the research before.
The guys at Coffee Blue have been fantastic. Most people who were doing the training were readily available, whereas I was doing mine alongside working my notice in my old job in London. As you can imagine, there was a lot of travelling back and forth, but Coffee Blue were very flexible working around that.
Why should people who are thinking of opening up a franchise choose Coffee Blue?
For me personally, I wanted to become my own boss and the support here is fantastic. Even though it’s a big leap, it doesn’t seem as big a leap because of the support network around you.
Also, it’s completely flexible in that it’s something you can make your own. Not to mention that you get to be serving something all day you really enjoy.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of becoming a Coffee Blue franchiser?
Just go for it. I think a lot of the time you look into something and you’re thinking: “Yes, it’s a big investment and the risks involved are all coming straight back to you.” I think people are a bit nervous before taking on something like that.
But for me, just how the team have been here and the help they’ve given me – I’ve not had any second thoughts.
What’s your favourite drink to make and why?
I would say a cappuccino, because it was the one I found most difficult in my first week. Now that I feel I’ve perfected it, I like making it.
What extras are you offering in your van to make you stand out alongside our franchisers?
I’ll be offering speciality teas, so things such as tea infusions and loose-leaf teas and stuff like that.
What are your hopes for the future of your franchise?
Initially, I would like to get this route finalised and running like clockwork. Then, I would like to maybe expand into wider territories such as Swansea.
After that, within the next 18-20 months, I’d like to get a second van on the go as well.