Get to know:
Today we’re getting to know Coffee Blue’s latest franchisee, Jeremy, who will be launching his franchise in Cardiff North on July 8th. So keep your eyes peeled if you’re in the area!
Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Jeremy Griffiths. I’m Welsh-born, have lived in Cardiff all my life and was born in Dinas Powys.
I’ve been in hospitality and catering for 30 years. But for the last 12 years or so, I have worked with the likes of BBC Wales, the Welsh Assembly and even worked for Avon and Somerset Police as an Operations Manager. But my heart has always been in catering.
I wanted to settle down back in Cardiff to spend more time with my family. Previously, I had been working 60-70 hours a week, leaving the house at 6am and not getting home until 6/7pm. But with Coffee Blue, I am able to set my own terms and have a lot more freedom.
What’s the response been like with your friends and family?
I come from a hockey background, so I have a lot of friends at clubs who were apprehensive with the fact I was going from a more ‘secure’ job to running my own business. But I’ve always supported the team by organising fundraisers and events. Plus, they know my background in catering and that I’ve always done events.
Doing something like this was a natural progression for me. I was unsure of doing something like this on my own. But having met people like Gareth and Colin (Edwards and Smith, Coffee Blue Co-Directors) who reassured me and gave that sense of comfort which has helped me be more confident.
I’m nervous now, still – but it’s healthy nerves.
What made you decide on joining Coffee Blue?
I like eating good quality food and I wouldn’t have joined Coffee Blue if it wasn’t a good quality product. It linked nicely with my desire to promote Welsh produce as well.
The deciding moment was when Colin showed me anoven in an old Volkswagon door. He seemed very passionate about it all and what he does. When you see the van, I think that’s what’s going to really sell it.
It’s good as well for me to evolve my personality. I’ve always been sort of a business-y corporate person, doing a lot of presentations and such. But now I have to really develop a good, friendly relationship with my customers. I’ve always been a chatty person, but it’s important now to build that sort of relationship with my clients.
Having spoken to Emma (Smith, Neath franchisee) and Gareth (Kedward, Caerphilly franchisee) as well, they’ve been such great ambassadors for the company and it’s given me great confidence.
What advice would you give to someone considering franchising or joining Coffee Blue?
The one thing I found from meeting Colin and Gareth is that it’s very much a family business. They treat you as family. The support I’ve had – despite being apprehensive at first – has given me great confidence in what I’m about to do.
I think any doubts you’ve got are aided by the support around you. The team have said they’ll be with me throughout my first week and that’s also spurred me to knock on business’ doors and find new customers.
What is your favourite coffee?
My favourite coffee is a strong cappuccino with three shots. Always to kickstart the day *chuckles*.
I’ve got a cafetiere at home and that’s the first thing I have when I wake up: a nice strong cup of coffee.
What message would you like to send to your future customers?
It’s mostly supporting local businesses. The northern side of Cardiff – Lisvane, Llanishen, Thornhill – there’s a community that will support independent Welsh businesses.
Most of the products I’m going to be selling will be Welsh, and the coffee itself is great. The message I would send to my future customers is: help support local businesses.
What are your plans for the future?
Well, I’d like to take on another van. I’ve got a friend who is very interested in getting involved.
He’s seen the van and said he’s going to help me with events and taking over when I have time off. So we’ll see how it goes and, hopefully, I’ll have another van in Cardiff quite soon.