Sweet smell of success for Barnsley coffee franchise

12 November 2013

A Barnsley businessman who is setting up a national franchise is urging others to do the same.

Ian Hobson has launched Coffee Concept and is confident of seeing the brand in shops across the UK.

Coffee Concept is based on a system Ian has been trialling in South Yorkshire for 12 months with great success. Ian’s company hires out, or sells, drinks-making machines to small businesses and organisations, who can then sell the drinks on to the public at a profit.

Among the 150 outlets signed up locally are golf clubs, DIY stores, venues and riding stables.

Ian said: “It works for any place where the public come to. They may be popping in to buy some nails or waiting to pick their daughter up from dance class. They have the chance to buy a hot drink and the outlet gets another income.”

Rather than his company roll out Coffee Concept across the country, Ian said they had decided to expand as a franchise. The franchise feasibility study was supported by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, a partner in the South Yorkshire Sector Growth Enhancement Programme (SYSGEP), which is part-financed by the European Union's 2007-13 European Regional Development Fund.

The plan is to sell a Coffee Concept franchise in each of hundreds of discrete geographic locations and for each franchisee to be responsible for supplying and servicing the outlets in their area. After an initial outlay the franchisee should recoup their investment in just over a year.

The franchisee will be supplied with everything they need to run the business, from uniforms and marketing materials to water boilers and cups.

Ian’s main business is Cascade Water Systems, at Hoyland in Barnsley, which has been running for 20 years and supplies mains-fed water dispensers to 3,500 companies across the country.

“We did look at whether we could run Coffee Concept in the same way, with our own suppliers and engineers working with the outlets, but decided it would need more intense support.

“Initially we gave up on the idea, but then our SYSGEP business support manager at Barnsley Council introduced us to franchising and now it’s all systems go”.

“We have tested out the concept with the outlets we have in South Yorkshire. We have made mistakes and learned from them and now we have a business model that works”.

“I can’t wait until the day when I go into a shop or venue in Penzance or Inverness and they are selling drinks under the Coffee Concept brand,” said Ian.

Adrian Waite, Barnsley Council’s SYSGEP sector growth manager, introduced Coffee Concept to experts from The Franchising Centre.

Adrian said: “Coffee Concept is perfect for franchising. It is a cost effective way to expand the business in Barnsley, but it also creates business opportunities for hundreds of franchisees around the country and in turn an extra income for the businesses that sell the drinks.”

There are more than 900 franchisor brands operating in the UK, with a combined annual turnover of £13.4billion, employing nearly 600,000 people.


Ian can be contacted on 01226 361665 or at ianh@cascade-water-filters.co.uk

The business support to Cascade Water Systems has been delivered by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council under the 'South Yorkshire Sector Growth Enhancement Programme' (SYGEP) which aims to support both inward investors and expanding indigenous businesses in high-growth sectors to accelerate private sector expansion and increase the competitiveness of the region's business base. For more information contact SYSGEP sector growth manager Adrian Waite on 01226 787531 or at adrianwaite@barnsley.gov.uk

The Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme (2007 2013), which part-finances SYSGEP, is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government on behalf of a local partnership including the Government, European Commission and local bodies. The programme has €583 million from the European Regional Development Fund to invest by 2013. For more information visit www.gov.uk/browse/business/funding-debt/european-regional-development-funding

Additional media contact: Kate Betts on 01226 766900 or 077927 64891 or at kate@capitalbmedia.co.uk

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