From Engineer to Thriving Café Owner at Jamaica Blue Fountain Gate
When former Engineer Chris Choong was looking to change gears, he wanted something which would tap into his three great loves: coffee, food and people. He found it with Jamaica Blue! In May 2015, he opened his own store in Fountain Gate Westfield in Melbourne and hasn’t looked back since.
While he wasn’t from a hospitality background, Chris’ deep love of coffee meant that he was picky about choosing the right franchise. “I tried most of the coffee brands on the market. Jamaica Blue had the best coffee…and the best support.”
Many successful Jamaica Blue franchisees come from diverse walks of life. Some already have experience in hospitality. Others like Chris have always dreamed of owning their own café and are transitioning from corporate or technical careers. The one essential? An entrepreneurial spirit. Our national team provides comprehensive training for every new owner to make sure they find their feet, as well as ongoing business and marketing assistance.
“The support is excellent,” says Chris. “The Head Office sent an expert team for the first two weeks after I opened, who were with me the whole way until I felt confident enough to go it alone.”
For Chris, having his own café means he gets to do what he loves each day, which includes talking to his regular customers.
A Great Business is Built on Community
Chris has established a family-like atmosphere at the Fountain Gate Jamaica Blue. A silver lining of the pandemic is that it has shown how strong the bonds are that bind their community. “It’s brought us closer, through showing support to one another,” says Chris.
The Jamaica Blue Fountain Gate team is diverse. “I myself was born in Malaysia and we have staff from Indonesia, Scotland, Hungary, purebred Aussie, Irani, Afghani, Iraqi, Egypt and China. We also have two staff members – Chloe and Mia – who have Autism and Dyslexia. They’ve both been with us four years now.”
This mini–United Nations serves customers every day with a smile. Chris and his team are invested in making life a little smoother and sweeter for everyone.
“Our policy is never to charge surcharges on public holidays, or extra charges on plant milks. We offer a 10% discount for all seniors, plus emergency volunteers and firefighters all eat for free during any disaster periods like bushfires.”
“Also, if anyone comes in asking for food or has no money to pay, staff know they can offer free meals and drinks. All our staff and their close relatives also get 25% off. We’re a family here!”
The team’s great attitude has earned them a loyal following. The jovial “Westfield Walkers Group” comes for coffee every Wednesday and Friday morning and also loves to hold celebrations at Jamaica Blue. “Our Front of House Manager Natalie is a qualified baker – she makes them a big cake for their Christmas party every year!”
Would you love to build a community like Chris? Maybe it’s time to change gears with Jamaica Blue. Find out more today about how to own a business you love.