Changing the Channel: Corporate Office to Jamaica Blue


When life points you in a new direction, listen. It could be the path you’ve been waiting for. Before opening their Jamaica Blue at Erina Fair on the Central Coast of NSW, Sarah and Steve Evans both had busy corporate managerial careers - Sarah at Myer and Steve at Channel 9. Starting their own business was a long-held dream.

Prior to their business interest in the Jamaica Blue franchise, the couple had always been attracted to the offering of fresh food with a twist, as well as awesome coffee. When they became aware of an opportunity in their area, they made contact with the Foodco group, which owns Jamaica Blue and has over 26 years’ experience in food retail in Australia. The pair did their due diligence - they also looked at concepts such as Sumo Salad, Coffee Club and Subway before choosing Jamaica Blue.

“The brand heritage that comes with a name like Jamaica Blue was very appealing and provided additional confidence to us given that this was our first adventure into the hospitality industry,” says Steve.

Just as attractive was the level of support offered. This included on-the-ground consultants, sales and marketing platforms, hospitality training and – perhaps most importantly – they provide all the skills and knowledge so franchisees can step into their business with confidence.

“Everything added up…great concept, great franchisor and a great location!”

One of the most attractive prospects about running your own café business is that no two days are the same. While there is certainly a daily routine that needs to be followed – for example, processes for opens/closes, orders and rosters are meticulously adhered to – customer service is at the forefront and drives Sarah and Steve to constantly perform. If they are not personally serving customers ‘front of house’ they are engaging with their team members on tasks and helping out wherever they are need.

“It’s certainly not always rocking up and sitting down to have a coffee and watch it all unfold in front of you. Well…sometimes if you have a spare five minutes!” says Steve.

The Erina Fair Jamaica Blue has an extremely loyal customer base thanks to the strong relationships which Sarah, Steve and the team have built. In many cases, their visitors are now friends rather than customers.

“That was a nice surprise”, comments Steve. “Also, having both worked for large corporations, it’s nice to see the fruits of our labour benefiting our family. You truly do get back what you put in. Our team members are also our truly great asset. This wouldn’t have been possible without their support and hard work.”

Jamaica Blue supports their franchisees with award-winning training programs which are comprehensive in their approach, giving the Jamaica Blue family the confidence to achieve their goals, independently.

Running a business is not for the faint of heart, but it can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Steve’s advice:

“Set your expectations from the very start. Be very clear in what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it. Don’t let anybody make you doubt your self-belief. At the end of the day, it’s your business.”

If you’ve always dreamed of starting your own café business, enquire today to find out about what current opportunities are available. Maybe it’s the right time to change the channel.

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