Mona Lamshed, Owner of Jamaica Blue Myer Centre, Adelaide
With parents in the business, Mona Lamshed cut her baby teeth in hospitality. She helped them from a young age and developed a love for great customer service.
Quite naturally, she gravitated towards a course in Hospitality Management at University in her home country of England and ended up managing bars and restaurants in London. Inspired by backpackers’ tales of travels in the bars she managed, she took a position on a private yacht and spent nine years cruising the Caribbean, which is where she met a strapping young man from Adelaide – her future husband, Cameron Lamshed. After moving to Adelaide and starting a family, Mona worked locally in hospitality before looking for a new challenge and greater flexibility. She had always wanted to own her own business and was also interested in moving into the café business. Cameron would be a silent partner in the new enterprise but it would be Mona who took full responsibility for the day-to-day running.
Mona undertook extensive research and looked at a number of businesses for sale - including other franchises - before choosing Jamaica Blue. “I’m very particular about how things look but as this was the first time owning my own business, I also wanted the support of a franchise. Jamaica Blue had everything I wanted – a great look and feel that was contemporary rather than generic, as well as the backing of a successful business name.”
Even with her solid experience in hospitality, Mona found the comprehensive training programs offered by Jamaica Blue invaluable. “You definitely need it, no matter how much experience you have! I’d never owned a business before so the hands-on management aspect was so important - to have advice on things like staff training and rostering.”
“It was also brilliant to work with other franchisees and have that network of advice. Even if you’ve worked extensively in hospitality, it’s amazing what you learn through a practical course. I realised there are a lot of people out there teaching people to make coffee…who don’t know how to make coffee! Jamaica Blue gave me the right framework and expertise to deliver great quality.”
Mona has two young children, so one of the great advantages of owning her own business is that she can structure her day around them. No one day is the same. Although she spends a lot of time ‘front of house’, she also helps out in the kitchen, or wherever she’s needed.
“I love the flexibility of owning my own business – although it took hard work to get to this point. The first six months were a real challenge. Every new business owner is going to make mistakes and go on a steep learning curve. The Foodco team has been absolutely brilliant – if I had a problem, I’d call them and they’d come up with solutions straight away and be incredibly supportive until it was resolved.”
Mona has loved her journey with Jamaica Blue and says that now the business is established, she’s enjoying it even more. “I love seeing the regulars, getting to know the same people that come in every day – I miss them if I’m not there! It just keeps growing and getting better!”
If you’ve ever dreamed of being your own boss and running your own café, get in touch with Jamaica Blue today to see what business opportunities are available in your local area.