Bristol, say hello to your new favourite mobile coffee service.
Meet the newest members of the Coffee Blue team! Coffee Blue Bristol will patrol all throughout the Northern Bristol area, serving award-winning coffee from an award-winning mobile coffee van.
Despite the current circumstance, Coffee Blue Bristol is moving full steam ahead – they’ve even already added a second van to their fleet.
While they were at Coffee Blue HQ for training, we sat down with franchisee, Gareth, his wife, Sammy, and mum, Lynne, to discuss their journey and what they have planned for the future.
For more information on the locations they deliver to and how to get in touch, you can visit their very own website here.
If you’re looking to book Coffee Blue Bristol’s services, click here.
Tell us a bit about yourselves
I’m Gareth Rosser, my background is all over, really. I’ve grown up in a military background, my father was in the army.
I then followed in his footsteps and also joined the army, where I was a Petroleum Operator, even serving in Iraq in 2003.
I left the army in 2008 and ended up falling into sales and I’ve been in sales ever since. Now, I work as a Sales Director in an IT company, where we help businesses improve their operations and infrastructure through technology.
Before the role, I had no experience with IT – I’m pretty much self-taught. I’m not really the techy guy, more-so the guy that goes into businesses, takes a look at the infrastructure and suggests better ways of working.
What do you like to get up to in your spare time?
I used to be a keen footballer and played quite a lot. I’m a Liverpool fan so we’re doing quite well at the moment.
When I was younger and my family and I lived in Germany, I used to play for quite a few teams such as Dortmund. We even travelled to other countries like Spain to play teams such as Real Madrid’s youth side.
When we moved back to the UK I played for a few more teams like Colchester United – but I wasn’t able to get my professional contract. I accepted the first “no”, so I decided to join the army.
I think if I pushed just that little bit further I could have made it.
These days, as far as hobbies go, we just recently bought a house and built a gym inside. So, that’s what we mostly get up to in our spare time.
What made you want to start your own franchise?
It’s been something where I’ve been quite successful with sales – but it’s been quite up and down.
I’ll go from earning really big money to low, and when I’ve been earning the big money, I’ve squandered it. When I look back, I think: “I could have invested that elsewhere.”
It got to a point where I kept going on to Sammy, saying: “I want to invest my money. I want to buy businesses.” And she would always say: “No.”
But when I came across Coffee Blue, everything seemed to click into place. I actually showed Sammy the post I saw on LinkedIn and said: “Guess who’d be good at this – Mum.”
So we talked to Mum about it and everything seemed to fit. Now, I’ve got that urge to scale this as much as I can.
What made you choose Coffee Blue?
It was the first franchise opportunity we really considered because we thought it would fit with Lynne and around Gareth’s day job. It just felt right.
Gareth did so much research, seeing the support behind it, finding out what other franchisees had to say, and everything felt right.
We’ve felt supported every step of the way. On quite a few occasions we’ve gone away and said that we can imagine you guys becoming a sort of extended family – because that’s what it feels like.
That was one of the things that really stood out to us.
We did research some of the competition, just to get to grips with the competitors. But that, more than anything, reinforced our feelings that this would be the right decision for us.
From first looking at the van, I loved the look of it. It’s a nice-looking van and has been done very well.
Again, from the start to where we are now, it’s been great. I’ve been quite awkward, but we’ve had all the help we could have asked for and the team have all facilitated our needs.
How did friends and family react to the news of you starting your own franchise?
With anything, family will always worry – but we had very positive feedback from this.
I think if I said I was going to do something else I wouldn’t have had the same reception. We spoke to Mum about it first and she sounded excited.
From the start, we’ve always had Mum in mind to run it.
A lot of our family, like Gareth’s father and my mother as well, have all owned their own businesses.
There’s a risk with anything, and they realised that. They were very supportive. Everyone knows that if anyone’s going to make a success out of anything, it’s going to be Gareth.
Plus everyone in the family loves coffee *laughs*.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start their own franchise?
I think the biggest bit of advice I’d give is definitely to research the business. Look at what other opportunities are out there and, depending on your work-life situation, always make sure it’s the right time for you.
If you’re worried about redundancy, working for yourself or finding something to invest in, always make sure it’s the right time for you.
Providing everything weighs up, just go for it. There’s no point in being half-committed.
What’s your favourite to make or drink?
I like a nice latte. Quite simple, really. I don’t think I’ve experienced the mochaccinos or anything like that *laughs*.
We’re on a little bit of a health kick at the moment so I’ve been going for a nice coconut flat white. I like quite strong coffee so I’m not sure why I’ve never converted to it before.
To make, probably a cappuccino, which is weird considering other franchisees said it was the hardest to make. For us, that’s kind of been full-proof.
Lattes can be a bit hit and miss. Until the last week of training, the milk just wasn’t texturing.
All in all, though, I’d say we’re quite confident with all of them.
What are your hopes for the future?
To be honest, let’s try to walk before I run. The business has a great opportunity for me to be able to scale it.
We need get the first two vans we have now to be profitable. The sooner we can do that, sooner we can get the third, fourth, fifth vans etc.
Ideally, we’ll be having a nice fleet of vans all throughout Bristol. At that point, it’ll just be finding the staff.
I just want to get these vans off the ground. But the bigger picture, I’m certainly looking to scale it to as many vans as I can take.