Torfaen, Meet Your New Favourite Mobile Coffee Service
Today, we’re getting to know Coffee Blue’s latest franchisee, Ricky. Ricky will be patrolling the Torfaen area, providing delicious coffee and food from one of Coffee Blue’s award-winning mobile coffee vans.
Scheduled to launch in early January 2020, Ricky hopes to start his new year with a bang.
Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Ricky, I’m originally from the Torfaen area, so I grew up in Tal y Waun, Abersychan. I went to University at what’s now known as Cardiff Metropolitan University where I studied Sports Development and Management. Nothing like coffee or anything like that *chuckles*.
From there, I went to America for a bit where I coached football. After that, I started a graduate training scheme in sales. That took me to a firm in Caerphilly and I knew some people from the area so that’s how I ended up here. I’ve been living in Pengam for six years now.
What sort of jobs have you had previously?
Predominantly sales, mainly in construction and business services. The first job I had in Caerphilly was, like I said, sort of a training scheme. I did a bit of marketing, a bit of the technical stuff such as design and then I went on the road. That was probably 15 years ago, so I’ve been on the road ever since.
It was good and I did enjoy it, but I preferred being in the thick of it. You know, doing the design, being in the call, doing the job – doing the sale, I suppose and there just wasn’t enough of it in the companies I worked at. A lot of it was knocking doors and pounding the road, I guess.
I was away from the family a lot and I’ve just had two kids, so that meant I just wanted to be home a lot more.
What do you like to get up to in your spare time?
Football’s a big one for me. I’ve always played for Risca United and pretty much became a coach there and the manager of Panteg AFC.
I was a full-back during my playing days. I started playing when I was younger in school and for clubs, so when I went to University I carried it on and got into coaching there and got my B license from UEFA. I’ve always preferred the coaching side of things.
What made you want to start your own business?
I’ve never really had a burning desire to have my own business, but all this really came about from Gareth (Kedward, Caerphilly franchisee). I was friendly with Kedward through Risca because we were coaching together. He came to Coffee Blue to start his own franchise and we kept in touch.
I saw him driving around one day, we had a chat and I asked how it was going for him. He said he was really enjoying it so I came in on one of the Discovery Days to find out more. It all spiralled from there, really. I was looking for a new career at the time and he opened the door to this for me.
What stood out most to you about Coffee Blue?
I suppose it was the backend support, it really feels like a family. Being a local business helped me as well, I was able to pop in whenever I could to talk to Martin, Sean and Karen and that helped me out quite a bit.
Because of all that then I did start having a look at some other options on the market, but the finance options, the structure of the business and the van were far better than the other options. The van alone sells itself.
What has the response been like from friends and family?
Good, to be honest. Really good. Some of my closest friends and family knew I wanted a different career, so they knew I was looking at other things. But now it’s sort of become more public knowledge as it’s branched out to my other friends and family.
I’ve had a lot of texts and messages asking, “Is this real? Is this what you’re doing?” and if I can swing by with the van. So yeah, it’s been really good.
What advice would you give someone thinking of starting a Coffee Blue franchise?
To me, if your mind’s already considering it, then you’ve already made a decision that you’re looking to change. So if that’s where your mindset is at, then Coffee Blue is absolutely something you should consider.
The Coffee Blue side of it then really sells itself, from the coffee, the van, the marketing support, the pricing; all that behind it really sells itself.
Go for it, I’d say. 100%.
What is your favourite coffee?
To drink: Flat White. To make: probably a Latte. Which is good because they’re what I’ll probably be selling the most of, but I haven’t mastered the Latte art yet.
What are your hopes for the future?
Well, like everyone, to be successful, but more-so to gain a better work-life balance and gain the interaction that I think this will give me.
To stay up-to-date with how Ricky’s doing on his round, you can find him on Facebook here. If you’re in Torfaen and would like Ricky to pay you a visit in his mobile coffee van, or attend an event near you, you can book him here.