Military Coffees: Franchising a Coffee Company with a Veteran Theme
Service, sacrifice, dedication and honor are ingrained in the heart and soul of every service member. From their first day in military training until the day they leave the military to pursue a civilian career, members of the military understand what it takes to succeed, persevere and serve. They also understand that the military runs on coffee and has since coffee was a standard issue item in the civil war.
While most members of the military come home unscathed, some suffer injuries while in service to our country. These service disabled veterans are limited in job opportunities due to their injuries, however they retain highly valued skills such as leadership, management and attention to detail learned from their military service. They want to succeed but sometimes lack adequate opportunity in the workplace due to their disabilities.
It is imperative that service members come home and have ample opportunities to pursue their dream(s). For franchise businesses, these veterans hold skill sets that are critical to their operations; skills such as leadership, integrity and risk tolerance, all learned through military service.
There are generous opportunities that franchise businesses provide both individually and through the VetFran program that provide service disabled veterans (and all veterans) the opportunity to own their own business through franchising. While the different franchise businesses offer a plethora of choices through the VetFran program, it all boils down to one thing; franchise businesses see the value of veterans’ skill sets and want them in their systems, which provides excellent opportunities for service disabled veterans as well as the franchise business.
Seeing the need for additional opportunities for all veterans, Lawrence Curell and Dana Kern, co-owners of Military Coffees, LLC have created the Fighting Force Specialty Coffee brand to not only honor veterans and public safety professionals but also to create opportunities for veterans through franchising.
There are many franchise businesses that have taken a mentorship role with returning service disabled veterans and have assisted them until they are successfully operating their own franchise.
Lawrence and Dana have taken that mentorship to a new level by helping veterans start their own home based coffee business through franchising. “We purposely kept the franchise fee low to help our fellow veterans,” says Curell, a disabled Army veteran. “We want our fellow veterans to be successful. Coffee is something that is inherently relaxing and easy to sell, especially with our unique offerings and we find that veterans are receptive to selling coffee.”
What started 1 5 years ago as a retirement small business opportunity, Firehouse Coffee was created by Dana Kern, a retired fire captain and paramedic. The coffee sourcing, roasting and packaging were quickly perfected and customers started knocking on the door to purchase the organic specialty coffees that were being fresh roasted daily by the Firehouse Coffee team.
Fast forward several years and a chance meeting between Lawrence and Dana quickly evolved into a friendship and ultimately a business partnership to launch the veteran friendly Military Coffees, LLC and the Fighting Force Specialty Coffee brand. Lawrence had successfully franchised his other company (Better Deal Printing, LLC) and proposed the idea to Dana, who immediately saw the value in helping veterans while growing the company through franchise opportunities.
“We worked day and night to get the new venture moving in the right direction quickly. With Dana’s coffee expertise and my franchising abilities, we knew we could use the franchise method as a catalyst to fuel our growth while helping veterans,” stated Lawrence.
Moving quickly paid off as the franchise offering was made available in August of 2018 and the first franchise was sold within 3 weeks. With full corporate support and marketing assistance, the first franchisee is quickly growing his business, market and opportunities.
Understanding how critical it is that franchisees are supported properly, the team at Military Coffees listens and quickly takes in advice to help the brand grow into a national brand. The goal for the company is to have a franchisee near every military installation within the next five years. The company is already an international vendor to the Military Exchange system and their products are listed on the AAFES (Army / Air Force Exchange) website to help drive marketing and brand awareness.
Veterans, military retirees and public safety professional have been enjoying the unique experience of drinking the freshest, 100% USDA certified organic coffees available. In addition, the ability to personalize the label on just one bag is something that nobody else is doing.
With the combined power of owning a printing company, a coffee company and a shipping center, Military Coffees is able to print the label, roast the coffee and ship it same or next day. Their tagline is “Green to gone in 48 hours,” meaning that the green beans that are imported from organic farmers across the coffee growing regions of the globe are roasted and in your cup within 48 hours. If you have never had fresh roasted specialty coffee (an industry that is growing by 20% annually), you are missing out on a small slice of heaven in a cup.
Combined with the custom / personalized label options and the freshness of the product, franchisees have a great opportunity to own their own business serving a market that can be developed and profitable. The company offers franchisees a “business in a box” for them to get started selling on day 1. The opportunity includes coffee, marketing, corporate support, lead generation and unlimited growth potential as there are currently no geographic restrictions on where a franchisee can sell.
With franchise businesses being an integral part of the United States economy and growing opportunities for veterans through the support of the federal government’s initiatives and the franchise community, the positive impact that franchise businesses have on America’s wounded warriors is significant both to the business and the veteran. Becoming a franchise business that provides opportunities for disabled veterans is not only socially responsible in giving back to those who served but it is also a true win – win for everyone involved.
For additional information on the Fighting Force Specialty Coffee franchise opportunity, please visit their website at www.militarycoffees.com.