Good coffee deserves to be accompanied by a good story, and new Gloria Jean’s franchisees Jobin John and Jomin Sunny are providing both.
The close friends last year decided to step into the business world by taking on Gloria Jean’s coffee store franchises with Jobin managing the Stockland Bundaberg store and Jomin the Hinkler Central outlet.
Although both were born in the Indian state of Kerala, the friends did not meet until a chance encounter in a Bundaberg store, where polite conversation about their shared experiences soon blossomed into a strong friendship.
The pair learnt their hospitality skills in various countries with Jobin managing a restaurant in the UK for seven years and Jomin having plied his trade in Ireland and the Sunshine Coast, but Jobin said being born in the same Indian state was not the only similarity they shared.
“We’ve got the same story for how we came here to Bundaberg,” Jobin said.
“Both of our wives are nurses, so they got the opportunity to work in the hospitals here, which is why we are here also.”
It was while working at ALDI Avoca together that the pair first discussed going into business – a discussion which Jobin said took on greater urgency when they saw the Gloria Jean’s franchises being advertised.
“We saw that there had been the one owner but now they were separate businesses, so Jomin bought the one in Hinkler I got the one at Sugarland,” he said.
Jomin said there had been an element of risk to buying the businesses given the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 restrictions last year but the pair had hit the ground running since they took over the franchises in October.
“Customers have said they can see a real difference and sales are going well,” Jomin said.
“We had a (recent) meeting with the Gloria Jean’s head office and they checked the customer count compared to previous years and were very happy.”
The friends believe their increased sales can be attributed to excellent customer service, a greater variety of food, and the superior standard of the coffee served, the latter of which Jobin said they were determined to maintain despite it affecting the businesses’ bottom lines.
“Gloria Jean’s coffee is really good,” he said. “We are giving customers only the best coffee shots.
“It means a lot of wastage for us, because we are only serving the good shots, but we want to keep the high standard for all of our customers.”
Jobin and Jomin communicate every day to compare sales and popular products to ensure customers can expect the same high standard customer service and find their favourite products.
Jobin said the Gloria Jean’s stores were also accepting payments from people who wish to exercise the ‘pay it forward’ principle by paying for other people’s coffees.
“There are a few customers who are paying it forward, so if someone doesn’t have the money, we can say ‘that’s paid for mate’ and give them the coffee,” Jobin said.
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