2022 Year of Opportunities
A little over a year ago, I wrote a blog about the Light At the End of the Tunnel. At the time, we just had just started to recover from the pandemic in terms of being able to re-open our business to serve our customers. I definitely didn’t expect 2021 to be one of the best years in our company’s history. We signed four new leases for four locations. Two of these locations are in Hickory, where I originally grew up. I’m thrilled to be able to give back to the place I called home for so long! We continue to be the fastest and largest growing local coffee shop. I owe all of this success to our amazing staff, as well as our wonderful regulars and visiting customers.
So what’s next for us? This has been on my mind a lot, now that we have hit all the goals I set out for our company. Initially, before we opened up our first location in Cornelius. I told my wife that we would open 10 locations in 10 years, and then I would stop working so much and focus on our family. I never imagined that a playful conversation between husband and wife would lead us to open 10 locations in less than 8 years, along with our own roastery and distribution center, with over 60 employees. We did all of this privately without the help of franchising or licensing and during a pandemic. This just showed how strong Waterbean Coffee is as a company.
Throughout the years, I’ve been approached by a lot of people wondering if we were a franchised location or if we would consider franchising. People always seemed shocked when we told them no. To me, franchising is very important decision that means so much more than just the ability to expand faster by bringing in more partners. If that were the case, I could have easily franchised our business out after our second location. However, just like everything I do, I want to make sure the people involved in my life have every opportunity to be successful. I knew I would have to make sure Waterbean Coffee is well run and open multiple locations, so that I could learn what would work and what wouldn’t so the potential franchisee does not have to take all the risks. I see franchises fail each day. I see companies testing their concepts without fully understanding the market for their franchisees. I have worked so hard to build Waterbean Coffee, and I have so many people depending on Waterbean Coffee’s success to rush into anything.
Now, 8 years after opening Waterbean Coffee and with 10 locations all throughout the Carolinas, as well as a massive international location in Vietnam, I’m happy to announce that we’re in the process of gathering all the necessary documents for Waterbean Coffee to take the next major step into Franchising. When that time comes, we will certainly let our customers know. We can’t wait to share our wonderful company with the world! It’s time to expand the Waterbean Coffee family and continue to serve more customers and bring joy to them. I would like to end this blog with a quote from Alice Sebold: “Sometimes the dreams that come true are the dreams you never even knew you had.”