1. BeTheBoss.ca: Tell us about the b Espresso Bar concept.
Lennie Contardi: B Espresso is an authentic Italian coffee bar concept with a proven track record of success. B Espresso is a unique franchising opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to enter the competitive coffee market. We have carved a unique niche in the marketplace by offering our customers a true coffee experience.
2. BeTheBoss.ca: How and when did you become involved with b Espresso Bar?
Lennie Contardi: B espresso was founded in 2004 as authentic Italian bar concept. I was searching for an opportunity and I came about B Espresso Bar by word of mouth and bought into the concept in 2007 with the idea of franchising.
3. BeTheBoss.ca: What was your background prior to joining b Espresso Bar?
Lennie Contardi: The Contardi’s family were one of three founding families when Grande Cheese opened in 1957, and became sole owners through a buyout in 1987, as owner, I was in charge of the retail aspect of the business. Along with Grande Cheese, I am co-owner of the Chain Pizzaville Inc.in which, I was accountable to oversee the execution of marketing programs, liaison between Head office and franchise owners and ensure franchisees were trained and were following the corporate procedures.
4. BeTheBoss.ca: What are some of the advantages in being a b Espresso Bar franchisee?
Lennie Contardi: We are the only franchise concept in the authentic Italian sector, we take an on hands approach with Franchisees, we believe in fixed royalties and ad fund so the upside in sales goes straight to the Franchisees pockets and we have a low cost of entry and the payback period is fast.
5. BeTheBoss.ca: Who is your ideal franchisee?
Lennie Contardi: It would be our first franchisee that we have in our system - family orientated, hardworking, customer focus, sale driven – standard driven person.
6. BeTheBoss.ca: Tell us a little about the Industry and Market?
Lennie Contardi: The coffee market in the higher end premium sector is growing every year, more and more consumers are turning to espresso based drinks and in part due to the explosion of Starbucks. The café experience is supplementing the casual dining segment…. Our model provides our franchisees a going concern that enables them to insure financial success when competing with various Coffee Chains.
7. BeTheBoss.ca: What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this franchise?
Lennie Contardi: Stay true to our values of being authentic, living our mission statement every day and communicating it to both our existing and new franchisees.
8. BeTheBoss.ca: Do you have a mentor and is there someone you use for inspiration?
Lennie Contardi: I think the founder of Starbucks is someone that I look up too as he has the same principal as what I have in developing a brand.
9. BeTheBoss.ca: What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?
Lennie Contardi: Every potential franchisee should take their time to do their research and talk to existing franchisees of the Brand.
10. BeTheBoss.ca: In your opinion, why do you think that b Espresso Bar would be a great opportunity for someone?
Lennie Contardi: Coffee will always be top of mind to the consumer and the segment that we are in is growing. Our brand resident with our Franchisees will help us grow the brand together as a team.