Advice Needed on Coffee Franchises: It's A Grind, PJs, etc.


New member
Aug 26, 2005
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I'm seriously considering entering the retail coffee business. As I don't have experience, I'm evaluating several franchised operations.

First, what are your thoughts on entering the business with a successful regional chain, that's starting to expand nationwide? Is there room for dominate national competitor to Starbucks? Is franchising a viable approach if you partner with a solid franchisor?

I'm considering the following franchises and would value your knowledge and opinion, if any:

*It's A Grind, fonded in Long Beach, CA in 1994, started franchising in 2000; The company has grown to more than 40 franchises in CA, 57 nationally, with contracts to grow to over 100 by the end of 2005. This operation is most comparable to Starbucks in product mix, offering baked goods and specialty coffee only. Website:

*PJs, founded in New Orleans, LA; PJs has grown to over 40 locations in and around New Orleans and LA, with about 20 more locations throughout the Southeast. I'm intrigued by PJs addition of a Wine Bar in certain locations. Do you beleive wine and coffee are complementary? Would offering wine truely increase sales during non-peak coffee hours. PJs also offers sandwiches and salads in addition to baked goods. Website:

*Beaner's, founded in 1995 in Lansing, MI, started franchising in 2001. The company has grown to over 40 locations throughout Michigan and the midwest. Beaner's stresses the importance of their unique roasting process in offering superiour coffee. The company offers the largest menu of sandwiches, salads and wraps in addition to coffee. Website:

Although I'm looking into other opportunities, these 3 are at the top. I'd greatly appreciate your opinion on franchising, specifically these companies and other franchises you think I should consider.

Thank you,