TAKING OFF IN BUSINESS
From air force action to the coffee scene.
Just back from his fourth deployment to the Middle East for the RAAF, Scott Penrose has been cheering on wife Nicole as she launches a new chapter in their lives. The couple have signed up to a Zarraffa’s Coffee franchise.
It is a change of pace for Scott, who has served a combined 17 years with the air force as both a full-timer and a reservist.
“We’ve been a part of the I pswich [Queensland] community for 15 years and are ready for something new in our careers, and to build a business that suits our family,” he says.
“Nicole has done the heavy lifting of late, with loads of phone calls and emails flying back and forward across the globe, but since my return in April we have been very much a husband-andwife team, dealing with the demands of running a busy Zarraffa’s drive-through store.”
Scott says the decision took three years to reach fruition. “Zarraffa’s is very thorough in its selection process for franchisees, and this meant we really had to reach a full understanding of what it takes to own and run one of their drive-through stores, and that protects everyone in the long run.”
The new store is in an industrial area of west Ipswich. “Having spent a lot of time in the area we have seen it change and grow, and could see an opportunity to expand the retail offering and convenience for locals,” says Scott.
“With the store opening at 5am, we are also able to cater to tradespeople or early risers on their way to work without them even having to get out of their c ar.”
Scott Penrose has shelved action with the air force to take up the
challenge of running a coffee-shop franchise with wife Nicole.
How will you juggle family demands with running a business?
We have the ability to roster ourselves on for times suitable to family life, and have a very supportive immediate family to help when needed.
What are your ambitions for the business?
To grow a loyal customer base within the local community and deliver the product
and customer service that sets us apart in our industry. We would like to expand our holdings by becoming multi-franchisees within the company.
Why did you pick the Zarraffa’s brand?
We liked the product and convenience for the customer, especially with the drivethrough store, and there is an excellent support structure in place for first-time franchisees.
Are you back in the country for good now, Scott?
Yes, I am back to learn the business inside and out and to work closely alongside Nicole to grow and promote the brand in our local area. If the opportunity to deploy again was asked of me, I would have another serious conversation with Nicole and more than likely answer the call in some capacity.
What will your involvement be in the business over the next year or two?
I will be involved in the business full time alongside Nicole. We believe it is important for our customer base to see and know their franchisees. Moving forward, I would like to grow our team and expand into multi stores within the Zarraffa’s company.
What skills or experience do you bring to running the coffee shop?
Seventeen years in the defence force, both permanent and reserve, has instilled discipline, professionalism, punctuality and leadership on all levels. Being posted into training environments has provided me with the skills required to train,
instruct and manage staff.
Nicole, how did you come to the decision to buy a franchise?
The decision was reached after a lot of research on brands and products in the market. Zarraffa’s was our clear choice because of the growth potential, the brand itself and viability for the future.
What were the challenges of signing up to a franchise and setting up while Scott was away?
The challenges involved the constant demands of having to make all the decisions involved with all aspects of setting up the business, staffing the store and training new staff. It was also a challenge having to rely on family to help out with my two girls and no longer being the parent who was always around for school drop-off, tennis lessons and weekends. Also not having Scott to run things past on a day-to-day basis when big decisions had to be made was really hard.
How hard will it be to adjust to having Scott involved in the business now?
It won’t be difficult but more of a relief that we can now share the workload and familylife balance and begin to build our business together.
What have you learned in the first few weeks of running this business?
That you should definitely start a new business with your husband in the country. That time management is crucial, and I know that I am a lot stronger and resilient than I ever gave myself credit for.
Seventeen years in the defence force, both permanent and reserve, has instilled discipline, professionalism, punctuality and leadership on all levels.