with Franchise Sales Manager, Michael
Thinking of buying into franchise system such as a spice, tea, or culinary business? Learn what a day as a The Spice & Tea Exchange® franchise owner would be like. Michael Lassen, the Franchise Sales Manager with The Spice & Tea Exchange® franchise, walks you through every step of the way.
He begins with franchising advantages/the benefits of franchising with The Spice & Tea Exchange®, followed by our team’s journey through the pandemic, our competition, and our plans for growth.
Then he takes us on a franchise owner’s journey, starting with networking with other potential franchise owners at Discovery Day, to their initial site selection and support, and finally to their onsite training. He explains a typical day in the life of a franchise owner, why top performers are doing well, and so much more! Take a deeper dive below in this informative Q&A session with Michael.
Q: What are some of the benefits of franchising with The Spice & Tea Exchange®?
A: The company is privately held, and our owners are very involved. We provide site selection and buildout guidance, initial training, ongoing operational support, IT support, marketing assistance, wholesale assistance, and most important we source the majority of our franchisee's product -- so we take the headache out of supply chain.
*The Spice & Tea Exchange Franchising, LLC 2021 Franchise Disclosure Document, Item 1 & Item 11
Q: How has The Spice & Tea Exchange® done during the pandemic?
A: During 2020, not a single store closed their doors because of Covid. We awarded new locations and opened 9 stores. We saw record sales system wide in 2021 with the opening of 7 new locations, and had more franchisees become multi-unit owners than ever before
Q: What sets The Spice & Tea Exchange® apart from its competition?
A: Larger name and brand presence, privately held, larger inventory of product, and most importantly it is our stellar customer service and product knowledge that our franchisees provide. We also encourage all of our franchisees to become an integral part of their local communities!
Q: What trends do you see in this industry that are positive/what are your plans for long term growth? Which trends may be negative and what are you doing to overcome these challenges?
A:We are seeing more people drinking tea and cooking from home. We find that people are exploring small town USA again and shopping locally. Guests are no longer visiting the big box retailers.
We live in an eCommerce society, however The Spice & Tea Exchange® is franchisee driven and we constantly push customers to the store level. We reward our franchisees with a portion of online sales from customers that have signed up for our loyalty rewards program. We also created a wholesale program that allows our franchisees to wholesale to local businesses which keeps local dollars in their community rather than online.
*The Spice & Tea Exchange Franchising, LLC 2021 Franchise Disclosure Document, Item 12 Section C
Q: If you were to open The Spice & Tea Exchange® franchise yourself, what would be the part you’re the most excited about? What would you look forward to everyday?
A: I would love the customer service aspect and interacting with my guests, business owners, and coming up with new innovative ways to attract new business. Plus, I have an unlimited supply of spices to cook with!
Q: What are the beginning steps after signing a contract to franchise with The Spice & Tea Exchange®?
A: After becoming a franchisee, it all starts with real estate. Real estate is the biggest and most crucial aspect for our franchise. “One thing you cannot change is bad real estate, we work diligently with our franchisees to find the perfect location.”
Q: What is site selection like? Will The Spice & Tea Exchange® help me find a good location?
A: We work directly alongside our franchisees to find the perfect site. Once a space is identified and approved, we then assist with their lease negotiations, permitting and buildout.
Q: What areas of support do you provide to franchisees?
A: Real estate selection, construction and buildout, initial training, ongoing support, IT support, marketing, best practices, and supply chain. Each franchisee will have their own dedicated Franchise Business Consultant to assist them with their support and to help grow their business from day one.
Q: Can you tell us a little more about Discovery Day and training and what these entail for new franchise owners?
A: Discovery Day – Potential franchise owners are welcomed to St. Augustine, Florida to meet our team, owners, and staff members. They will enjoy a tour of our headquarters, first-hand discussions with our leadership team, and learns what it means to become a “Spice Master.” It’s a great opportunity for candidates to meet everyone in person, see our warehouse and distribution center, and see exactly what they’re buying into. Plus, it’s really exciting to share in this experience alongside other candidates.
Training – Once you’ve decided to franchise with us, we welcome you and up to three people to Spice UniversiTea – four days of extensive training in St. Augustine, Florida. There you’ll learn more about store operations, product sourcing, marketing, merchandising, and POS management to get you kickstarted and ready for your establishment training!
Q: Describe what a typical day in the life of a franchise owner is like.
A: From daily staff and inventory management, to the joys of being on the salesfloor, our franchisees experience a range of opportunities each day! Typical daily duties of owner/operators vary from staff training to blending, customer engagement to marketing, networking in the community, and much more.
Q: Are your franchisees happy with their decision to open a franchise?
A: "I believe we have a great relationship with our franchisees, and our team and owners go above and beyond to assist them anyway we can. Don’t take my word on it, we allow our candidates to validate with our franchisees before they ever attend a Discovery Day to hear what our franchisees think about our family.”
*The Spice & Tea Exchange Franchising, LLC 2021 Franchise Disclosure Document, Items 3, 4, & 20
Q: What characteristics make your top-performing franchisees successful?
A: They take advice and utilize our support, they are personable and very actively involved in their store, local community, and are actively seeking new means to bring new guests in. First and foremost, we are a specialty retail, so we look for franchisees that are comfortable in selling and are engaging with their customers.
Q: Any additional comments?
A: “Our franchise system is a very close-knit family with all our franchisees coming from all different backgrounds! Our franchisees have a passion for what they do whether its tea, cooking, health, being involved in their business, or local communities. Our team strives everyday to create and share the experience of a more flavorful life.” -Michael Lassen
Michael’s last answer showcases everything that The Spice & Tea Exchange® stands for. The Spice & Tea Exchange® was founded in 2008, by a group of talented individuals with a passion for life and food. What started as a small shop St. Augustine, Florida, has quickly grown into a nation-wide franchise powered by flavor, passionate franchise owners, and a desire to bring flavorful ingredients to your kitchen.
We can’t wait to meet more passionate foodies to join our team! For more information on the company, the numbers, and the industry, or to contact us, visit us at https://www.spiceandtea.com/franchise.