COBS Bread is recruiting for its first Lloydminster franchisee. COBS bakes fresh bread and treats in-store daily and donates all unsold bread to local charities. COBS anticipates opening a 1,000 to 1,200 sq. ft. store early next year if the recruiting process goes smoothly. SUPPLIED PHOTO
COBS Bread is actively searching for a Lloydminster franchisee with a craving for fresh bread and an opportunity to own and operate a community-minded business.
The COBS franchise concept of offering traditional sandwich breads, artisan loaves and fresh treats baked in-store daily while donating leftover bread to charities, has led to the opening of more than 100 franchise locations and counting in Canada.
“We’re actually in the midst of expanding across Canada,” said Brad Bissonnette, vice-president, marketing and franchise recruitment with COBS Bread in Vancouver, British Columbia.
“We’ve identified markets all the way across Canada that just have a nice demographic mix and have a certain population range, and Lloydminster falls within there.”
He said given brand awareness in Edmonton and area, the company is now starting to expand further into communities like Lloydminster and Camrose and up into Fort McMurray.
“We just recently opened in Grande Prairie—we’ll be opening in Leduc in about six weeks—we’re just looking for franchisees that share our vision and passion for fresh baked bread and treats,” explained Bissonnette.
The company has placed recruitment ads in recent editions of the Booster hoping to attract potential candidates for the first Lloydminster franchise.
“We’re looking forward to it,” said Bissonnette.
“With a little bit of noise we are hoping to identify a few potential great franchisees that we will be able to move forward with and bring the brand to Lloydminster.”
Bissonnette said they are looking for someone who is part of the community and is looking for an opportunity to own their own business.
“If we are able to get three or four applications out of Lloydminster, we’d consider it a win,” he said.
“Once we identify the right person we’ll work along side them to ultimately find an ideal location in Lloydminster and set them up for success,” he said.
If the search goes smoothly, a new COBS Bread store could be open early next year with a location yet to be scouted in the Border City.
“For us, it’s more about finding the right person and then we work with them to find the right location in Lloydminster,” said Bissonnette.
He said they will most likely retrofit an existing location with the need for about 1,000 to 1,200 sq. ft. of space for customers and baking.
The average cost of a franchise is between $650,000 to $750,000 as a turnkey operation with about 30 per cent down in liquid capital.
The cost includes all the equipment and the build out, as well as all the training to get up and running.
“We offer a 16 week comprehensive training program for the franchisee—it’s a fairly elaborate process,” said Bissonnette.
Investors can also buy an existing bakery with prices ranging from $300K to $1M with 30 per cent in liquid capital required.
Bissonnette said generally, the return on investment for a new store is about four and a half to five years, declaring that’s better than the industry average.
COBS Bread has been awarded the Franchisee’s Choice Designation by the Canadian Franchise Association for seven consecutive years.
Since the bakery franchise’s first opening in North Vancouver, B.C. in August, 2003, COBS Bread has opened bakeries throughout B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.
Bissonnette said the key to the company’s growth is based around freshness, quality and around a localized approach.
“While we are a larger brand,it’s very important for us to work with our local franchisee that has firm roots in the community and wants to be a part of something with purpose and be able to not only make a living for their family, but be able to support and give back to the local community,” he said.
Bissonnette said last year COB Bread donated about $33 million to charities in Canada including any unsold fresh bread at the end of the day.
COBS Bread is part of Bakers Delight Holdings Ltd, established in 1980 under the Bakers Delight brand in Australia and New Zealand and COBS Bread in Canada and the United States.