From customer to business owner – Corinne Mason

Having come across Really Awesome Coffee in June last year, in the midst of a nationwide lockdown, a throwaway comment from Corinne Mason about always wanting to have a coffee van soon turned into a virtual Discovery Day meeting that progressed to video calls, multiple emails, and an eventual decision to take the plunge and become a Really Awesome Coffee franchise partner. Here is her experience, in her own words:

The initial virtual Discovery Day was very in-depth and I found it almost a little overwhelming in terms of figures ( I just wanted to serve a decent coffee and brighten people’s days!), but for my finance headed husband it said all he needed to hear. The wait for the van and launching of the franchise seemed never ending and I just wanted to get on with it once I’d made the decision, but once the van was here it was all stations go. 

The training both online and in person was all really good. Very relaxed, done at my own pace and I was never made to feel stupid when my technical head didn’t understand what I needed to do! It proved that even at my age I could do something awesome with the right support. Since launching the support has been really good, and I know there is always advice available from my Franchise Development Manager (FDM) and other franchisees if I need it. 

The head office team is very helpful and I know I can contact them anytime. Laura, my FDM, has been a great supporter and encourager, and our days singing in the van during training were good fun! I was quite anxious about starting the business and whether I would cope, but the support and encouragement has really helped me believe in myself and has given me confidence to go for it, knowing the help is there if I need it. And top marks to Head Office for dealing with last minute order requests when I suddenly realise I’ve run out of stock – one bonus to living so close to Head Office! 

When I consider that I’ve only been trading for 3 months I am amazed at where I am at. I know I’ve been fortunate in having a very good round very early on, and this isn’t always the case, but I really do have some wonderful customers and some great support. I am certain lockdown has helped with this as so many people are desperate for a good coffee and to see a friendly face to ease the monotony.

Home delivery has been a great success for me too, and has enabled my business to grow rapidly. Whilst the initial novelty has worn off, and the freezing temperatures have dulled my enthusiasm a little, I still love getting out to see my customers each day and always feel so much better once I’m out and about serving. I have fabulous customers who brighten my day as I hope I do theirs too.

One of the highlights so far has definitely been unknowingly delivering to a Daily Telegraph journalist and food blogger who was so inspired by her Toffee Nut Latte she felt the urge to write an article for the Telegraph about the rise of the coffee delivery industry and particularly Really Awesome Coffee during lockdown. She has remained a regular weekly home delivery customer and has really helped boost my business with her weekly Instagram posts after my visits. So – you never know who you may be serving – put on a smile and make every drink your best one yet!

It’s been really nice to be contacted by a few folk considering starting a franchise recently, and I hope to see some of them coming onboard soon, assuming I’ve not put them off.

My advice to anyone considering it would be to do just that – chat to a current franchisee. I came onboard as a result of meeting Steve Silver who delivered to my home during lockdown, and it was Steve’s enthusiasm and honest answers that helped me make my final decision, and he is still a good source of advice and support.

Once you are trading, I’d also say be generous – going above and beyond expectation will make all the difference and really make you stand out from the other options available in the area. Do the upgrades, give the free biscuits, forget the 10p they don’t have, give away a free drink when somebody needs it – those are the things that people remember and talk about and that  help to build your reputation and goodwill. 

Be the ‘extra’ in somebody’s day – it brightens their day and I bet you’ll feel good for making a difference too. I always do. 


If you want to find out more about franchising with Really Awesome Coffee and enquire about our exciting franchise opportunity, call us on 0800 043 0271, send an email to or book onto one of our upcoming virtual Discovery Days here.


Best Technology and Innovation – VFA 2021

We’re excited and honoured to have been awarded the ‘Best Technology and Innovation’ Silver Award at the Virtual Franchising Awards 2021.

Sure enough all franchisors (ourselves included) would like to think that they deserve some recognition for their efforts. In this article, we hope to explain what we have done throughout 2020 and into 2021 to adapt our business model and support our franchisees via some clever marketing and the use of new and adapted technologies, and how we have helped a large portion of our franchise network to perform better during these strange and challenging times than they did before. 

Our franchisees operate mobile cafés, traditionally visiting around 30 different business premises on a daily basis to serve gourmet coffees and lunch items to their staff. The majority of our “coffee stops” had been white collar businesses… although this has recently changed!

COVID-19 – how we adapted our system and supported our network:

It’s fair to say that over the years Really Awesome Coffee had settled into a nice, structured, safe (and successful) routine. Then everything changed on 23rd March 2020 when the country went into lockdown. 

COVID-19 gave us a jolt that forced us to revisit our trading style and make changes and improvements that will benefit our network for years to come. 

As an industry, the mobile catering sector has been lucky. As a network of mobile food and drink delivery vehicles, we were able to continue to trade… in theory. In reality, over 90% of our franchisee’s daily customers disappeared overnight – furloughed or working from home. 

Some franchisees immediately focused their efforts helping out the NHS and other key-worker sites, providing invaluable services for those having to travel into work each day (with Andy Baxter, our Norwich franchisee, even presented with an NHS award for this; an award usually only awarded internally). However, this was not enough trade to keep the franchisees afloat.  

We had to find other sources of income, and in the first week of lockdown a small group of franchisees shared their experiences of trading during that time. We arranged group ZOOM sessions, set up a new online “Coronavirus Trading Forum” for the franchisees to share ideas and experiences, and over the next week or so we were able to put together a new way of operating – our “home delivery” service. 

The idea was simple – whilst no-one could get out of the house, we would bring the ca experience to people at their homes, in a safe and approved way.

In practice, there were a few challenges to overcome, the greatest of which being how to generate immediate demand for the service. This was the challenge that we and the trading franchisees all got our teeth stuck into. 

We needed a coordinated marketing campaign across all our trading franchisees to let people know the service was available.

Firstly, we used our existing marketing database to promote the service, and drew up templates for “app notifications” that franchisees could use to let their regular customers know that the service was available. Our customer app has been an invaluable method for our franchisees to communicate with their customers and maintain customer relationships during these strange times.

Our in-house digital marketing specialist started managing targeted social media ads across the country to promote the service. We saw HUGE growth in reach and engagement across both our, and our franchisees, social media channels – to date we have had growth of over 700% across the network. 

We also designed, developed and launched a new home delivery website ( at which all the new enquiries were targeted. This website included web-pages for all the franchisees offering the service, along with embedded order forms that allowed them to manage their enquiries and bookings through a single channel. 

A core handful of franchisees that worked with us to develop this new way of trading over the first few weeks after lockdown deserve huge credit. With their commitment, their hard work, and the Head Office team’s dedication to helping them succeed, the home delivery process became established and demand took off!

Over the weeks that followed the start of the first lockdown, the majority of our network was back out trading, and we are extremely pleased to report that a large portion of them actually made more profit during this time than they ever had before. New records were set and regularly broken for daily, and average weekly, turnover and profitability.

As a franchisor, we’re continuously improving and adapting to the new norm we find ourselves in.

Thank you VFA for this awesome award and recognition. Well done to our entire franchise network, and thank you to our customers.


If you want to find out more about franchising with Really Awesome Coffee and enquire about our exciting franchise opportunity, call us on 0800 043 0271, send an email to or book onto one of our upcoming virtual Discovery Days here.