Really Awesome Coffee Corby – A year on

We caught up with Tessa – Really Awesome Coffee Corby – to find out how she has navigated the last 12 months having only launched her business a week before the first national lockdown. Here’s what she had to say:

When I was doing my two week training at Head Office, the COVID-19 situation was really starting to gain momentum.  However, I was paying absolutely no attention to any of it due to learning about coffee making and preparing my brain to run a business for the first time. 

I launched on the Thursday and effectively closed after close-of-play the following Monday following the first lockdown instruction! Three days! But, what should have been a spectacularly scary time, actually wasn’t.  

Being SO new to running a business, I actually had no idea what any of it might mean. I had nothing to compare it to! I hadn’t even managed to get a customer base – most of those were last seen loading their laptops into their cars and heading off to work at home for what turned out to be the next year!

The Head Office team was amazing. Obviously this was all new to everyone, not just me. There was no plan for a global pandemic! It wasn’t long before the home delivery idea came about and I soon found myself making coffee on strangers doorsteps, much to their delight!

It really was quite a magical thing in those early days. Many people were completely housebound during the first lockdown and I was often the only break they got. Adults and kids alike would shriek when they saw the van!

As the months progressed, I headed back to the industrial estate to see what was going on. One company just had the MD and his PA in the office. He would shout his order from an upstairs window but he ordered every day. 

Almost all of the businesses operating had skeleton staff and would apologise that it probably wasn’t worth my while stopping by but I carried on anyway and slowly started to build up a round. I operated my skeleton staff round in the morning and did home deliveries in the afternoon and it all worked really well!

Over the year, lockdowns came and went and came again. Staff numbers rose and fell, companies would temporarily close and open two weeks later due to Covid outbreaks and trading patterns were impossible to read! However, there were always enough customers to keep me going.  Covid couldn’t compete with coffee!

I’ve been trading for a year now and the difference in the last few weeks is really exciting!  Staff are coming back to work. The stops I made that just had one or two people now have four or five. Stops that appeared dead to start with are now buzzing. We aim for 30 stops – I have 40 – and now those staff are coming back to work, I’m now working as fast as I can to fit everyone in – and it’s only going to get busier.

I have absolutely no regrets. It’s been a mad year but we got through it. People keep talking about getting back to normal but I’ve not had a normal to compare it to!  Onwards and upwards!


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.