Rob and LaWanda Smith
Maryland resident awarded free New Orleans-born coffeehouse franchise and signed three additional licenses, brand to offer free coffee on Nov. 11 for Veterans Day
New Orleans, LA (RestaurantNews.com) In celebration of Veterans Day, PJ’s Coffee is honored to announce that it has selected U.S. Navy veteran Rob Smith to join the brand as the winner of its seventh annual Veteran Franchise License Giveaway.
Originally from Jackson, Mississippi, Smith served for five years and has been an operations manager for an aerospace and defense technology company for the past 11 years. Encouraged to apply for the giveaway by a fellow Navy veteran, Smith’s experience and great love for family, people and relationships made him an ideal franchisee candidate. In addition to receiving a waived $35,000 franchise fee, Smith purchased three additional licenses to open four locations.
“I couldn’t be more excited to begin this incredible journey with the PJ’s team,” said Smith. “To serve as a new franchise member of the PJ’s Coffee family and an ambassador for the brand is the fulfillment of dreams that have been watered and nurtured for a very long time — this is a great blessing to me and my family.”
The New Orleans-born coffeehouse launched the Veteran Franchise License Giveaway in 2017, which has since helped numerous veterans join the brand and succeed in their communities. PJ’s veteran franchisees and members of the company’s executive and operations teams have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, teamwork and goal orientation.
“We are thrilled to welcome our newest franchisee in time for Veterans Day, whose profound belief in the power of relationships and community has impressed us beyond measure,” said PJ’s Coffee VP of Franchise Development Ryan Stansbury. “Rob’s journey, starting at home and expanding outward, mirrors our values, and his time in the Navy has cultivated invaluable leadership qualities and intangible skills that have undoubtedly become foundational strengths in his post-military career. We’re grateful for those who have sacrificed so much to serve our country, and we’re thrilled to continue this giveaway in appreciation of our veterans.”
Smith is very excited to begin the real estate search for his first PJ’s Coffee location, which is expected in Maryland — where he resides with his wife, LaWanda, and sons, Joshua and Gabriel — near the end of 2024.
Rob and LaWanda Smith with sons Joshua and Gabriel
In addition to offering veterans a year-round 20% discount on the franchise fee, PJ’s Coffee will also offer a FREE 12-ounce hot coffee or cold brew iced coffee for veterans and active duty military on Saturday, Nov. 11.
PJ’s Coffee is dedicated to supporting veterans and military community members, and it is a proud member of the International Franchise Association’s VetFran program.
The brand eagerly anticipates its yearly Veterans Franchise License Giveaway and looks forward to seeing Smith expand the brand in his market. To learn more about PJ’s Coffee and franchise opportunities for veterans, visit www.pjsfranchise.com/why-us/veterans.
About PJ’s Coffee
PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans was founded in 1978 by Phyllis Jordan, a pioneer in the coffee industry, and acquired by Ballard Brands in 2008. Under the direction of brothers Paul, Scott and Steve Ballard, PJ’s has grown to over 175 operating coffeehouses, including several internationally, with over 120 more in various stages of development. By showcasing its high-quality beans, superior roasting techniques and pure passion for the art of coffee-making, PJ’s has gained a loyal following in the $100 billion coffee industry and is on pace to hit 300 locations by the end of 2026. The brand serves a wide variety of hot, iced and frozen coffee beverages using small-batch roasted beans, a process designed to craft unique taste profiles only found at PJ’s. It’s also the only coffee franchise to offer a true taste of New Orleans, featuring fresh beignets, a fried French pastry generously sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar. Coffee is the second-most consumed beverage in the world, and PJ’s time-proven approach shows it will continue to be a major force in the industry for years to come. For more information on owning your own PJ’s Coffee franchise, visit pjscoffee.com or follow PJ’s Coffee on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
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Source : RestaurantNews