Jamaica Blue franchisee Robert Whittet at his Grand Central business.
Jamaica Blue franchisee Robert Whittet at his Grand Central business. KEVIN FARMER

No blues with store franchise

WHEN choosing a business to purchase, Robert Whittet wanted a company that had a good reputation in the community.

He certainly found it.

Since December, Mr Whittet has been the franchisee of Jamaica Blue at Grand Central Shopping Centre in Toowoomba.

Jamaica Blue is a national franchise coffee store which has a wide variety of food items including a selection of cakes, slices and biscuits.

Jamaica Blue also has an extensive menu of main dishes including tarts, lasagne as well as a variety of vegetarian options.

"I purchased Jamaica Blue in December as it was a very good business with a very good reputation," Mr Whittet said.

"Over the past four months I have gone about refurbishing the store. Being in business has always been a dream of mine," he said.

Initially finding the correct staff for the business was the hardest facet Mr Whittet was confronted with when opening the business.

"Staffing is always a major issue, along with picking up the service time," Mr Whittet said.

"Also I think any small business operator will tell you the paperwork side of the business is huge," he said.

Mr Whittet said being a small business owner certainly had its benefits.

"Being able to make changes and seeing the results, and hearing feedback from customers and staff is one of the best aspects of being a small business owner," Mr Whittet said.

"Sometimes you get it right, sometimes you don't," he said.

Mr Whittet said Toowoomba was the best place to be a small business owner.

"Toowoomba is a unique city in that we do not have the problems associated with Brisbane and we are a little sheltered from their issues," Mr Whittet said.

"The fact that we have the resources boom on our doorstep is also a big benefit for small business operators in the city," he said.

The one piece of advice Mr Whittet has for those who are looking to venture into the world of business is to ensure you prepare yourself for anything.

"Make sure you allow for margins in your life and budget," Mr Whittet said.