Bubble Tea has been a love affair for most of those who have experienced it. Just like the story of CUPP. It all started in 2009, when the founders of CUPP were living on the island that gave bubble tea to the world: Taiwan! After falling in love with the country, food, people, and national drink, they decided that starting an authentic bubble tea business would be the best way to bring an important part of their lives back to the UK. CUPP first appeared in Bristol in 2012. In this interview, lets find out how they grew from their humble beginning into an international franchise from CEO – Lee Peacock.
1. How did you enter the franchise business?
We’ve always had plans to become a large bubble tea brand. After years are organically growing the business, in 2019 that we wanted to significantly expand the number of stores we had in the UK. Franchising is the perfect model for us as the brand grows whilst more and more partners become more involved.
2. Where and how did the idea of your concept come from?
Bubble Tea originates from Taiwan. I lived and worked in Taiwan in 2009 for 3 years and wanted to bring an integral part of my life in Taiwan back to the UK and the rest of the world.
3. What inspired the brand name?
We didn’t want to have ‘boba’, ‘bubble’, ‘tea’, ‘cha’ etc as I had already seen in the early years, that most brands had some form of bubble tea in their name. We wanted to be different, unique and decided on ‘CUPP’ as all bubble teas are served in transparent cups.
4. What is the story behind the brand’s logo?
The dots represent the ‘boba’ in bubble tea and the lines represent the big straw required to drink bubble tea.
5. What makes your brand different from your competitors?
We see ourselves as pioneers in the industry. From the very beginning, we only use fresh fruit or fruit purees, quality loose leaf tea, organic and premium alternative milks to flavour our drinks.
Our branding and store design is modern, slick and resonates with all demographics and ages.
6. What are the essential qualities that you look for in a franchisee?
Passion, enthusiasm and integrity!
7. How long does it take, on average, for your franchisee to realize their investment?
On average it’s just over 2 years.
8. What was the major challenge you faced in your career and how did you overcome it?
The first was launching CUPP by myself. I was ever facet of the business and had to learn about every aspect of the business and bubble tea industry.
Most recently, it’s been the growth and speed of growth in recent years. A different challenge and always learning and support from our ever growing superb team makes the speed of growth possible.
8.1 What is your best achievement?
Each stage of the business growth over the past 10 years are all achievements on their own individual merits but my personality doesn’t allow me to look back and think ‘that’s the best achievement’ as I’m always striving to achieve more.
9. How does your business day start?
I try and plan my next day the evening before but early morning is liaising with suppliers and contacts in Taiwan due to time difference. Then it’s spending time with my family in the morning before they go to school and before I head to CUPP HQ where my day varies depending on what’s going on that week.
10. What was your best moment throughout your franchise career?
Opening the first franchise store in Whitechapel, UK. We opened during UK lockdown when we’re permitted. The challenges, drive and determination to open this store will always be special to me.
11. Where do you see your brand in the next 5 years?
We’ve accomplished some 5 year targets in the last year already! I would see CUPP being in 10-15 different countries/regions with over 300 stores opened.
12. Any tips you want to impart to our readers who want to be in the franchise industry?
Hard work, determination and drive are the main ingredients you need to succeed. Keep at it and don’t be scared of the unknown.
Source: The Franchise Talk