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Brewing Success: Opening A Coffee Franchise in a Small Town

By: PJ's Coffee

Category:About PJ's Coffee

PJ's Coffee Alexandria LA Grand Opening

Suppose you are a passionate coffee enthusiast who dreams of owning a unique coffee shop in a small town or someone who aspires to bring new, exciting opportunities to their community but is still determining how to start. In that case, this is the place to be. We’ve compiled a guide on how to turn that dream into reality and how our PJ's Coffee franchise can support it.

Compatibility and Funding

If you are considering opening a coffee franchise, the first essential step to success is to find one that meets your goals, interests (including the products and services offered), and budget. This crucial decision to ensure compatibility between you and the company will pave the way for a profitable and fulfilling business venture. Franchising is a big life and financial decision, and you’ll want to make sure there is someone to guide you through the process and answer any questions.

Launching any business requires a solid financial foundation. Explore various funding options such as business partners, investors and loans through the Small Business Association or commercial banks, among others. Parent companies may also provide financing options or recommend third-party lenders.

Additionally, franchises will often require specific personal qualifications to begin the consideration process. At PJ’s, we provide a step-by-step ownership process that includes an overview of the evaluation process and more — we emphasize a supportive environment with comprehensive training, making the franchising process smoother.

“As I started talking with the corporate team members, it just felt very comfortable — they’re easygoing, but they mean business,” said Tance Hughes, PJ’s Coffee franchisee in Natchez, Mississippi. “I just enjoyed getting to know them … I felt like the relationship was going to be smooth, and it has been for the now two years that I’ve been working with them. They really helped make it an easy process — I think that comfort level was probably one of the biggest signs I had in pulling the trigger to go with PJ’s.”

Strategic Location and Community Integration

Whether renting or buying a building, selecting the right location is paramount when opening a coffee shop and ensuring it’s accessible to the community. Consider choosing a spot near high schools, apartment complexes, or popular stores — a place with high foot traffic around your coffee haven. Ensure ample parking and consider adding a drive-thru if it suits your location for convenience.

For PJ’s Coffee, traditional stores (end-cap stores with a drive-thru, stand-alone buildings and drive-thru-only locations) are most often found in smaller towns. We suggest providing your guests with a cozy and welcoming cafe experience that will make them feel right at home. A place where they can comfortably relax and savor your product as if it’s an extension of their own living space. The drive-thru is also a very important component to the business as our cafes with that option have seen 65-80% of their business through the window and generally 45% more revenue than a store without one.

Small towns offer immense growth opportunities, and your location can become integral to the community fabric. Hosting events, such as volunteer activities, book readings, or poetry nights, helps build strong community ties, and offering free Wi-Fi can make your coffee shop a place people want and can stay in.

You’ll also want to hire reliable staff who will engage with customers and provide consistently good service — in a small town, your shop’s relationships with guests are significantly meaningful. Embrace the welcoming spirit of a small town with less fierce competition, and your coffee shop can become a local favorite.

Unique Offerings and Constant Innovation

With seasonal and holiday flavors around for a limited time, your small-town coffee shop will always have something fresh to delight customers. While we constantly look at beverage trends and for ways to expand our menu, PJ’s Coffee is consistent in our quality coffee beans, roasting techniques and craftsmanship. We aim to provide the New Orleans experience at all locations by delivering Southern hospitality, fresh specialty coffee and innovative offerings — including our famous beignets — making us an excellent fit for small towns.

“There are a billion ways to drive people into a business, but the most important thing is to have people come back for it — the only way to ensure that would be with a great product, and that’s what PJ’s offers,” said Smanvi Gudur, PJ’s Coffee franchisee in Alexandria, Louisiana. “You have to be part of the community and the day-to-day operations to be successful — and it felt like I was bringing New Orleans to my city.”

In summary, opening a coffee franchise in a small town is not just a business venture; it’s a chance to create a beloved local establishment and even advance the brand. With the right location, financial support and a commitment to community integration, your dream of owning a thriving coffee shop can become a reality.

Connect with PJ’s Coffee to learn more about how to brew success in your town with the best coffee franchise.

  • $1,042,644*

    Average Unit
    Volume (AUV)

  • 19.8%

    4-year Same-Store

    Sales Increase

Invest in the Best
  • Direct Trade
  • Fair Trade
  • Rainforest Alliance
  • Kosher
  • Halal
  • USDA Organic
  • Top Food Franchises
  • Entrepreneur Franchise 500 Franked 2022
  • FBR top franchises 2022
Invest in the Best
  • Top Brand For Multi-Unit Owners 2024 Entrepreneur
  • FranServe 2024 Fran-Tastic Brand
  • Entrepreneur 2024 Franchise 500 Ranked
  • Entrepreneur Franchise 500 2023 Top Franchise for Veterans
  • Franchise Times Top 400
  • Entrepreneur 2023 Franchise 500 Top Brand for Multi-Unit Owners
  • Franchise Business Review 2023 Top Franchise Satisfaction Award
  • Entrepreneur 2023 Franchise 500
  • Entrepreneur 2022 Top Franchises for Veterans
  • Franchise 500 Top Food Franchise 2022
  • FBR top franchises 2022
  • Entrepreneur Franchise 500 Franked 2022
  • Franchise Business Review
  • Top Food Franchises
  • Fast Casual
  • Entrepreneur Franchise 500 Ranked 2021
  • Vet Fran
  • SBAReady
  • International Franchise Association
  • National Restaurant Association
Learn More About Our Available Markets

Want to bring the PJ’s community to your community?
We have opportunities around the country.

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Investment Tiers
  • Traditional Model

    A larger scaled PJ's with a full service menu offering located within a strip mall or free-standing building likely featuring a drive-thru.

    • Size: 650sqft - 2,000sqft
    • Initial Franchise Fee: $35K
    • Initial Investment: $459,000- $1,152,000
  • Non-Traditional Model

    A smaller scaled PJ's possibly with a limited menu offering located within another business - College/University Campuses, Healthcare Facilities, Hotels, Government Facilities, Military Bases, Airports, Shopping Malls, Etc.

    • Size: 250sqft - 1,000sqft
    • Initial Franchise Fee: $25K
    • Initial Investment: $228,000 - $511,000
  • Multi-Unit Option Agreements

    PJ's offers opportunities to enter into a Multi-Unit Option Agreement to develop multiple PJ's over a specified development schedule in a designated market. The initial franchise fee for the first PJ’s location is $35,000. Subsequent PJ’s Units receive a reduced franchise fee. The fee for each PJ’s Unit numbered two or greater is $10,000.

  • Master Franchise Agreements

    PJ's offers opportunities to International Franchisees to enter into a Master Franchise Agreement to develop multiple PJ's over a specified development schedule in a designated country or countries.

    • Initial Master Franchise Fee: $250k minimum (Varies depending on size of country or countries)
    • Total Investment: Varies depending on the number of PJ's developed
A Few More...
  • PJs has provided me with the flexibility to prioritize my day-to-day responsibilities. While demanding, the work/life balance I have been able to obtain while owning my locations is invaluable. PJ’s is a family-oriented brand and that is evident every day - we have great working, as well as personal, relationships with many folks at corporate. It truly is a family centered culture that I am excited to grow with! - Andrew Jones
  • We loved the products and the business model, and it all worked out so well. The ability to work with them is what sets them apart. They are very reasonable people and it’s a solid company. When we went to meet the team, everyone was super kind, and it was very apparent that they provide a ton of support to their franchisees. It’s important to feel like you can always reach out to somebody when needed. - Angela Harmon
  • I think if someone is looking for a franchise opportunity they should find something that fits their lifestyle. If you're a morning person, a coffee business might be good for you. I'm a morning person so waking up at 4 A.M. is fine, the whole 'wake up and smell the coffee' thing - that's me. - Anthony Satterlee
  • I decided to look into coffee and probably spent about 3 years doing the investigation. I decided on PJ's because the quality of the product is just head and shoulders above everybody else. - Tom Lewis
  • It's easy to be successful. You can become part of your community in a way you can't otherwise in a lot of other businesses. I would highly recommend it. - Polly Fisher
  • The best part of being a franchisee is the freedom. It gives you the opportunity to provide for your family, but also be a part of your family. It gives you time to play with your children or take a vacation, but still have a fantastic business. - Kelly Songy
  • I decided owning a PJ's Coffee shop was the way to go. From start to finish, corporate was there for me when I selected a location, ordered equipment and furniture. - Mateusz Dabrowski
  • I fell in love with PJs Coffee and the brand, years before I ever owned a location and now I own two! I wanted a business that, with the right staff, would be able to operate successfully without me having to be there all day every day. PJs coffee gives you that flexibility and freedom. I also love the family atmosphere that corporate provides and the camaraderie between franchisees is wonderful! You are in business for yourself, but not by yourself, and that is a great sense of comfort and security. I love this business!

    - Roxanne DeNicola
Featured Blogs
  • Understanding the PJ’s Coffee Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) Read More
  • PJ’s Coffee Eighth Annual Veteran Franchise Giveaway: A Path to Business Ownership Read More
  • How Much Does it Cost to Open a Coffee Shop? Read More
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