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Carnival Season: Spreading Mardi Gras Magic Beyond New Orleans

By: PJ's Coffee

Category:About PJ's Coffee

At PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans, every sip and bite tells a story of celebration and tradition. PJ’s is not just a coffee franchise — it’s a gateway to the vibrant flavors and rich history of New Orleans, especially during the carnival season. As we dive into the heart of Mardi Gras (also known as Fat Tuesday), PJ’s is proud to offer a unique lineup of King Cake-inspired beverages and authentic King Cakes that have captivated franchisees and guests alike and continue to leave them craving more.

The Essence of Mardi Gras: King Cake and Its Rich History

A King Cake is not just a baked delicacy crossed between a coffee cake and French pastry. Decorated with the royal colors of green to represent faith, purple to represent justice and gold to represent power, its oval shape symbolizes the unity of faiths.

With origins dating back to Europe in celebration of the Catholic Epiphany (Three Kings Day), King Cakes made their way to Louisiana in the 1870s. The delicacy’s name is derived from the three wise men in the Bible who came bearing gifts for baby Jesus. In turn, King Cakes contain a baby figurine inside — whoever receives the slice with the figure inside is believed to have good luck for the upcoming year. Today, they are synonymous with the French Quarter, Mardi Gras and the vibrant culture of New Orleans. PJ’s Coffee brings this heritage to life through our limited-time offerings, available from early January until Ash Wednesday.

A Slice and Sip of Success: King Cake Extravaganza

The commitment PJ’s Coffee exhibits to delivering a taste of New Orleans during Mardi Gras has reached new heights, especially outside of Louisiana. Last year’s success in serving 28,390 slices of King Cakes has paved the way for an even more spectacular projection of 30,000 slices sold through the system this year. With a significant 8% contribution to Q1 sales and an average ticket cost of $14 when King Cake-related products are available, these limited-time items are more than just treats — they are a recipe for business success.

Amidst the King Cake Extravaganza, we introduce the star of our Mardi Gras beverage lineup for 2024 — the King Cake Cold Brew Shaken Espresso — to bring a new level of excitement to the celebration with two beloved classics.

  • King Cake Cold Brew Shaken Espresso — Revel in Carnival time with the jubilant flavors of cinnamon and vanilla cold brew espresso, shaken into a Fat Tuesday frenzy and topped with a cascading layer of chilled cream.
  • King Cake Latte — PJ’s full-bodied Espresso Dolce meets frothed milk, sweetened with classic King Cake flavors of cinnamon and vanilla, garnished with a spiral of fresh whipped cream and a dash of purple sprinkles.
  • King Cake Velvet Ice — Sweetened cinnamon and vanilla cold brew coffee blended with any milk of choice and ice, creating a smooth and frozen sipper. Topped with a swirl of fresh whipped cream and a dash of festive purple sprinkles, it’s a parade of triumphant flavors.

We have brought the spirit of Mardi Gras to 15 new markets outside of New Orleans this past year, proving that the love for NOLA flavors knows no bounds. Surprisingly, the furthest location from New Orleans — Bowie, Maryland — emerged as the top-selling spot for beignets systemwide with 29% of gross sales and received an award for its milestone, emphasizing the universal appeal of our offerings.

PJ’s Coffee stands out as the only coffee franchise offering beignets alongside its beverage offerings. These deep-fried pastries coated with powdered sugar originated in France and found a home in New Orleans in the 18th century. The uniqueness of this product has shown to be a customer favorite, with warm and fresh beignets contributing anywhere from 5% to an impressive 30% of total sales in various PJ’s locations.

Let The Good Times Roll

Whether you’re a franchisee looking to elevate your business or a coffee enthusiast seeking a taste of New Orleans, PJ’s Coffee is the place to be for a celebration of culture, flavor and success. As a franchisee,owning a PJ’s Coffee location is a unique opportunity to spread the magic of Mardi Gras to communities far and wide. Let the aroma of specialty New Orleans coffee and the sweetness of King Cakes and beignets create a unique experience for you and your guests.

  • $1,042,644*

    Average Unit
    Volume (AUV)

  • 19.8%

    4-year Same-Store

    Sales Increase

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Learn More About Our Available Markets

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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
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