PJ's Coffee has witnessed remarkable growth and community impact to become a beloved coffee franchise — the brand’s success is not only attributed to our premium coffee but also to the franchisees who go above and beyond to make a positive impact on their communities. As we look back at the achievements of 2023, PJ’s Coffee has much to celebrate, with franchisees actively involved in community service, veteran support and impressive business expansion.
From Cups to Communities
It's evident that our success is intricately woven with the dedication and passion of our franchisees — they have demonstrated exceptional community involvement, with several earning well-deserved acknowledgments during the 2023 Annual PJ’s Coffee Conference. Notable mentions include:
- Brandy and George Craft (Bossier City, Louisiana) —The Crafts are celebrated trendsetters, actively partnering and engaging with local schools, organizations and events to become pillars of their community.
- The Parikhs and Patels (Huntsville and Madison, Alabama) —Co-ownersVishwa and Bijal Parikh, with business partners Khushbu and Jay Patel, are exemplary multi-unit franchisees, actively participating in both cities’ chambers of commerce, school Parent-Teacher Associations and sports teams. They also support other local businesses and organizations through the Huntsville Small Business Networking group, “All Things Madison” and more.
- Cherie White (Harvey, Louisiana) —White is the definition of a community ambassador, dedicated to engaging with people and making personal connections. In 2023, White initiated a community art project to foster a sense of belonging by allowing guests to visit PJ’s Coffee and add to a mural that now hangs in her store.
- Donna Miller (Hammond and Ponchatoula, Louisiana) — Miller is a multi-unit franchisee actively involved in her community and a passionate brand ambassador for PJ’s Coffee. Her local chamber of commerce honored her with the “Annie Award,” which recognizes women who work excellently and have a true servant’s heart for their community. She is one of six recipients of this award for 2023.
- Mike and Tyra Harris (Bowie and Silver Spring, Maryland) —The Harrises never miss an opportunity to be involved in their community. Their recognition as outstanding franchisees is well-deserved, which is evident in the numerous events they actively assist with. From supporting athletes and authors to championing local organizations with greater causes, the Harrises consistently contribute to the vibrancy of their community. Their unwavering commitment and active participation in events not only showcase their dedication to community service but also enhance PJ’s brand identity in the Northeastern region.
- Mark and Barbara Null (Northlake, Texas) —Fromhosting pet adoption and fundraising events with Apollo Support and Rescue to organizing bi-monthly game nights for Gateway Church and actively participating in local chamber of commerce events, The Nulls demonstrate their commitment to building a thriving community around their coffee shop. They also exemplify the community-centric approach that has made PJ’s Coffee a success, turning their coffee shop into a hub of connection and goodwill by hosting "A Night in our PJs at PJ's" in partnership with Pajama Rama, a charity with a mission to provide comfort and hope to children in need, and honoring veterans through events like the DFW Veteran Connection Morning Meetup.
Franchisee and Rookie Franchisee of the Year for 2023
Bobby and Kristy Mounts, recipients of the prestigious PJ's Franchisee of the Year award and from Ruston, Louisiana, have embodied the essence of excellence in franchise management. Their unwavering passion, commitment to brand standards and proactive approach in offering training opportunities to fellow franchisees during store development set them apart.
The Mounts are true champions of sharing knowledge and expertise to ensure the success of others. Their humble nature and genuine willingness to learn from peers reflect their dedication to continuous improvement. United with the brand’s values, they stand as shining examples of success, demonstrating the ability to run a great franchise business and inspire and guide others within our community.
Rookie Franchisee of the Year
John and Jennifer Whitehead from O’Fallon, Missouri, stood out as the dynamic recipients of the Rookie Franchisee of the Year award, showcasing an unparalleled commitment to success. From the outset, their determination to run the most successful PJ’s in the company was evident, notably breaking opening-day sales records. Their strategic approach included deeply understanding their business’ financials, fostering a team dedicated to delivering memorable guest experiences and engaging with their community.
The Whiteheads’ children actively contribute, creating a familial atmosphere that extends to their staff. This close-knit team’s relentless pursuit of excellence is characterized by their active involvement, inquisitive nature, collaborative problem-solving and unwavering dedication to pushing boundaries, solidifying them as a force to be reckoned with in the journey towards success within the PJ’s Coffee community.
Honoring Heroes: Seventh Annual Veteran License Giveaway
PJ’s commitment to veterans is exemplified through our Annual Veteran License Giveaway. Rob Smith, a U.S. Navy veteran from Jackson, Mississippi, emerged as the winner for 2023. Smith, who boasts 11 years of experience as an operations manager for an aerospace and defense technology company, received a waived $35,000 franchise fee and purchased three additional licenses to open four locations. His dedication to family, people, and relationships reflects our values and commitment, making him an ideal franchisee.
Franchise Recruitment and Location Development
In 2023, PJ’s Coffee awarded 30 franchises, totaling 77 licenses. The brand now boasts 214 franchisees, with 49% operating multiple units or committing to developing several locations. With 28 new store openings across various states — Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Texas, Alabama, South Carolina, Iowa, Florida and New Jersey — in the past year, PJ’s Coffee achieved a significant milestone by reaching our 175th location, representing 100% growth in just five and a half years. For 2024, PJ’s is set to open over 40 locations and showcase an impressive trajectory of expansion to outshine 2023.
As PJ’s Coffee continues to evolve and expand, these achievements and recognitions underscore the brand's dedication to excellence, community and the invaluable contributions of its franchisees. Our franchisees serve as a beacon for how local owners can amplify the impact of a coffee shop by being deeply engaged in the local fabric. PJ’s Coffee thrives on community champions who embody the brand’s values beyond the coffee cup. As we head into 2024, we eagerly anticipate more milestones, partnerships and the continued growth of our brand as a beacon of quality coffee and community engagement.
Same-Store Sales Increase