Can Blenz Coffee Survive the Calgary Alberta Market?

Can Blenz Coffee Survive the Calgary Alberta Market?

Blenz Coffee has made the very interesting decision to attempt the Calgary, AB market.

This is following what appears to be a very serious focus on the Okanagan region.

But why are locations closing in their Vancouver lower mainland backyard?

Could it be that word has gotten out in their local market that things aren’t quite right?

This recent post with an updated list of a massive 49 entries with the BC Supreme court may shed some light.

One this is for sure.  Whether or not a franchise has 1 location or 63 locations, every buyer must pay special attention to ongoing litigation as each filing can help paint a more clear picture of your future ‘partner’.

Get the right information *before* you buy – not after when it’s too late.

 

Shawn Pattison Replaces Mark West as President of Blenz Coffee

Mark West’s sidekick Shawn Pattison has reportedly replaced him as president of the Canadian coffee franchise in a very silent changing of the guard.

Shawn has a background of heavy involvement with Rasoee – an Indian fast food franchise that ended up suddenly disappearing and leaving its franchisees holding the bag.  Their are five known lawsuits filed against the corporation.

Mark West is known to have been involved with Quiznos before he started his own coffee franchise called My Cup Coffee and Tea before most of those locations closed down.

It will be interesting to guess which franchise Mr. West will appear in next, and how Blenz will perform with Mr. Pattison as its new leader, especially with the heavy list of lawsuits filed in the courts.

As usual, we’ll keep you posted on the Vancouver Coffee Franchise world.

Blenz Coffee: 2016 Litigation List

Blenz Coffee: 2016 Litigation List

Ever wondered who is suing who in the coffee franchise industry in Vancouver, BC, Canada?

For your convenience, we’ve put it all together for you into one convenient PDF file.

CLICK HERE TO OPEN THE 2016 BLENZ COFFEE LITIGATION LIST

As of December, 2016, just click this link for a complete download of all the lawsuits filed in BC related to BLENZ THE CANADIAN COFFEE COMPANY LTD, BLENZ COFFEE LTD, BLENZ COFFEE,

As of December, 2016, there are 49 lawsuits filed.

 

Franchisepro.ca picks up on Important Franchise Legislation article in Reputable Magazine

Franchisepro.ca picks up on Important Franchise Legislation article in Reputable Magazine

Wayne Taylor plaintiff in a lawsuit against Blenz Coffee in Vancouver, was interviewed in a reputable national magazine called Food Service and Hospitality.

Read about it here on Wayne’s Franchisepro.ca

food-service-cover

Read about it here

George Moen Vancouver’s Serial Entrepreneur: Part 1 in an Investigative Series

“Yes, we’re in the beverage retail business,” he says, “but really what we are is a franchise development company that just so happens to use coffee as a vehicle.”
 – George Moen, 2010

There is no question that George Moen has been working hard over his lifetime to maintain his self assigned title of “Serial Entrepreneur”.  Anyone involved in social media at all, would drop their jaw in awe at the number of followers he has on Twitter (currently 134,000+ at the time of this article).  Articles like this one, describing the power of his endurance to achieve success have been published regularly over the years and likely someone is in the middle of publishing one right now.  Mentioned in many of these articles are things like:

  • Serial entrepreneur
  • Sandwich Tree
  • Blenz Coffee President/CEO
  • Rapid Time Networks http://rapidtimenetworks.com/
  • Inca One Resources
  • Coaches Planner software
  • High Output Business Networking

But there is much more to the George Moen story than meets the eye.  There are many things about his ‘success’ that are no described in these articles and online profile that make up an important part of who he is.  Questions like:

  • Where is Sandwich Tree today?
  • Who is this “Tonyc” listed on the Sandwich Tree website and what is his relationship to George Moen, Steamrollers and Blenz Coffee?
  • What was the experience of Franchisees under George Moen as their Franchisor?
  • Is there a relationship between Inca One resources and is there a Blenz connection?
  • What is Rapid Times network and how does it work? And does it work?
  • Is there a connection between Blenz Coffee and Steamrollers?
  • Who are the vendors that Blenz and Steamrollers have chosen in the past and did this relationship benefit the Franchisees?
  • What is Black Tusk Tea and who owns it?
  • Is there a connection between the ever-respected Van City Buzz and George Moen who both have countless tens of thousands of follwers and Blenz the Canadian Coffee Company?
  • Are there any law suits that involve George Moen or any of the corporations with which he is involved?
  • What are the similarities between Sandwich Tree, Steamrollers, Blenz Coffee and their business model?
  • Which law firm represents Blenz Coffee and why is this interesting?
  • and more

Stay tuned as we explore these and other interesting connections as they pertain to George Moen, Vancouer’s ‘Serial Entrepreneur”

 

Blenz Coffee General Manager Mark West Runs Second Simultaneously Competing Franchise Look Tea

If allowing their GM Mark West to own his own competing coffee franchise My Cup while attempting to look out for the best interest of Blenz Franchisees wasn’t odd enough, Vancouver’s Blenz Coffee has now allowed him to kickstart a brand new competing tea franchise as well – LOOK Organic Tea

Mark West launches Blenz Competitor LOOK Organic Tea

Mark West launches Blenz Competitor LOOK Organic Tea

On February 10th of this year, the VCSFA published an article about the sudden sale and subsequent splitting of the Blenz Library Square corporate store.  We noted that it was a very interesting business decision to give up such a prime location that was previously used for training new Blenz Franchisees.

More interesting than the actual sale of such a useful corporate asset was the mystery of what would be opening right next door to the store that they had just sold off to a new Franchisee.  Here is a question we asked in our article published nearly five months ago:

Has Blenz protected the current owner of this Library Square location from a potentially competing business opening right next store?  There is not hint of what kind of business will be moving in to the former training space.  What if it turned out to be another coffee shop or tea shop?

Will wonders never cease?

Not only did a tea shop open right next door that competes directly with the Esprit line of Blenz premium teas that Blenz Franchisees are forced by contract law to sell, but the name of the man receiving all franchise inquiries at LOOK Tea is the very same name on the Blenz franchise inquiry page – Mark West. In addition, although the page has recently and mysteriously become un-clickable at the My Cup website, Mark West was also the name on the My Cup Coffee and Tea franchise inquiry page.  Thankfully we saved a screen shot of this. It’s also interesting to note that Mr. West no longer lists the Georgia and Seymour My Cup location which directly competes with three different Blenz locations.   The following are screen shots are from those respective pages:

join-us-LOOK

Want a LOOK Tea Franchis? Call Mark West!

 

Want a Blenz Franchise? Call Mark West!

Want a Blenz Franchise? Call Mark West!

Want a My Cup Franchise? Call Mark West!

Want a My Cup Franchise? Call Mark West!

 

Until the launch of LOOK Organic Tea took place in a retail space that literally shares a physical wall and ‘support’ staff and leadership with a Blenz location (Shawn Pattison of LOOK also works for Blenz the Canadian Coffee Company), the camp was divided as to whether or not Blenz was looking out for the best interests of its Franchisees.

The camp is no longer divided.

 

Yet Another Prestigious Blenz Closes: Pacific Centre on Granville

Blenz Investor Alert: Danger!

Blenz Pacific Centre Shuts its doors

Blenz Pacific Centre Shuts its doors

If you were considering investing in the once powerful and quickly growing Blenz Coffee, and you noticed that they were losing prestigious retail location after prestigious location every few months, you might be wise to do a little extra research.

Blenz loses location to another clothing retailer

Blenz loses location to another clothing retailer

The sudden closure of the Blenz Coffee at Pacific Centre this week is just one of now many in a string of closures over the last 24 months.

You can read all about the different closures here:

Blenz Coffee Bayswater

Blenz Coffee Burrard and Robson

Blenz Coffee St. Paul’s Hospital: It was owned by a Franchisee, then by the Burrard Hotel, then suddenly all signs of Blenz disappeared and they now sell JJ Bean)

Blenz Coffee Cambie @ 17th

Blenz Coffee Hastings @ Howe

But it doesn’t end there.

Another red flag that started waving a few months ago that should have raised a few eyebrows was the sudden and quiet sell off of what was previously their pride and joy: the Library Square Corporate Training Centre where they hosted public events and tried out innovative drink ideas.  Within a flash it had been halved in size and sold off to a fresh new ‘franchise partner’.

Another even more devastating blow to the brand are the growing number of lawsuits against the former Vancouver coffee powerhouse including one filed by a small group of franchisees and another by a previous head office employee.

Will Blenz Coffee be able to pull out of the obvious tailspin?  Will Mark West, be able to save the day?

Stay tuned for more news on Blenz Coffee and other coffee related news.

British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI) Releases Report on a Franchise Act in British Columbia

Members of the VCSFA had an opportunity to meet with Greg Blue of the British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI) approximately one year ago where we had the chance to hear more about the plans for a proposed Franchise Act for BC.  We created this post shortly after this meeting.

At this point, it was in the ‘consultation phase’ where feedback was being gathered by stakeholders in the franchise industry.  To read the original document, you can click this link and download it directly or go to the Franchise Act Project page at the BCLI.

We are pleased to announce that the conclusions from the consultation phase have now been compiled into this document: Report on a Franchise Act for British Columbia which can also be viewed/downloaded from the BCLI project page above.

In the near future, we will write a report with our feedback on the report.

The VCSFA would like to extend our most sincere thanks to Greg Blue and all the others who contributed to this worthwhile project as it has already contributed to the exposure of the oftentimes questionable nature of the Franchise-Franchisor relationship in general, but especially in BC, and will most certainly help any potential buyer (who does their due diligence) avoid some of the common pitfalls prevalent in the industry,

 

 

Blenz Ranked as Lawsuit of the Week by Business in Vancouver (BIV)

Blenz Ranked as Lawsuit of the Week by Business in Vancouver (BIV)

Well respected and well read local business publication Business in Vancouver not only picked up on the court filing made by three former Blenz Franchisees against its former Franchisor, but ranked it as their ‘Lawsuit of the Week’ – and rightfully so.  Blenz has enjoyed for many years a natural windfall of sales produced by loyal customers who feel warm and fuzzy about the ‘local Canadian brand’. No doubt the very presence of this filing surprised the author.

Although the BIV article covers fairly well the claims of hindered store sales and lease renewal problems common to the three plaintiffs, a $6.00 download of the very large filing reveals that it didn’t even touch upon one of the most devastating claims against the Franchisor – Kormi’s doomed, mandatory, and very expensive renovation and surrounding events.  This part of the claim alone covers pages and pages and, if these claims are proven in a court of law and picked up by local media (ie. Steele on your Side), they will certainly have the potential to evaporate a good percentage of the ‘warm & fuzzy’ mentioned above.

767_seymour_from_front_left

It is also noteworthy that there was no mention of the first court filing of 2014 against Blenz by Elizabeth Jacobo.  Reports from those who have read this filing indicate that it is on par or even more potentially devastating to the Vancouver brand than the claims found within the Taylor, Sahdra, Kormi suit.

Read our March 14th report of the growing number of lawsuits Blenz is facing in 2014.

Check back regularly for updates on this and other similar stories.