One of the greatest joys for Azia Naveed, Kaspa’s Forest Gate franchisee, is ensuring customers satisfacion
Tell us about your journey before Kaspa’s. How does your previous experience come in useful now?
AN: From a young age I have been working in my family’s retail businesses and through this gained lots of customer service experience. My last working experience before opening a Kaspa’s store was for KidsQuest – a children’s party planning company. These children’s parties mostly took place in dessert parlours. Unfortunately, due to COVOD, this had to be shut down and I then decided to take a break before the opportunity of Kaspa’s Desserts came up. My previous experience has definitely helped prepare me for owning a Kaspa’s store as customer service and just providing people with a great time are so important for the brand. Besides this, I have also raised five amazing sons who are now each going their own way, meaning it was the perfect time for me to start something for myself. My husband and sons have hugely encouraged me to take this opportunity and have the confidence in me to make this a success.
How did you come across Kaspa’s desserts business opportunity?
AN: My brother Atif introduced me to Kaspa’s, he actually owns two Kaspa’s franchises himself in Chelmsford and Bracknell. He told me that it was a very good brand to work with and that the head office team encourages and supports their franchises a lot. Not having owned my own business previously, my brother’s positive experiences with Kaspa’s Desserts encouraged me to invest myself.
What does your typical day look like as a franchisee?
AN: I opened my Kaspa’s restaurant in July this year and am here every day, from the moment the store opens until it closes to support and help the staff. I take care of all the day-to-day aspects of the business, from placing the orders to making the staff rotas. As I am still new to the business, I am learning every day alongside my staff. Most of my days start with administrational tasks such as placing orders and checking deliveries. I then help the staff set up the store and prepare the products for the day ahead. I also spend a lot of my time getting to know the customers, looking at who is visiting and building relationships with them.
What are the highlights of your Kaspa’s journey so far?
AN: Two things really – being part of Kaspa’s brand itself and the satisfaction I receive from customers. It is amazing to see how many people love and appreciate the Kaspa’s brand. The faces of kids when they enter the store, see all the colours and the gelatos, it just makes your day! We have a huge variety of customers: young families, teenagers, couples, elderly and so on – it is just amazing to see them happy and to be able to be part of this. Comparing Kaspa’s to other dessert brands, I just love the brightness of the brand colours and how this lights up the faces of our customers. Throughout my retail experience, I have always enjoyed the interaction with customers the most and already getting regulars in just a few weeks’ time, is great.
What kind of support and mentorship was offered to you along the way?
AN: I felt supported right from the start, firstly with the fitting of the store itself and I then also received a lot of help when it came to staff training. The Kaspa’s operational team helped me a lot in getting ready for the opening in terms of training and advising me as to what to expect. The support from the brand has been great overall, my dedicated operations manager is always a phone call away and ready to help at any time. My brother has also been a huge support due to his experience with the Kaspa’s brand and was there for me all the way.
You can really see that the Kaspa’s HQ team love their job and the brand itself, which is really what you need as a franchisee to get the confidence to sell the desserts. The company has made me feel part of the family and taken care of. Ultimately this is why the business works, they take care of their franchises and care for the brand.
How has this business opportunity changed your life?
AN: I am for sure busier than ever, but I love every moment of it and am proud to be part of this brand. Opening my own Kaspa’s store has given me a lot of confidence and the feeling that I can achieve anything. After having raised my sons, it felt like it was time for me now and I wanted to see what I could do. This is only the beginning, and I am excited to see what my Kaspa’s journey will bring me in the future.
Why is Kaspa’s a worthwhile space for investment?
AN: Because of the brand itself, Kaspa’s is becoming a household name in the UK and customers are visiting for this reason. If I would have had to do all this by myself without the support of the Kaspa’s team, it probably would have turned out very differently. When comparing my store to the local independent competition, we are always much busier and even get queues till outside the store – this is because customers know the name Kaspa’s. I also genuinely believe in the brand and am in it for the long haul.
What is your advice to anyone considering becoming a Kaspa’s franchisee?
AN: Definitely go for it! Having opened my first store at a later age, I would like to say that it is never too late to begin something for yourself and want to encourage other women to take this leap as well. This opportunity is worth the investment, the continuous success of the Kaspa’s brand speaks for itself.
At a glance
Number of franchised outlets: 95
Location of units: nationwide + 1 international branch
Investment range: £150,000 – £350,000; financing options available
Minimum required capital: £150,000