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IN BRIEF

Description: Deliver snack boxes which support charities to a range of workplaces. These self-vending boxes earn money for you while you are out delivering yet more boxes and expanding your customer base. Business Type: Franchise. Minimum Investment: £3,000. Training Provided: Yes. Home-based: Yes. Part-time: Yes.

Oast House Farm Snacks: Maria Billson Case Study

Maria Billson is settling in to her new business and a new life ...

Woman smiling

When Maria Billson and her family arrived in Welwyn Garden City from Cape Town, she had family living locally and they settled in quickly. But Maria, who had experience of running her own businesses in South Africa, wanted to find work that would help her to get involved with the local community.

Franchising is a well-established business concept in South Africa and Maria was pleased to find an even broader range of thriving franchise businesses here in the UK.

Maria began her research online, especially the British Franchise Associations (bfa) own website. She looked at and considered a number of different possibilities ,but when she came across the details for Oast House Farm snacks she realised it was everything she was looking for.

The Oast Farm Snacks model gave her the flexibility to work around her family, something that was really important to her when settling into a country and a new area. Also, because of the nature of the business, visiting local businesses to restock the ‘Honesty Boxes’, it also gave her the opportunity to meet and get involved with many great people and firms in her local area.

Maria’s first action was to make contact with Oast House, who quickly got in touch. Matt Simmonds, Oast House managing director gave her a call to talk through her background and interest in the business. Matt also outlined the path forwards.

Maria had a host of questions, some practical, such as questions about storage space and handling money, and some more personal questions, such as working hours and ongoing support.

As Matt went through the call, Maria was more and more impressed. Matt actually addressed each of her questions before she got around to raising them.

This went a long way to convincing her that the model was well thought-out, and that the franchisor, in this case Matt, had a good understanding of the challenges new franchisees would be facing and had plans in place to make it work for everyone.

And that was the best part of the business. When Maria started going around visiting the local businesses that had been set up for her during the launch process, she found everyone really appreciated the quality of the snacks, she had a rewarding business, both financially and personally and the charity which the ‘Honest Boxes supported – ‘The Sick Children's Trust’ benefited from ongoing donations.

A genuine win-win situation for everyone involved!

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