10th Year Anniversary
As The Coffee Club Takanini gears up to celebrate its 10-year anniversary this December, we take a closer look at the inspiring journey of its franchisee, Sarith Thong, whose resilience and hard work has been integral to their cafe’s success.
Join us as we delve into the life and experiences of this remarkable individual who has been an integral part of The Coffee Club family for the last decade.
Meet the Franchisee
Our featured franchisee has a truly unique and remarkable background. Sarith was born to Cambodian/Chinese parents in Vietnam during the turbulent times of the Khmer Rouge, their family found safety in a refugee camp in Vietnam before eventually making their way to New Zealand in 1986. Introduced to the world of work at a young age, Sarith began his career in hospitality, working in his brother’s bakery on Auckland’s North Shore at the age of 16.
The business spirit was instilled early, and in 1999, Sarith’s family purchased a Food Bar to support relatives bring their parents to New Zealand. Once Sarith graduated, he and his then-girlfriend (now wife) Helen, had to step in to manage the shop so Sarith’s parents could begin their overdue retirement. Eventually, Sarith and Helen took over the business, operating two Food Bars for over a decade. In 2013, following a desire for change, a new opportunity arose, leading to the establishment of their new café and venture, The Coffee Club Takanini.
Reflecting his time over the years with The Coffee Club, Sarith recounts the most memorable experience: the 2019 Franchise Awards. Entering for the first time, they not only secured the “Franchisee of the Year Retail and Hospitality” but also clinched the prestigious award of “Supreme Franchisee of the Year.” This recognition was a testament to their dedication and contribution to The Coffee Club brand.
The journey was not without its challenges, and Sarith identifies the unprecedented events of 2020 as the most significant hurdle. The COVID-19 pandemic brought uncertainties about the duration of lockdowns, reopening protocols, and the financial and mental toll of navigating through unprecedented times. Despite the hardships, the unwavering support from The Coffee Club’s Support Office played a crucial role in overcoming these challenges.
Choosing The Coffee Club
When asked about what drew him to The Coffee Club, Sarith mentions a gut feeling, the familiarity and personal connection with the brand.
Peering into the future, Sarith envisions a relaxed vacation in Hawaii, retirement, and quality time with family. While the future remains uncertain, the goal is to travel annually with loved ones and, if luck permits, enjoy a well-deserved retirement.
A Heartfelt Message to Customers
In closing, Sarith expresses profound gratitude to the loyal customers who have supported their café throughout the years, especially during the challenging times during the COVID-19 pandemic. A heartfelt thank you is extended for the unwavering loyalty and support that has been the backbone of The Coffee Club Takanini’s success.
As The Coffee Club Takanini celebrates its 10-year milestone, it’s not just a celebration for their café and the brand, but also a tribute to the individuals whose dedication and hard work have made it a cherished part of the community.