“I love that what I put into it directly correlates to what I get out of it.”
Owning a franchise business was something Chris Reich and his wife Jelena had thought about for many years, but the actual task felt daunting.
The couple met at the Real Canadian Superstore, where they both worked full-time while completing their university degrees.
Jelena, who fled to Canada from war-torn Yugoslavia in 1998, became a department manager while Chris progressed to the position of Assistant Store Manager. The couple married in 2008.
With their combined retail experience, the Reichs finally decided to take the plunge and start their own business in early 2013. While off work on paternity leave, Chris took the time to investigate the possibility of joining a franchise. He admits that the task felt overwhelming at first. “I honestly didn’t know where to start,” Chris says.
He soon ended up buying a franchise with COBS Bread at Century Crossing in Spruce Grove, Alberta after seeing their sales numbers and noting their success. COBS Bread is a renowned bakery franchise specializing in a wide array of breads and pastries.
Their bakery – now in business for two and a half years – has 15 employees and provides a setting where bakers can expertly and creatively apply the skills they learned in school.
Chris credits the 16-week training program in baking, sales and administration with giving him the tools he needed to run a successful franchise. He also sat down with the COBS Bread Regional Manager, who provided extra guidance.
His favourite part of owning his own business is having the flexibility to set his own hours, as well as the sense of accomplishment it gives him. “I love that what I put into it directly correlates to what I get out of it,” he says.
Chris believes that franchising is important to Canadians, because it provides a fast track for people like him and his wife to reach their goals as well as providing a large number of jobs.