Mobile coffee business on the move thanks to 'great advice'
“John worked through the whole business with me – from planning the idea through to branding – and was always a brilliant sounding board."
A former senior commercial figure at professional sports clubs in the Midlands has swapped kit launches for coffee beans after launching a new business.
Justin Tose has held senior roles at Coventry City Football Club, Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club and Leicestershire Country Cricket Club over the past 15 years but decided he wanted a change at the start of 2022.
Justin, who lives in Polesworth, in North Warwickshire, decided to launch a mobile coffee van, serving barista coffee, speciality teas and hot chocolate and approached the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce for support.
He was originally looking for funding but was offered one-to-one support with business adviser John Fitzgerald, which has proved to be instrumental in helping to get the new venture – JustinTime Coffee Co. – off the ground.
The support delivered by the Chamber, on behalf of Warwickshire County Council, forms part of the CW Business: Start, Grow and Scale programme which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Warwickshire County Council and all five District and Borough Councils.
Justin said: “I decided it was time for a change and I’d always wanted to start my own business. I have always been a lover of coffee but it was usually drinking it rather than making it!
“I called the Chamber to see if they could help and, if I am being honest, I was looking for some funding to support me in getting started but they offered business support instead and it’s the best thing that could have happened.I would have burned through any grant money really quickly but I was assigned a business adviser, John Fitzgerald, and that help has been invaluable.
“John worked through the whole business with me – from planning the idea through to branding – and was always a brilliant sounding board.
“It can be a lonely place starting a business and John was always a phone call away and gave me some great advice. Sometimes I would have a couple of options to go for when making a decision, with my preference to take the easy route, but John would challenge me to take the more difficult decision because he knew it was the right one for the future of the business.”
JustinTime Coffee Co. can now be seen regularly at Warwick Market, Lichfield Market and other one-off events across the region. Justin is also on the hunt for a more permanent pitch during the week.
He added: “The support from the Chamber meant I was coming into everything with my eyes open and that is really important when you are running a business. You want to avoid too many surprises.
“The business is based on everything being very high quality – I source by beans from Iron & Fire in Shropshire and all of my cups are fully recyclable. I am really enjoying it so far. It has been a steep learning curve but it is great to have been able to start something from scratch.”
John Fitzgerald said: “It was an absolute pleasure to work with Justin in helping to launch the business.
“My aim is to really inspire someone who is starting their own venture and to think of all of the possibilities that are open to them. I am also there to make sure that they understand what they are embarking on and the levels of hard work it is going to take to achieve their dream.
“It is great to see what a great start JustinTime Coffee Co. has made and I am sure the business will enjoy strong success in the future.”
Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Economy & Place, Cllr Martin Watson said: "It is always great to see a small business, created and driven by the passion and expertise of an individual like Justin, start up and flourish.
"I wish Justin all the very best in his exciting new venture and am delighted that the CW Business: Start, Grow and Scale programme has proved of such high value to him."