Industry News | June 20, 2008

PJ’s Coffee Sold to Franchisees

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Ownership of PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans has returned to the city where it all began with the sale of the company to New Orleans Roast and New Orleans Brew – the largest existing franchisees of PJ’s who plan to expand the roasting and franchise operations of the company. The Ballard Family – Paul, Steven and Scotty, along with a group of New Orleans business leaders – purchased PJ’s Coffee from Raving Brands of Atlanta, Georgia.

The Ballards are not new to franchising. In addition to owning multiple PJ’s locations, they are also the creators of the hugely successful WOW Café and Wingery, now with 53 stores and still growing.

For Raving Brands, it appears to have successfully orchestrated the sale of its third concept to highly capable franchisors – Moe’s Southwest Grill to Focus Brands, Mama Fu’s Asian House to Murphy Adams Restaurant Group and now PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans to New Orleans Roast and New Orleans Brew, affiliates of the New Orleans-based Ballard family, who, in partnership with lifelong friends and local business owners born and raised in south Louisiana, intend to bring PJ’s back to its place of origin. The largest existing franchisee of PJ’s Coffee, New Orleans Roast and New Orleans Brew currently own and operate five PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans locations and intend to develop and manage additional stores in the future.

“We are excited about the next chapter in the PJ’s Coffee story, a New Orleans brand that has a distinct history thanks to the pioneering nature of its founder, Phyllis Jordan, and a loyal base of franchisees,” explains Paul Ballard, partner in WOW Café which owns the WOW Café and Wingery franchise and now PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans. “We have a great story to tell that is rich in New Orleans history. We look forward to creating the next great chapter of this company.”

“The Ballard Family and their partners represent all that Raving Brands has been attempting to feature in recent years – New Orleans, Southern heritage and tradition,” explains Chris Morocco, partner, Raving Brands. “They have been around the franchise business a long time and have a tremendous network of influential partners, friends, consultants and the like that I know they will leverage to take both of their concepts to the next level.”

New Orleans Roast and New Orleans Brew have plans to expand franchise operations regionally while also growing its corporate relationships. Its business model will focus on Louisiana and the greater Gulf Region and increased wholesale distribution from PJ’s Coffee’s own roasting facility.