PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans announced its annual Veteran Franchise License Giveaway, which was most recently awarded to a husband and wife team, Kyle and Jen McElhaney.
The franchise believes in brewing up small business opportunities for military veterans, who are looking to join the ever-growing $100 billion a year global coffee industry. PJ’s Coffee seeks hardworking, passionate applicants who align with its core values of delivering best-in-class coffee with the highest regards to service and hospitality.
“With many of our previous veteran franchisees, we’ve seen a seamless transition from military life to entrepreneurship, so we started this initiative to attract like-minded individuals to our concept, and as a way of saying ‘thank you for your service,’” says Ryan Stansbury, PJ’s Coffee Vice President of Franchise Development. “We’ve found that our veteran franchisees have an extra attention to detail and level of care when it comes to how they present themselves and our brand.”
In April 2022, Kyle and Jennifer executed a multi-unit option agreement to own and operate two PJ’s Coffee locations within the Memphis area, with the first unit scheduled to open by the end of 2022. After that, the pair would like to introduce about a dozen locations to the tri-state area. Kyle attended the University of Mississippi ROTC and then served as an Army Officer and helicopter pilot for 8 and a half years. He piloted an AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter, and was deployed to Jalalabad, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from 2010-2011. He then spent two years in the Mississippi National Guard where he left service at the rank of Major. Kyle then became a military recruiter for Northern Kansas before going to work for ADP, and eventually opening his own businesses.
“I am incredibly fortunate to have been awarded this opportunity,” says Kyle. “As coffee consumers in the community, once we tried the product, we knew there was a need for this. We’re thrilled to be the ones to debut PJ’s menu offerings and family-like atmosphere in Memphis.”
The couple are heavily involved within their community and have owned and operated several businesses. Together, they have invested in high demand concepts throughout Memphis, including a logistics company, a full-service interior design support business and a fleet cleaning business.
The PJ’s Coffee brand is passionate about giving back to the veteran community in any way it can. The company is a five-star VetFran member, proudly offering qualified veterans a 20 percent discount on the initial franchise fee.