Emily and her husband, Craig, were the franchisees of the successful COBS Bread bakery at The Annex in Toronto. They sold the bakery because they wanted to bring COBS Bread to their hometown of Ottawa, which they did in December of 2017 when they opened the COBS Bread Barrhaven. Read more about Emily and Craig’s journey to becoming franchisees.
Before owning a COBS Bread bakery, why was owning a franchise of interest to you?
Because I was joining a known brand, which is really the biggest thing. You already have a customer base that is already built. Marketing, advertising, the turn-key, and the network was a really a big thing for me. There were people you could contact who you knew who had dealt with these things before.
You’re an entrepreneur. Have you always been?
It must have been in the stars- when I was a little kid, one of my friends got me a doll that was called “Emily the Entrepreneur”! I always wanted to own my own business, and as I had a long love affair with restaurants, I knew it would be food-related, and I feel like it was fate how I learned about franchising opportunities with COBS. I was working at a restaurant in Collingwood, ON and Kevin, owner of COBS Lakeshore was supplying buns to our restaurant! The chef there knew of my ambitions, and suggested, “You should look at this company who makes the buns.” So, Craig and I did. Months later, we opened The Annex bakery in Toronto.
You endeavoured to open the first COBS Bread in Ottawa. Why did you think Barrhaven would be a good place for a bakery?
It’s my hometown! I know the people here and knew what would fit the neighbourhood.
What impact have you been able to make to the community?
When we opened, we donated our Community Day sales to the Roger Neilson House and have an on-going partnership with them.
We also donate all of our End of Day product to various charities throughout the community.
What do you enjoy most about owning a COBS Bread bakery?
Definitely the diversity. No day is the same!
Was there anything that surprised you during the opening process, or as you learned to run a COBS Bread bakery?
Not for the second one! With the Ottawa market, was much busier than expected, which was great. I am also ecstatic to learn of the distance that people will come to get the product on a regular basis.
What advice do you have for anyone thinking of opening a COBS Bread bakery- in Ottawa, or elsewhere?
Talk to people who are already franchisees, and be sure to apply, even if you are just considering it so you can get all the blanks filled in.
COBS Bread is looking for franchisees like Emily and Craig to open more bakeries in the Ottawa area! Apply today to talk to one of our Franchise Managers.