Golden Bean

December 8, 2014

Overall Franchise/Chain Winner – Muffin Break

Muffin Break is, and always has been, prided on a commitment to quality and freshness. We began as a bakery-café back in 1989, baking fresh, wholesome products on-site while serving customers our premium coffee blend. It’s a brand that is intrinsically wholesome and authentic, with real ingredients used in our products that are freshly made on-site every day by our passionate people. We’ve grown to 280 stores both domestically and internationally and are this year celebrating Muffin Break’s 25th anniversary.
Last year Muffin Break began rolling-out a newly-baked vision to reinvigorate the iconic Australian-owned and operated franchise brand, marking a new era for Muffin Break, one with greater interaction between bakers, baristas and Muffin Break customers. Our brand reinvigoration has seen us develop our menu items to include light-meal options, as well as revamp our store designs so customers see more of Muffin Break’s trained bakers and baristas in their element as they “Bake Every Day and Grind Every Cup”.
The Muffin Break franchise brand is owned by the Foodco Group, which also owns and exclusively uses Jahnus Specialty Coffee, run under the leadership of Head Coffee Roaster, Jeremy Regan. Jeremy has been in the coffee industry for 17 years, 10 years in the UK. He’s also worked with the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe and is an accredited world judge.  His skills have allowed Jeremy the opportunity to judge throughout Europe, Asia and Australia. He is currently Secretary of the Australian Specialty Coffee Association (ASCA).
As Head Coffee Roaster, Jeremy’s role involves quality assurance, cupping coffees, and overseeing the entire roasting process. Jeremy travels annually, including a recent trip to Brazil, visiting farms and co-ops at origin, ensuring Muffin Break’s signature components are of the finest quality. Jeremy is continuously undergoing research and development to ensure Muffin Break is ahead of the curve in relation to the latest market trends.
Coffee is in Muffin Break’s DNA and is the driver for around half of sales today. Muffin Break’s coffee blend is sourced from five origins and largely designed to suit a milk-based coffee, but also produces an excellent espresso. These beans are exclusively blended, roasted and packaged by Jahnus, using state-of-the-art facilities at the Bean Alliance roast facility in Victoria to ensure every cup of Muffin Break coffee is perfectly balanced.
Muffin Break’s baristas receive continuous training to ensure they extract the perfect shot of coffee topped with a golden crema every time. All franchisees entering the Muffin Break system undergo specialist training. Training and assessment is ongoing throughout their ownership, and all Muffin Break barista training is recognised as accredited training under the national framework within the hospitality certificate stream.
Training and development is a key priority, as are events such as the annual Foodco Barista Competition, in which Muffin Break baristas from across Australia compete for the title of Muffin Break Champion Barista, with the winner going on to compete at external coffee chain competitions, such as the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE).
We have a broad range of competitors within the coffee chain franchise category, as well as increasingly from independent coffee shops, which are growing at an exceedingly fast rate. Coffee is an extremely competitive market, and we are constantly monitoring developments in our category. To grow our market share we have ensured that we are constantly evolving and staying relevant, while also staying true to our heartland and brand values. Our recent brand evolution is only the start. We have a fantastic loyalty scheme and the best coffee card in Australia – all of our loyalty members receive every fifth coffee free.
In February 2013, Muffin Break broke the industry-wide trend of charging more for soy milk, scrapping the surcharge imposed by most coffee chains and independents which typically charge consumers 60 cents more per soy cup of coffee.
“With our “no extra charge for soy” promise, Muffin Break raised the bar in support of soy drinkers and I am so proud our brand is in such a strong position that we were able to do so,” said Muffin Break Marketing Manager Gemma Fitzsimons.
Ms Fitzsimons said its recent Golden Bean accolades are the result of a consistent commitment to quality by the Muffin Break team.
“To not only be acknowledged but named an Overall Champion in the world’s largest competition for coffee roasters is a significant and well-deserved tribute to the unrelenting commitment to quality by the Muffin Break team.
“From our Head Coffee Roaster Jeremy Regan, who constantly fine-tunes the Muffin Break signature blend, to the café baristas who ensure each cup is served to the highest standard, I am truly delighted with this recognition of a very deserving and dedicated team,” said Ms Fitzsimons.

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