How did you get into the food industry?
For me it was a journey which began years ago when I launched my business. I previously worked at a former fast food place and my former boss asked me to prepare some sandwiches. The customers were asking for them and he gave me an opportunity and I took it. Afterward, it was successful and the customers who bought started asking for the person who was preparing the sandwiches to deliver to the fast food businesses as well as managers of gas stations. That is when Delicious Treats was born. This brought an immediate shift in time management because my job was still my main source of income but that quickly changed and my schedule became very strict as I had to be up very early on mornings to prepare all of the sandwich orders. They then had to be delivered to places of business. After that I would arrive at my job for 7:30am which also included my sandwich order as well. I began to handle it well as I was able to quickly make the shift mentally and physically. Seeing that I started with only 3 flying fish sandwiches my initial investment wasn’t much but as it quickly grew it went from 3 to 5 to 6 to 10 to 20 to 30 to 50. I had to keep reinvesting my funds to keep things going. Nevertheless I loved what I was doing and was passionate, dedicated and embraced this opportunity. I was a single mother at that point in time and it definitely paid the bills. I continued to do this for a couple more years. Then one day the sudden reality came to me that each day I was receiving so many different calls at my job for my business to deliver more sandwiches that I couldn’t realistically continue to keep this job and fulfill the daily demands of the orders that I was receiving. Therefore I told my former boss that I was handing in in my resignation. I thanked him truly because it was him who gave me the opportunity to begin my own business. Little did I know that all of the experiences that he gave me would have carried me along this journey. I was then fully self-employed which caused even more focus and dedication. I started to spread my wings even more and began adding not only delis and service stations, but also cafes. The customers enjoyed having a fresh, delicious and healthy option of a sandwich for breakfast while on their way to work, school, business etc. That was phase one of our journey at Delicious Treats.
Another opportunity came for us to add catering services as well. I quickly took the opportunity and began with catering services seeing that we were already specializing in a consistent sandwich line which has held its own over the years. It was very easy to make the transition to add catering services and we began with a breakfast option preparing the same sandwiches but in smaller shapes and sizes. Once again we were received very well by customers and we added lunch, coffee breaks etc. Delicious Treats has been constantly evolving and growing. The name got stuck on me as the “sandwich lady”. I took it as a compliment that we could offer a quality product over the years and still was able to maintain our very loyal customers. I was humbled by the experience in many ways.
This leads me to phase three of our journey and growth as a business. We found out about another opportunity from a friend, who is also a loyal customer, that a kiosk in our local hospital would be available for a sandwich shop. My friend and customer helped me to prepare this proposal and I submitted it. Honestly, over two years passed and life went on and I forgot about it then one day I received a phone call that Delicious Treats was awarded the contract for the kiosk. I was elated, excited and happy. I cried. It was truly the opportunity of a lifetime for Delicious Treats to show an even larger portion of the population what we can offer and be that option of a healthy yet very delicious treat at the right affordable price so we prepared our business plan for funding. We got quotes from various businesses so that we could have everything prepared so then when the funds were available everything would be in place, ready to be opened in a timely manner. The journey for funding as a female entrepreneur hasn’t been an easy one yet I am thankful that Delicious Treats was able to receive our first loan to officially open our first location.The opening was surreal. I remember our first day like it was yesterday. The response was amazing yet so humbling. It was very rewarding that a business that began with only three fish sandwiches in the small beautiful island of Barbados has grown to see such a reality. This opportunity has exposed Delicious Treats to another level that I believe deep within my heart based on our journey that all of these different experiences have led us to where we have grown at this stage. We were open daily because of where we are located and we also have two shifts so the experiences of deliveries to 24 hour service stations and cafes, delis and our catering services has been a great training ground for us at Delicious Treats. One year passed and I was so grateful and thankful to God for allowing the opportunity to come our way. To this day it’s seven years.
After that began phase four of our journey when a customer that I was serving asked me who designed the concept/ layout and that it is an excellent one and that they would love to be a part of something like this. Then I had an ‘aha’ moment and it suddenly came to me that my concept was one that could be replicated and that with my experience I can navigate through such a process. Since I was not familiar with this new concept I began asking questions and searching to find solutions to this new opportunity. I also sat with the couple who was interested to help me see what they were thinking of and I too was learning. Then one day another customer asked similar questions. After that Delicious Treats began to have customers on a regular basis who would have made comments saying you guys would do good in another location like in Jamaica, in St Lucia, in The Cayman Islands, in Trinidad and Tobago, and that is when I began to fully comprehend the potential that lay ahead for Delicious Treats in the franchise industry so we began looking for as much information as we could find on franchising so we could learn about this topic. As a result of this, we found out about the franchise expo and started attending to see, to learn and to gather information on this industry and what it was all about. It took time and sacrifice. I saved for an entire year. I had to put aside the funds bit by bit. Consequently, I was able to travel to my first franchise expo. It was not that I just had the funds and I could just go. I had to budget and sacrifice and save for an entire year. The first franchise expo we attended was in New York. I met different franchise consultants. I also got the opportunity to meet various franchise owners and I took the time at the conference to explain the pros and the cons of the industry. They had seminars, sessions, attorneys, everything you could think of about franchising was at this expo and we also attended another one after that. Nevertheless I continued to do what I was doing. What I love most about franchising is that you get the opportunity to meet such dynamic and amazing people to partner with, to grow, to learn and achieve success with rather than trying to do it all on your own. You have great minds to work with and build together.
This is our 5th phase that Delicious Treats is embarking on. I am grateful to have over 15 years of experience in this business and we have certainly had our good and our bad but I am happy that I have been given the strength as a female to see such an opportunity, to think big and to know that nothing is impossible. The many solutions that I have, the many situations that I have been through have brought me right where I am supposed to be, my right appointed destination. I am looking forward to our continued journey. This is another phase for us as we continue to grow. I am just humbled and so thankful to God for bringing us just far.
What’s new in the franchise model or how are you differentiated from your competition?
At Delicious Treats we have been able to prepare a much healthier sandwich line and dessert soup options etcAlso all of our raw vegetables are organic which add such value to our products with all that is going on in the world with health issues we thought that us bringing a much healthier option will help bring more awareness of wellness that you have a delicious product without compromising your health. We have a very high percentage of non-communicable diseases on our island so many customers when tasting a tuna sandwich without mayonnaise is shocked that it tastes so good as well that it doesn’t need the mayonnaise. That’s one of the ways that we have been able to win over the confidence of our customers as well. Also our smoothies have no preservatives or additives, just the natural fruit that’s blended. Also having a supply of our organic farmers to supply us with healthier options.
Where do you see opportunities or challenges for the franchise moving forward?
I see many opportunities in the franchise industry for Delicious Treats. First, the mobile trailer concept. It gives you the opportunity to have no monthly overheads except for the initial investment for the trailer. You don’t have to pay a monthly rental fee, just the initial investment franchise fee or monthly fees for the franchise. Although it may be more costly initially it will be much less costly down the road. There would be no pressure of rental fees each month. Also being able to move the trailer to various events brings more sales. Being able to move from different locations is an advantage as well as being able to go to customers, having a planned route to go to the customers on a weekly basis. This is a much better option for many. Also being able to explore other options for example the airport, seaport, colleges, universities, heavy traffic locations in the Caribbean and abroad. I think that funding can be challenging but with the right team of advisors I believe we would be able to navigate through such waters as they come. I see everything as a challenge and I know we will find the solutions to the challenges. I would also like to have my own farm to supply locations with organic produce. It can be achieved but at a later stage in the franchise development. Also I would love to have a charitable organization helping to mentor young females as I was blessed to have grown up in family business which is how I learned many things about business but there are many young females that did not have that opportunity that I had and it would go a long way to have a mentor to help advise and develop. Also being a teenage mother I understand the challenges that we face. I was able to stay focused and achieve my dreams, never being ashamed of my past but using it and the experience to help others to achieve their dreams and goals as well.
Your Most Difficult Moment in the Delicious Treats Franchise Business?
I think we all have those days when things go beyond our control. I usually have my days planned out for example doing deposits, going to the bank, ordering stock, communicating with the team as to how the day is going, sales etc but sometimes we have days where things go wrong, things beyond our control. After all, we are dealing with humans who are imperfect beings. We are dealing with things that are man-made that have flaws so even although I might be having a bad day I always try to weather the storm and to just deal with it and find solutions. That’s basically it. There is no specific moment that I can identify as a bad moment for me, just things that happen beyond our control and we just have to find ways to navigate through it.
Who is the ideal franchise candidate?
The ideal franchise candidate is one who I believe has the same or similar core values of dedication and commitment. Someone who does not give up when it looks tough. Someone that is solution-oriented and willing to put in the necessary time, someone not easily frustrated, someone very passionate and looking to build a legacy for their family. Also someone who can have their family there helping and working with them because I grew up in a family business and all of us helped and that is how we learnt with my dad and my grandad. When you have your family working with you in the business building a legacy together can be an even more beautiful experience.
For more information on the Delicious Treats franchise system, connect with Ms. Rollins directly: