Cherry Beans

A passion for coffee inspires a growing franchise

Plenty of people love their coffee but not many are sufficiently inspired to undertake a worldwide study tour.

But for Caffe Cherry Beans Managing Director Eric Lee, this is exactly what he did some six years ago.

“I travelled to Italy, Japan and the US, finishing in Portland where I attended the American Barista & Coffee School to study advanced coffee roasting. The following year I went to San Francisco for the Boot Coffee Course at Mill Valley which covered advanced coffee roasting and cupping,” recalls Eric. “These courses really cemented my passion for coffee.”

With a background in hotels and hospitality, Eric began his first Caffe Cherry Beans in Sydney’s Pyrmont in 2007 at the height of the global financial crisis.

“It was a tough time to be starting out as many of my regulars were local office workers, and day after day, someone would call by to say it was their last day as they were being made redundant,” he said. “But still, I persisted, working 12 hour days, 7 days a week applying what I knew about creating a great cafe experience.”

His success with his initial cafe inspired Eric to extend Caffe Cherry Beans as a franchise concept.

“Having thrived despite the hard times, I was happy to share with franchisees what I knew about running a successful cafe,” said Eric. “Today we have eleven stores around NSW and ACT and plan for further expansion if the location and franchisees are the right fit for our brand.”

Prospective franchisees must undergo 3 to 6 month’s training at the company’s Pendle Hill head office and factory and also train in-store with other franchisees, prior to being permitted to commence.

“We want to ensure our franchisees are as well prepared as possible before starting out,” he said. “It’s also a great way to ensure everyone adopts our high standards in their operations.”

With a large number of cafes, Eric and his Director of Administration and New Business Development Jay Lim say sourcing quality equipment and furniture is critical to their brand.

“Studio MKZ, our cafe designer, introduced us to Cafeideas,” said Eric. “Over the years, I’ve dealt with Jerome from Cafeideas and he always goes out of his way to look after us.”

Jay commented that many cafe operators do not fully understand the difference in quality and features between various makes and models of equipment and furnishings.

“Jerome takes the time to explain why he recommends one product over another,” said Jay. “Quality and reliability are really important to our operations so we really value Jerome’s knowledge and insight in this regard. With his help, we’re confident we’re making the best choices.”

Over the years, Eric has purchased table tops, table bases, chairs, glass and dishwashers, gelato display, griddle toaster, toaster, bench fridge, food prep fridge, ice maker, burner cook top, deep fryer, griddle plate, grill station, milkshake mixer, blender and a cake display cabinet from Cafeideas.

Eric ensures the high standards of each Caffe Cherry Beans store through a fortnightly comprehensive audit process. An expert barista assesses the coffee and an experienced five star hotel chef evaluates the food.

“Around half of the revenue of most cafes comes from coffee sales,” said Eric. “That’s why we focus so much on delivering great tasting coffee. We achieve this through our use of quality ingredients such as beans from the world’s premier coffee growing regions, in-house roasting and our intensive barista training.”

Caffe Cherry Beans is located at Pyrmont, Chatswood, Ashfield, Birkenhead Point, Carnes Hills, Cherrybrook, Hoxton Park, Rouse Hill, St Ives, Campsie and Belconnen. Each store serves light meals and refreshments including an all day breakfast menu. Seasonal offerings add variety to the menu and each cafe is open seven days. Find out address details at