"Joining Auntie Anne's is one of the best decisions I've ever made"

After relocating from Nigeria to the UK in March 2008, it was with Auntie Anne's that franchise owner Adeola Ogunbanjo, was able to pursue her ambition of running her own business.

Before launching her Auntie Anne's food franchise in January, Adeola Ogunbanjo worked as a financial consultant for KPMG Nigeria.

When her husband was offered a job in London, the couple relocated to the UK and Adeola saw this as the perfect opportunity to become her own boss.

"At the time we moved over it was during the worst of the recession and finding a choice role in the financial services sector was particularly difficult. I thought the time was right to try something new and that's when the idea of franchising came up," she says.

With the ambition of running her own franchise and a genuine passion for food, Adeola was instantly attracted to global pretzel franchise Auntie Anne's while on holiday in the USA.

"I came across Auntie Anne's in a mall and tried one of the pretzels which was simply amazing! I thought to myself, I have to bring this over to the UK," she continues.

"I then researched the Auntie Anne's franchise online and discovered there was already a franchisor based in the UK. When I contacted the franchisor they informed me of the possibility of a location at Brent Cross shopping centre in Hendon, which I found very attractive as I live close by and know the area."

Before launching her store, Adeola embarked on a week-long training course in Pennsylvania, in the USA, where she received comprehensive industry and product training.

"The training was excellent. I learnt everything I needed to know to run my store successfully from hygiene standards and procedures to making the actual pretzels. I received practical experience with hands-on training in a US store and an additional 10 days in a store in the UK," explains Adeola. Franchise owners receive continuous support from head office with one-to-one meetings every month, online advice and help available over the phone. Auntie Anne's also holds annual company meetings where franchise owners can get together to discuss products, marketing and offer one another advice. With a great location and a passion for the product, Adeola was sure she could build the business into a success.

"I only started trading in January this year but the store has already exceeded my expectations, I am reaching my financial targets," she reveals. "I love food and the product is fantastic. I enjoy the challenges that the business brings and I continually try and out do myself each time. The store is busy and quite demanding but I like that."

With business going very well, Adeola is already looking to the future with plans to expand and open more stores.

"In the near future I would like to hire a manager and leave the store in capable hands so I can really focus on business development, expansion and marketing. I can honestly say joining Auntie Anne's is one of the best decisions I've ever made," she adds.

Reported by Tiffany Brooking