Kevin Bewick & Lisa Bolton, North East

SITB has improved the quality of our life

As a SITB franchisee, my quality of life has improved dramatically. This is because my working week is shorter, I have less stress and am able to take holidays on a more regular basis. In fact last year, Lisa and I visited Sorrento in Italy.

Before I joined SITB I owned a convenience shop and worked long hours seven days a week. While I took a good salary, I did not have the time or energy to reward myself for my hard work. Eager for a change, I spoke to a franchisee who sold greetings cards in my store. His experience of franchising was very positive and led me to research franchising and the different opportunities on offer.

SITB appealed because it is associated with quality snack brand Cadbury and would utilise my skills gained from running my convenience store. Other benefits included the fact it is a relatively low investment, which can be run as a one man in a van operation so you do not need to worry about employing staff initially. I could also see the snack vending machine concept had growth potential, so when I heard that a territory nearby was for sale I decided to invest.

The initial training course covers everything you need to know to run the business and the support is ongoing. You can call or email head office at any point for help, from book keeping, VAT to setting up and checking the vending machines.

Since I took over the North East SITB territory in December 2007, I have built up the business's weekly turnover from £1,400 to £2,650 with 110 vending machines. Long term, my aim is to build up the business to an annual turnover of at least £150,000 and employ a part-time merchandiser to help me and my partner Lisa with the round.