Patricia McAvoy & Ursula McGivern, Belfast

"I thoroughly enjoy getting to know my clients"

SNACK-IN-THE-BOX (SITB) represents a new, more exciting and challenging venture for Patricia McAvoy. Previously working as a shellfish sales agent, Patricia became restless when demand for shellfish decreased. "I heard about the SITB franchise through a friend who had a snack box delivered to her workplace," she says. "She knew the concept worked and when she learned that the franchise owner was selling his ready-made territory she thought of me."

Patricia went into partnership with Ursula McGivern to take over the Belfast SITB franchise in February last year. "We really enjoy running our franchise,' she relates. 'I drive the van and meet the customers while Ursula juggles a full time job working as a social worker with the SITB paperwork.

"The support so far has been excellent. Initially we had head office training in England learning the ropes, and then when we came back to Northern Ireland the previous franchise owners were on hand to answer any questions we had regarding the route, customers and how to run the business. Every couple of months a member of head office visits to give us pointers on ways we can improve our business."

Patricia and Ursula have restructured their territory in order to site more of their boxes closer to their home. 'We have reworked our driving route and have purchased a bigger van so that we can deliver more boxes in one trip. This has reduced the number of hours I spend delivering and collecting snack boxes from our clients - I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know every single one of them!