Watching a business grow rapidly into a recognised brand is every entrepreneurâ€™s dream. Franchising is a popular route to turning that vision into reality. Thatâ€™s what three former IT entrepreneurs did with the wine shop they launched in Limerick (Ireland) five years ago.
Having sold their previous venture, a technology firm, to an American multinational in the late 1990s, Michael McDonnell, Paddy Oâ€™Flynn and Darragh Moore decided to do something completely different. They opened their Wine Buff store on Mallow Street in Limerick just before Christmas 2000.
The aim was to concentrate on wines from small family-owned vineyards, primarily in France, where Oâ€™Flynn now lives and sources stock.
The success of the store led the trio to think about expansion. Rather than opening more shops themselves, they decided to bring in franchisees. Today there are seven Wine Buffs around the country, and scope for many more. The aim now is to have 40 franchised stores throughout Ireland before moving on to Britain and France.
Photo by edvvc.