How Pj’s Coffee Is Empowering and Supporting Veteran Entrepreneurs

PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans, a New Orleans-based coffeehouse that demonstrates better beans, superior roasting techniques, and pure passion for the art of coffee-making matter, has found its recipe for success is composed of much more than just better beans and roasting methods. The company is reaching its 40th year as an established brand and has found that veteran franchisees are an essential ingredient to success in growing the business and developing the brand.

PJ’s Coffee understands the benefits having veteran franchisees and how it impacts business and the entire franchise system. Veterans know the value of hard work and possess the strong leadership skills it takes to run an effective team and business. As the ultimate team player – they are able to keep their composure under high-pressure situations and are dynamic in all settings. With the current veteran unemployment rate at 3.7 percent, PJ’s Coffee is working toward making a true impact by focusing on giving support to veteran entrepreneurs.

PJ’s Coffee has many initiatives throughout the company which help support and empower veterans who are looking to own their own franchise. As an International Franchise Association VetFran member, PJ’s Coffee offers a 20 percent discount on the initial franchise fee for veterans and has also created a franchise license giveaway to give veterans the opportunity to enter the franchise system.

Each year, PJ’s Coffee will award one United States military veteran with a free franchise license. Eligible applicants are asked to fill out a form and submit a short one-minute video explaining why they would make a great PJ’s Coffee franchisee. Applications are open now through October 20, 2018. The winner will be announced on Veteran’s Day (Sunday, November 11, 2018).

This year’s PJ’s Coffee Veteran Franchise License Giveaway was awarded to Marine Corps veteran, Jeff Hateley. Hateley discovered the giveaway on Veteran’s Day in 2017 and applied right away knowing the opportunity was a perfect fit for him. Hateley served in the Marine Corps from 2001 to 2006 and specialized in Tactical Data Networks. During his time, he was deployed in Iraq and Japan and took on the role of a Primary Marksmanship Instructor. After serving, Hateley went on to receive his Bachelor’s from California State University Fullerton and MBA from Pepperdine University. He has worked several accounting jobs throughout California and Florida and is currently a Corporate Controller. Hateley’s PJ’s Coffee location will open in Rock Hill, South Carolina later this year.

“This year we awarded Jeff with the giveaway franchise license and he is a direct reflection of what the PJ’s Coffee brand values in veteran franchisees,” said Ryan Stansbury, PJ’s Coffee Franchise Development Director.  “We are thrilled to continue this giveaway as an annual contest and to have a true impact on the veteran entrepreneur community.”

Hateley went through the same comprehensive interview process any other potential franchisee would before becoming a PJ’s Coffee franchisee. He then got to experience the PJ’s Coffee brand and profound training process before signing the official agreement to welcome him in as a PJ’s Coffee franchisee.

“Winning the Franchise License Giveaway has been such an incredible opportunity,” said Hateley. “PJ’s Coffee has welcomed me into their family and has already provided me with incredible support and the valuable resources I need to succeed. I cannot think of a better franchise to be a part of and to help grow my career, and I look forward to providing a superior coffee-house experience to my community.”

In the initial signing phase, all new franchisees are connected with an existing franchisee to aid in their discovery of the franchise organization and to ask any questions that will help set them up for success. After the complete evaluation process is over, the new franchisee will travel to New Orleans where they will visit multiple PJ’s locations, tour the roasting facility, and meet the PJ’s Coffee corporate support team in person. 

The support starts with a multi-level training program delivered by way of online training, classroom training, as well as on-site, hands-on training at the franchisee’s location. PJ’s Coffee also provides franchisees with year-round operational consulting on an individual unit basis to ensure franchisees have all of the resources and support they need to succeed. 

The president of PJ’s Coffee and the parent brand, Ballard Brands, Peter Boylan, is a United States Army veteran who was a member of the 101st Airborne and 82nd Airborne, and served two combat tours. Having military experience, Boylan knows firsthand that veterans contribute positively to the business.

“There are so many lessons I learned in the military that have applied directly to business and running PJ’s Coffee and the other Ballard Brand companies,” said Boylan. “The military taught me how to be decisive and strategic, and it has shown me that hard work, perseverance and commitment has a true payoff. I see these qualities in other veterans and know how valuable they are to our brand. When people ask me what principles I’ve learned that guide me through life and running the company, each one was learned during my time in the Army. There is so much potential for veteran entrepreneurs, and a huge opportunity for companies to ensure they are empowering them and giving them the support they need to succeed. I’m so proud to be a part of a brand that does just that.”

PJ’s Coffee is committed to building up veterans and helping them live out their dreams of owning their own business. If you, or someone you know is interested in learning more about franchising with PJ’s Coffee, please visit

To apply for the Veteran Franchise License Giveaway visit

Previous ArticleNext Article
Send this to a friend