Tom Michalopoulos - CEO of Coffee Time

Date: MAY 8th, 2013

Topic: Interview with a CEO

Tom Michalopoulos is the President and CEO of Coffee Time Donuts Inc. Tom founded Coffee Time in 1982 and grew Coffee Time into one of the largest coffee chains in Canada. Tom is very passionate about business and people and constant is coming up with ways of developing new and existing businesses. On his free time he enjoys spending time with his 5 grand children.

BeTheBoss.ca: Tell us about the concept.

Tom Michalopoulos: Coffee Time is a coffee and snack concept that serves premium roasted coffee, baked goods, sandwiches, soups and various other snacks. The concept offers customers good value in a comfortable and warm environment.

BTB: How and when did you become involved with Coffee Time Donuts?

TM: I started the company in 1982 when I opened the first Coffee Time store in Bolton Ontario and never looked back.

BTB: What was your background prior to joining Coffee Time Donuts?

TM: I was a real estate agent and real estate was an important part of our growth.

What are some of the advantages in being a Coffee Time Donuts franchisee?

TM: We offer our operators a bit more flexibility to adapt to local or community preferences and work with them to be successful.

Who is your ideal franchisee?

TM: A person or family that is self motivated, passionate about business and has the right attitude towards life.

Tell us a little about the Quick Food Service Market?

TM: The industry is very competitive like any other, but people love coffee and I feel the category will continue to grow.

What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this franchise?

TM: That not one person is the same and each person has different ideas of how to be successful. Listening to them and finding a balance is important.

Do you have a mentor and is their someone you use for inspiration?

TM: I grew up with very little and with little structure in my life so I can’t say one person inspired or taught me. I’m inspired by life and its challenges and strive to learn from each one.

What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?

TM: Do your homework and follow your passion. Look for a franchise that has been around for a while. Don’t make your decision solely on money.

In your opinion, why do you think that Coffee Time Donuts would be a great opportunity for someone?

TM: Because coffee is bought more frequently than any other item. You get to build relationships with your customer which is important to being successful.