Franchise Brochure
What is a Rock ‘n’ Joe Coffee Bar?
Rock ‘n’ Joe is a Rock & Roll Coffee Bar. It’s a cool
place for people who love exceptional coffee,
premium food, and quality rock n’ roll music in
a trendy and relaxing environment.
Rock ‘n’ Joe Coffee Bar is all about creative
excellence. Taste the award-winning and proprietary
coffee masterfully blended by Dillanos’…one of
North America’s premier coffee roasters. Enjoy
our chef-select menu consisting of superior
sandwiches and salads while listening to the best
rock and roll. From the ambience to the service…
every note in the Rock ‘n’ Joe experience in perfect
harmony of upscale and inviting.
For entrepreneurs with a passion for great proprietary
coffee blends, food, specialty drinks, and rock n’ roll
music…Rock ‘n’ Joe Coffee Bar is more than the
hippest hangout in town; it’s an opportunity for
a whole new lifestyle.
You can tap into the coffee culture by opening a Rock
‘n’ Joe Coffee Bar. Retail coffee is over $10 Billion a
year business that continues to see steady growth.
Consumers will splurge on small luxuries, like coffee,
and are becoming more educated on the beans, the
roast, and difference between a good cup of coffee
or not so good cup of coffee.
Franchise Brochure
The Rock ‘n’ Joe 20-Year Story
In the early 90s, specialty coffees and
specialty sandwiches were just beginning
to become popular in the United States.
Rock ‘n’ Joe Coffee had a great idea to
capitalize on both those trends with a
bistro that would specialize not only in
the finest coffees, but also legendary
sandwiches and truly delicious pastries.
But the brand’s ingenuity didn’t stop there.
Rock ‘n’ Joe’s founder had long been a fan
of rock and roll music, and he’d been an
avid collector of rock memorabilia. He was
determined to combine his passion for rock
music with his bistro business idea.
In 1993, the dream became a reality when the first Rock ‘n’ Joe coffeehouse opened in a
New Jersey suburb. Rock ‘n’ Joe was an instant hit. Customers flocked to the cozy lounge and
investors clamored for a chance to own their own franchises. While adding a handful of locations
in New Jersey, the brand perfected the food and drink recipes, developed efficient and friendly
staff practices, and streamlined all of the business systems.
In 2013, Rock ‘n’ Joe was acquired by Ablak Holdings. The Ablak Holdings team has over 25 years
of experience in managing and franchising food businesses. The idea of a rock and roll coffee
house lives on and, through partnership with ambitious new franchise owners, is ready to hit the
national and international stage.
Franchise Brochure
Our “Quality” Philosophy
Much of the Rock ‘n’ Joe success comes from a commitment to
a high quality product. Our coffee blend recipes are developed
based on superior quality, color, texture, and taste in mind. We
utilize a #1 Arabica bean…which is a far superior quality coffee
bean. In fact, there are 5 levels of Arabica Coffee. We use the
best #1 Arabica bean in all of our blends. The result is a
consistently better customer experience that keeps people
coming back for more.
Now ask the other popular coffee houses…you know who they are…
what quality of coffee bean they use. You’ll soon find out why
Rock ‘n’ Joe has continuously won awards for their superior
premium coffee quality.
If you want the best…you have to use the best ingredients, period!
We realize it’s cheaper for large chains to use a lower grade Arabica bean. After all, many
people aren’t aware of the various quality “grade levels”. But, make no mistake about it…you
can sure taste the difference! Ask our loyal patrons who have been customers for over 20 years.
From Bean to Brew - Rock ‘n’ Joe Coffee Excellence
The centerpiece of Rock ‘n’ Joe has always been the coffee.
We clearly know that this business would only succeed if the
coffee tasted better than the competition’s. Just like all great
musicians have a signature sound, our signature blends would
define who we are…a favorite among our customers for over
20 years.
Since day one, Rock ‘n’ Joe coffees have been made from
the very best beans that are then roasted using superior
roasting techniques. Every cup is brewed with specially treated
water, which is essential for a taste that is consistently rich and
flavorful. The result is a delicious cup of coffee every single time.
Franchise Brochure
Your Perfect Specialty Coffee
First, the water is filtered so nothing but the purest water is
used to formulate your specialty drink! Think about it! The
base of any product is the key to its final outcome!
That’s why we take such great care making sure we start
with the right water for our creations. You see…every barista
knows the secret to a great specialty coffee. Yes…we know
that all ingredients must work in harmony with each other!
Great coffee starts with great water. Our world-class coffee
means a perfect cup every time no matter what specialty coffee you choose.
Now try one of our house specialty drinks that includes Artisan Espresso with caramel syrup and
caramel sauce. Can you say whoa?! In fact, all of our drinks are made hot, iced or frozen. They
are both visually appealing and consistently delicious.
Some Like it Hot, Some Like it Cold
Ever notice how many people love the flavor of coffee but
some like it hot and some like it cold? At Rock ‘n’ Joe, all
our drinks can be made hot, iced or frozen. If you purchased
coffee in other coffee houses, you know this is a rarity.
Most coffee shops have a limited iced coffee menu. Not
at Rock ‘n’ Joe!
You may ask, how can Rock ‘n’ Joe make any drink frozen and
other coffee shops can’t. Well that’s our trade secret that has
taken us years to develop. Sorry, you will just have to enjoy
our iced drinks and know we are Rock ‘n’ Good!
Franchise Brochure
Your Perfect Drinks
Milk tops all of our drink creations, ensuring menu
items look and taste as good as they sound. In fact, all
of our Artisan Espresso drinks – including frozen and
flavorful drip coffees – are made to be both visually
appealing and consistently delicious. Add to that a
variety of “flavor-full” frozen drinks, and you’ve now
greatly increased your customer appeal across all age
Rock ‘n’ Joe’s proven track record of success has not
come easy! Year after year we have been blessed with
new customers. We feel you have to “give” before you
“get”. We believe that our attention to detail is one
of many reasons we have been graced by volumes of
awards spanning over two decades.
But perhaps our most prestigious award is our renowned
customer loyalty. Repeat customers make up the
majority of our business, and we’re proud to be
voted a family favorite.
Franchise Brochure
Your Perfect Pastries
We use the palette of hundreds of people to determine our mix of pastries. Our customers love
the array of delectable confections that complement our coffee selections. The aroma when
you walk into our stores takes you over and envelopes your senses while the pastries provide a
heightened level of eye appeal.
The showmanship continues with the mouth-watering presentations.
Rock ‘n’ Joe Coffee Bar array of bakery items include plain and flavored bagels, flavored biscotti,
croissants, muffins, scones, Danish, brownies, doughnuts, cookies, nut and fruit breads and
seasonal items sure to tempt even the most strong-willed.
We want the best for we test for flavor, consistency and a high taste appeal. The
results show. Better ingredients equal better products. We have followed these principles from
the beginning and know that our customers deserve nothing less. Whether it’s our breakfast
pastries, muffins, sconces…you will get a consistent flavor profile day in and day out!
Your Perfect Menu
Each of our award-winning coffees coupled with our varied breakfast and lunch menu, poses
new choices that will certainly please.
You will notice immediately that our high quality ingredients remain the focal point
throughout the menu. This attention to detail is not by accident. Our Franchise Partners and
patrons deserve to be supported in this manner…using our strict quality control practices for
all items purchased for our menu.
Franchise Brochure
Selecting and Processing the Best Bean
Coffee is a deciduous, shrub-like tree. Most cultivars
used in commercial production are pruned back each
year to less than 8 feet in height, and every 8-10
years the tree is pruned nearly to the ground. The life
of the tree in terms of good coffee production can be
50 years.
The coffee cherry matures for about 5-6 months on
the branch, and it is susceptible to damage from
weather or insects during that entire period. At any
given time, then, a branch of a coffee tree will have
both ripe and unripe cherries.
Green cherry, which is the least ripe, is completely
unacceptable in good coffee. Yellow to red cherry is not necessarily going to ruin a cup, but
there’s a chance the taste can be affected. Overripe cherry can give an interesting nuance to a
cup in small amounts, but too many will ruin the cup entirely. Ideally, all the fruit used to make
coffee is the deep red to crimson color of a perfectly ripe coffee cherry.
The only way to ensure a perfect cup of coffee is to hand pick the coffee cherries using
continuous passes on the same trees.
Processing the Coffee Cherry
After being harvested by hand, the coffee cherry is brought to a wet mill where it must be
depulped within 6-12 hours after picking to avoid rotting. At the wet mill, the cherries are
put into a deep water flotation tank. The ripe cherries sink, while any unripe fruit floats and is
skimmed off the surface. The remaining ripe cherries go into a pulper where the external skin
of the fruit is removed.
Once the skin has been removed, the pulpy musiclage of the coffee is put in another water
tank to ferment. Coffee fermentation can last anywhere from 12 to 72 hours and is carefully
controlled to avoid causing any off flavors in the coffee. After fermentation, the coffee is dried
on a drying patio for four to eight days until it reaches about 12% moisture content.
Finally, the coffee is sent to the dry mill where it is sorted, screened, prepped, and bagged for
export. All of the coffee roasted and brewed by Rock ‘n’ Joe is ethically sourced. The beans
are picked and processed by farmers who receive fair wages for their important labor.
Franchise Brochure
Our Top Rankings & Awards
The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) launched the “Golden Cup” award in the
1980s as a way to significantly raise the quality of coffee being sold across America. It was
figured that only a few coffeehouses could
ever meet such lofty standards in the quality
of beans, as well as in the specific protocols to
properly grind and brew the coffee. It is with a
tremendous level of satisfaction that Rock ‘n’
Joe Coffeehouse was named a winner of the
“Golden Cup”. Rock ‘n’ Joe joins a small
handful of coffeehouses and restaurants across
the country earning the prestigious designation.
“Our signature coffee is a tremendous source of pride for us. This award reinforces that Rock ‘n’
Joe consistently provides one of the best cups of coffee around. Period. Rock ‘n’ Joe, offers a
signature blend of coffee with a smooth taste; a smart alternative to the specialty coffee chains
that are known for the powerful, burnt taste of their brews.
Along with its secret bean selection and roasting technique, Rock ‘n’ Joe coffees are made with
specially-treated water – a key component for consistently rich, flavorful drip coffee. For the
Golden Cup, Rock ‘n’ Joe prepares its coffee according to the SCAA’s precise brewing standards,
and had to submit water samples and brewed coffee for laboratory analysis. SCAA officials
analyze the water samples to determine the amount of minerals in the water; they also study
the ratio of water to coffee. Only samples found to be within the SCAA’s prescribed limits
qualify for the Golden Cup award.
We are proud to note that Rock ‘n’ Joe is committed to using only ethically sourced coffee,
from which farmers receive fair wages and the coffee is grown pesticide-free. “While these
coffees cost more, we believe it is a better quality bean that we are proud to purchase.
It’s just a better way to do business. Everybody wins.
Franchise Brochure
Our Affiliations & Partnerships
Dillanos Coffee Roasters is a family owned specialty
coffee roaster located in Sumner, Washington. Established
in 1992, the company was named Roast magazine’s 2011
Macro Roaster of the Year, presented annually to the U.S.’s
top roaster with an output of more than 100,000 pounds as
decided by the Roast editorial board.
Dillanos roasts a variety of premium specialty coffee blends and single-origin coffees
for Rock ‘n’ Joe, including several specially selected direct trade coffees.
Rock ‘n’ Joe’s commitment to quality coffee has been rewarded with recognition and accolades
from customers and industry experts. We have also been named one of the “Best New Jersey
Coffeehouses” in 2012 and 2015. All of Rock ‘n’ Joe’s blends start and end with Dillanos…
Roaster of the Year.
Franchise Brochure
Store Tour
Inviting, warm, cozy, friendly, cool and comfortable
are some words our customers use to describe
Rock ‘n’ Joe Coffee Bar. Just walk into any of
our stores and feel the sense of belonging and
Listen to the rhythm of the Rock ‘N’ Roll. Tell me
what it’s all about! There’s a song somewhere in
these words! You’ll never be sorry that you visited
our coffee bars.
In fact, after one tour of the coffee bar…you find
yourself kicking back relaxing to the music
and infectious environment.
A Typical Customer
The Rock ‘n’ Joe customer appreciates great coffee and food, but doesn’t want to pay too
much for either. They come back to Rock ‘n’ Joe over and over again for the relaxing themed
atmosphere. Our customers dig the music and appreciate the friendly staff serving up their
favorite specialty drinks.
Rock ‘n’ Joe has mass appeal, so a customer is just as likely to be slinging a backpack as hauling
a briefcase. Study groups and book clubs can gather around the tables, while solo writers and
readers might take advantage of the community seating.
Franchise Brochure
The Ideal Franchise Owner
For the right person, a Rock ‘n’ Joe
franchise can be both a profitable
business and a rewarding lifestyle. This
could be the right opportunity for you if,
much like our founder, you are a coffee
and music lover with an energetic and
outgoing personality.
You should also have a passion for
retail sales, customer service, and
building relationships. A commitment to
excellence, integrity, and honesty are a must, as is a track record of maturity, sound judgment,
and stability. Previous experience in management, retail sales, or food service is a plus but is not
You may be financially ready to take on this opportunity if you have a net worth of at least
$250,000 with $100,000 in liquid assets. You need to be able to cover your personal expenses for
at least 6 months without relying on returns from your new franchise. You should also have a 680
credit score or higher and the ability to secure financing.
In order to be successful as a franchise owner, you must be prepared to:
• Follow a proven system.
• Accept advice from others.
• Work long hours.
• Work without supervision or support staff.
• Lead and manage a team.
• Ask for help.
• Take a financial risk.
• Work hard.
The ideal franchise owner knows that starting and building a successful business is not easy,
but that the rewards outweigh the sacrifice and risk with the right opportunity.
Franchise Brochure
The Franchise Disclosure & Award Process
We will walk you through a thorough evaluation to see if a
mutual partnership exists. The evaluation consists of initial
discussions over the telephone or in person. Once the
framework has been established and collectively there is a
comfort level to proceed, we will request you submit a Franchise
Application. This will help us to understand your background and
financial qualifications.
Once approved, we will issue to you a Franchise Disclosure
Document (FDD). While we pride ourselves on being transparent…the Federal Trade Commission
requires all Franchisors to disclose critical information to aid in your decision-making process.
This is done through the FDD.
Our next step is to be absolutely certain that you fully understand all information contained in
the FDD. We request an hour-long telephone conference with you to answer any questions and
to ensure complete disclosure.
We then prepare a day-long event for you at our Franchise Support Center here in Pittsburgh.
This is called our Partner Visit. This special day is your day. A day when you will meet our 24
member support team and get any additional questions answered. You will meet our Founder
and other Executive Team Members along with department managers for Operations, Training,
Marketing, Accounting, Real Estate, Construction, Human Resources, IT, Financing and many
others who are responsible for supporting you in your store development and ongoing operations
after your store is opened.
Here you can speak to our Franchisee Partners, tour the store and witness live operations.
Once you commit to move forward with Rock ‘n’ Joe…the agreements are executed and we
begin to seek store locations. The ideal 1800 to 2200 square foot store location usually takes
approximately 180 days to build-out your store.
Approximately 60 days prior to opening your store, we will train you and several personnel at
our Franchise Support Center and at your store location.
As your opening day approaches, our Marketing Department will assist you in developing a
successful Grand Opening event. On the big day when you finally open your doors, Rock ‘n’ Joe
will have a team of people at your store to ensure all goes well. There will be a line of people
waiting to taste your superior quality products!
Franchise Brochure
Our Manuals
As a Rock ‘n’ Joe Franchise Owner, you’ll have the benefit of more than two decades of
experience on your side. Our manuals will show you how to turn a brand new coffee bar
restaurant into a successful business and neighborhood staple.
Our playbook selection includes:
Operations Manual
Marketing Manual
Design and Construction
f inancial management
Franchise Brochure
What are my start-up costs?
The investment to open a Rock ‘n’ Joe Store ranges from $228,500 to $415,000. This amount
varies greatly based on the square footage of the location you lease. You can also reduce your
initial out-of-pocket expense by purchasing the equipment used or through leasing…an option
that Rock ‘n’ Joe assists you in securing and providing the lowest out-of-pocket expense.
Leasehold Improvements will vary based on the number of seats, bathroom and ADA
requirements, HVAC, electrical and plumbing requirements and to what degree we can use the
existing walls and the current build-out to accommodate our design. Rest assured there will be
experts assessing each location to exploit any efficiency we can gain.
The example below gives a breakdown of start-up costs for opening a new franchise:
Estimated Initial Investment
Franchise Fee
Leasehold Improvements
Furniture, Fixtures & Equipment
Opening Inventory
Grand Opening Advertising
Miscellaneous Opening Costs
Additional Funds (3 months)
$75,000 -­‐ $200,000
$80,000 -­‐ $106,000
$7,000 -­‐ $12,000
$2,000 -­‐ $8,000
$2,000 -­‐ $5,000
$1,000 -­‐ $5,000
$11,500 -­‐ $19,000
$20,000 -­‐ $30,000
$228,500 -­‐ $415,000
The amount of Additional Funds vary based on your industry-specific experience, management
skills, business acumen, local economic and competitive conditions and how quickly break-even
is achieved. This money is your reserved fund that is used while you are operating the store.
Franchise Brochure
The criteria we use when deciding whether or not to finance a new store is similar to what a
bank uses. We want to do everything possible to ensure the success of our partners, and part
of that means making sure you are in the right position financially to get started.
In order to qualify for a Rock ‘n’ Joe Franchise, you will need:
• $250,000 Networth
• Minimum $100,000 Liquidity - Cash, Stocks, Bonds, Insurance, Equity Credit Lines etc.
• 1 yr. Food Management Experience or Operating Partner with the experience
• A good FICO Score and credit history
• A great attitude with passion
Additional Items you may want to consider:
1. The most common source of start-up capital is friends and family.
2. Seek out lenders that understand franchising.
3. Be totally honest and upfront with lenders. Hide nothing. Be prepared to explain
4. Don’t exhaust your liquidity by paying off outstanding debts before filing a loan
application. Lenders want you to have capital available.
5. If you lack liquidity, find a partner with money.
6. Consider equipment leasing to conserve start-up capital and improve the appearance
of your balance sheet.
7. Consider buying used equipment, furniture, vehicles, etc.
8. Don’t overlook angel investors and venture capitalists.
9. Don’t give up.
Franchise Brochure
Available Territories
Rock ‘n’ Joe is expanding in the U.S. Below is a list of territories that are currently targeted
for franchise development. Please contact Franchise Sales at 1-800-862-3554 to discuss your
selected territory.
Master Development available Internationally.
Meet Our Franchise Support Center Team
Varol Ablak
Jim Powers
Shawn Levine
Steve Macesic
Justin Neidinger
Laura Sable
Joe Button
Jeff Young
Michelle Bushmire
Amy Myers
Executive Vice President
Director of IT
Purchasing Manager
Accounting Manager
Construction Manager
Franchise Sales Director
Franchise Accounts Receivable Coordinator
Senior Graphic Designer
Franchise Brochure
Answers to some frequently asked questions.
Q. What is the initial investment required for a Rock ‘n’ Joe Franchise?
The initial cost of a Rock N Joe franchise ranges from $218,500 to $415,000, which pays for
the build-out and start-up expenses. Part of this investment is the initial franchise fee, which
is $30,000. The investment range will vary significantly due to (a) whether you lease or purchase the equipment, (b) the square footage and current build-out of the leased site as it
relates to leasehold improvements and (c) a liquor license if acquired.
Q. What is required to become a Rock ‘n’ Joe Franchisee?
We are looking for franchisees with outgoing personalities, outstanding work ethic, passion
for customer service, and a love of coffee, great food and rock music. Also, we require a
minimum net worth of $250,000 with $100,000 in liquid assets.
Q. What is the franchising royalty?
There is a 6% franchising royalty.
Q. What are your advertising fees?
The current Marketing Fee is 2%.
Q. Is financing available?
At this time, Rock ‘n’ Joe does not offer financing assistance. However, we are happy to
provide recommendations to third party lenders for you to contact.
Q. What is the average square footage of a Rock ‘n’ Joe franchise?
Franchised Rock ‘n’ Joe stores are usually between 1,800 and 2,200 square feet.
Q. Do I have to buy my food and equipment from the Corporate Office?
Franchisees secure their inventory and equipment through approved third party distributors.
Rock ‘n’ Joe works to select the assortment of products and equipment necessary to produce
our signature products. We negotiate on behalf of the franchise community to secure
competitive pricing. This helps insure that the consumer experience is the same regardless
of the geographical location of our units and allows our franchisees to focus on delivering
great service and fresh products.
Franchise Brochure
FAQ & FACTS (continued)
Answers to some frequently asked questions.
Q. How well can I do with a Rock ‘n’ Joe franchise?
The success of your franchise store is dependent on many factors including: (1) your business
acumen, (2) prior experience in the related industry, (3) your willingness to follow a proven
system, (4) the “sweat equity” applied to your business, (5) your ability to manage the
financial aspects of your business and personal life and (6) the location of your business.
Q. Does Rock ‘n’ Joe provide training?
You will receive both in-store and classroom training for all aspects of our business including
coffee and food preparation, sales and marketing techniques, as well as administrative and
office matters. We will also provide support prior to, during, and after you open your own
Q. What is the term of the franchise agreement?
The Initial term of you Rock ‘n’ Joe franchise agreement is 10 years, with one 10-year option.
Q. I’m interested. What is the next step?
Simply fill out the no-obligation Franchise Application and submit it to us. We will be in touch
with you shortly with more information.
Franchise Brochure
Next Steps
Step 1: Request More Information.
After researching us and gaining a comfort level, fill out the Request More Information Form
and we will forward you a checklist indicating the next steps along with a Franchise Application.
We will contact you shortly thereafter to arrange a convenient time to speak.
Step 2. Receive the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD).
After our follow-up discussion regarding your application and to answer any remaining questions
you may have, we will forward our FDD for your review. We will then establish a time to
thoroughly review the FDD. We will ask you to sign, date and return the FDD Receipt which
is located in the back of the FDD.
Step 3. Establish a Date to Attend our Partner Visit.
We set up a day-long event for you to visit with our Support Team at our Franchise Support
Center in Pittsburgh. These people will be supporting you in the future in every phase of your
store development and ongoing operations…so meeting them and discussing every aspect of
the opportunity is key to both parties gaining an understanding of the potential for a mutual
Step 4. Talk to our Franchise Partners.
During the required 14-day waiting period, in which the Federal Trade Commission mandates
that no transaction between franchisor and the potential new franchisee candidate can take
place, you can call existing franchisees.
Step 5. Execute Agreements.
If you’ve come this far…it would be our pleasure to host your success.
Franchise Brochure
Join the Rock ‘n’ Joe Family
At Rock ‘n’ Joe, we believe in keeping our promises.
As we continue to grow into our region as a leader in the
coffee marketplace, we have made promises not only to
stay true to our fantastic products, but to:
• Our franchise partners, whom we strive to make
successful through our support services
• Our Franchise Support Center Team, who
provide the dedication, insight, and hard work
necessary to grow our chain
• Our customers, who love our product!
As a new Rock ‘n’ Joe franchisee, you will have a Franchise Consultant who is trained to provide
expert assistance during your new store opening. Your consultant will also give you personal
on-going operations support, including quality assurance, marketing, business management,
and special help with new promotions and product roll-outs.
Please contact our Franchise Development Coordinator:
Jeff Young
Franchise Sales Director
Rock ‘n’ Joe Coffee Bar
412-445-0280 = cell
412-919-2100 x 527 = office
Franchise Brochure