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Interview with Jack Dow

Can you tell us a bit about Coffee News and how it got started?

Coffee News was founded in 1988 by Jean Daum in East Selkirk, Manitoba when her little industrial town closed down. All that was left was the Town Hall, a service station, a small grocery store, barber shop and a diner.

Jean got a job with the town and one day while having a coffee and muffin at the diner she sat waiting for her food to arrive at her table, it took only five minutes but she was bored and started reading the ketchup packs and sugar packs, and then it struck her. What if she created something fun and informative for people to keep them entertained while waiting! She started up a little paper full of horoscopes, trivia, jokes and brief stories but the town could no longer fund this so she decided to place small ads around the boarder and have the businesses pay for the ads which would support the paper and the Coffee News was born.

Many years later it is an international franchise in 22 countries with over 1100 publishers serving up smiles all over the world.

I took over the Fredericton/Oromocto and Moncton/Riverview/Dieppe franchises in 2003 and have been helping businesses grow ever since.

Tell me about your business, what does your business do?

Coffee News prints and delivers a new edition of Coffee News to over 70 restaurants, coffee shops, service stations and other waiting areas in each franchise area every week. As a weekly publication we offer the best exposure for small to medium size businesses to reach their target markets ranging from middle school students to seniors both local and tourists and travelers.

Being a weekly publication also attracts weekly readers which keeps your business in front of thousands every week, we also never charge for ad design or changes which we welcome with one weeks notice.

Coffee News also offers all its customers 100% exclusivity, you own your business category keeping your competition away!

Who are the people who use your services?

Coffee News caters to a lot of different types of businesses, businesses who offer a service like driveway repair, auto repair, concrete finishing, lawn care, construction etc do especially well. Realtors, auto dealerships also see positive feedback.

How many employees are there?

We have only one other part time employee as well as my self.

Is your business involved in any community activities or organizations?

Coffee News wants to be involved with anyone who needs exposure, we do this by offering a FREE public service announcement for all not for profit service groups, churches, schools etc in our very popular “What’s Happening” section.

Can you tell me about the most rewarding experiences you’ve had while working on your business?

One of the most rewarding experiences if the smile I see when I deliver the Coffee News around the city, people expressing their thoughts on how easy or difficult last weeks trivia was and joking about it. Some can’t wait to read their horoscope to see what their fate will be next! As for favorite customers, they are all favorites.

What are you most proud of in your business?

I am most proud that we are able to help businesses grow and we believe we do it by working hard for all our customers, we only promise what we can deliver and we do it at a very reasonable price. We also offer not for profits a special one month rate to promote any events they have coming up.

Has Coffee News won any awards?

Coffee News has won few awards nationally but none other than that but its not about awards for me, its about helping businesses grow. Advertising has gotten so expensive and we maintain a very reasonable rate because we can. We are small but mighty.

What kind of challanges have you experiences in your business and how were you able to overcome them?

Our biggest challenge was during COVID when we had to close as all restaurants and other businesses were also closed. My overhead was low so I decided that I would freeze all advertising so my customers didn’t lose advertising dollars. We also ran contests when restaurants slowly opened their doors offering weekly contests and winning gift cards to local restaurants. I think that helped everyone at that time.

What sets you apart from your competition?

What sets Coffee News apart from our competition is the exposure we give you, the frequency that we print and deliver, our flexibility to change your ad as frequent as you wish, being exclusive and our prices.

What is the biggest risk facing your business or industry?

I think we all have risks but because our industry has gone to digital, we know that print advertising is still the most effective way to advertise if you have an audience you can reach. We have also included a Facebook page, CoffeeNewsNB that some of our loyal readers take advantage of but picking up a weekly copy of Coffee News is still very effective. I guess we offer both all at one reasonable price.

What is next for your business? Any exciting projects you want to tell us about?

Next for Coffee News? We plan on adding more restaurants, coffee shops and waiting areas to our distribution list and making sure we are always in front of the people that need and want the products and services our advertisers offer.

How do you feel about the economy and opportunities in NB?

The economy is getting better, I hear it from everyone. I talk to most of the small to medium size businesses and it has been a difficult few years during the pandemic but im very optimistic that New Brunswick economy is getting stronger.

What is one thing you wish more people knew about your business?

The one thing I wish people knew about my business is that Coffee News does not create a need, it creates exposure, so when there is a need, they think of you first.

What is the best advice you ever received as a business owner?

The best advice I was given was from my late father in law. Get up early and work hard and you will be successful.

Any final remarks?

I guess my final remarks would be to quote Ted Turner.

Early to bed, early to rise, work your butt off and advertise!

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