Local Franchise Celebrates Founder's Life And 20 Years

HOUSTON | Monday, November 03, 2008

If you have ever read an issue of Coffee News while you wait for a meal at a restaurant, you have Jean Daum to thank for providing you with this source of quirky entertainment and local advertising.

Jean's story is not unlike many of the stories Coffee News has shared with readers on its pages in the last 20 years. She was a struggling single mother of three who, in 1988, turned a simple idea into a million-dollar franchise. Her idea? To give people like us something other than the sugar packets to read while we sit in the restaurant, and to provide small and medium-sized businesses a local and affordable place to advertise during a time of recession in the ‘80's.

Little did she know the far-reaching impact her "little brown newspaper" would have. Coffee News, she once said, "is food for thought as our readers dine. It's like a breath of fresh air for those who are tired of hearing only the bad news." She was definitely onto something. What began as a cottage industry which operated out of her apartment in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and garnered an initial readership of 250,000 is today read by millions of people each week around the globe as it is now published in 53 countries and 7 languages. Coffee News has over a thousand franchisees and has been proclaimed by Entrepreneur Magazine to be "one of the most successful franchise operations in North America." The company was ranked 28 out of the top 500 franchise operations in Canada and the United States in 2008.

Entrepreneurial blood always ran through Jean's veins. She had opened a dance school in Montreal and written a book about dancing by the time she was 21. Before launching Coffee News, she had published two community newspapers in Winnipeg. Both failed. Never a quitter, she was third-time lucky with Coffee News. She maintained her company headquarters in East Selkirk, a small town outside of Winnipeg, and continued to put her energy into the publication until cancer felled her in July 2007. She was 56.

Jean was a resilient, fun-loving, kind and gentle person who was humble about her achievements, say her children. "She took joy from other people's success more than her own," says daughter Candice. And, she was one of those special people "who made the best out of every situation thrown at her. She could find the good in anything." "Mom never gave up," adds daughter Leslie. Her daughters don't intend to give up either. With their mother's passing, they continue the legacy of Coffee News. "We have pretty big shoes to fill," says Candice.

Local publisher Jennifer Jozwiak intends to honor not only the 20th Anniversary of the franchise globally, but also the 4th Anniversary for Coffee News of Texas serving the local North Houston suburban community each week. The company intends to celebrate by hosting a "Birthday & Anniversary Bash" on November 12th from 5-7 pm at Kingwood Senior Village located at 435 Northpines Dr. in Kingwood (next to the Luby's shopping center). The event will feature music by Kingwood Radio, food, drinks and door prizes and will be a combination of an after-hours/networking event and a mini-business expo. Admission is free and open to the public.

"It's a chance to say thank you to our faithful readers who look forward to the fun stories, jokes and trivia each week as well as the advertisers who make the publication possible," says Jennifer.

For more information about Coffee News, visit www.coffeenewstexas.com or call 713-927-0643.

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Coffee News
P.O. Box 8444
Bangor, ME

Phone: (207)941-0860
Fax: (207)941-1050

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