UK and Irish Franchisees Receive A Welcome Greeting

The Original Poster Company (OPC) is delighted to welcome two further additions to its UK and Irish franchise networks. Martin and Maria Lloyd and Eamonn Ryan are off to a flying start with their greeting card franchises.

Martin and Maria have taken over the Exeter territory from retiring franchisee, Clive Whalley. Martin explained how he and his wife decided on a greeting card franchise and on OPC in particular: “I worked in the British Army for many years. After my last deployment to Germany had finished I felt it was time for something new. I joined Seward Motor Group and was based in Dorset, which is where I met my wife Maria. As we discovered we worked so well together, we eventually decided to start our own business and in 2006, we bought a small village store and post office in East Devon.

"As the business continued to grow we added on a tea room and for six and a half years we gave everything to our business and the life we had in the small village of Broadhembury. Eventually however, we craved something that would give us more flexibility and personal time for ourselves and our family, so at the end of 2012 we sold the shop, tea room and post office.

“We were actually looking at a number of card franchises but OPC just came across as a really nice company to do business with. Our initial training was spot on, it encompassed everything and I couldn’t fault with it, we learned all that we needed to know to begin our new franchise. It soon became apparent that the training, help and support didn’t stop there; we regularly have visits from our Business Development Manager Colin and help from the great team at OPC headquarters is always just a phone call away and nothing is too much trouble for them.

“I really enjoy being out and about and North Devon is an absolutely beautiful area to cover. It’s great to be able to sit and have our lunch overlooking the beach or the rolling hills of Devon. The flexibility of this franchise is absolutely superb. We are just in the process of moving house and are able to organise this around our timescales and workload. I could have never done this in any of my previous jobs. Following our relocation all of our time can then be given back to growing and improving our business. We also have much more time to spend with our family and grandchildren now.”

OPC is the world’s leading greeting card distribution franchise, operating in a UK industry worth over £1.4 billion. Established in 1991, OPC’s franchise network has had complete UK coverage for over 20 years and is a full member of the British Franchise Association. Like Clive, some of OPC’s UK franchisees are currently selling their existing territories as they retire or move on to new business opportunities. OPC is also currently expanding in Ireland, with the exciting opportunity to build up a virgin territory. This is something that really appealed to Eamonn. He worked for Coca-Cola Ireland for 26 years and was looking for something that would suit his skills.

“After taking redundancy," Ryan continued, "I decided that I wanted the freedom and scope of being my own boss. I found out about OPC on a franchise website. Having come from the world-leading company in soft drinks, I wanted to join a world-leading franchise. I met with Mark Thompson, the Managing Director of OPC, and saw the setup of the franchise in Surrey. I was very impressed and I went back to some of my previous customers in Galway with samples and they all thought it was a great product.

“I also had the rare opportunity to build up a completely new territory with OPC here in Ireland. I have worked in the area before as a Coca-Cola merchandiser which helped as I already had contacts in many of the stores. I started trading two weeks ago and already have 10 accounts, so it does work and the combination of being self-employed but with the head office support really suits me."