As part of its annual Veteran Franchise License Giveaway, PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans has awarded a franchise to husband-and-wife team, Kyle and Jen McElhaney, marking the program’s sixth year.
The couple has executed a multi-unit option agreement to own two PJ’s Coffee locations within the Memphis area, with the first unit scheduled to open by the end of 2022. After that, the pair would like to introduce about a dozen locations to the tri-state area.
“With many of our previous veteran franchisees, we’ve seen a seamless transition from military life to entrepreneurship, so we started this initiative to attract like-minded individuals to our concept, and as a way of saying ‘thank you for your service,'” Ryan Stansbury, PJ’s Coffee VP of franchise development, said in a company press release. “We’ve found that our veteran franchisees have an extra attention to detail and level of care when it comes to how they present themselves and our brand.”
Kyle McElhaney attended the University of Mississippi ROTC and then served as an Army officer and helicopter pilot for nearly nine years. He piloted an AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter and was deployed to Jalalabad, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from 2010-2011. He then spent two years in the Mississippi National Guard, where he left service at the rank of Major. He then became a military recruiter for Northern Kansas before going to work for ADP and eventually opening his own businesses.
“I am incredibly fortunate to have been awarded this opportunity,” he said in the release. “As coffee consumers in the community, once we tried the product, we knew there was a need for this. We’re thrilled to be the ones to debut PJ’s menu offerings and family-like atmosphere in Memphis.”
The couple are heavily involved within their community and have owned and operated several businesses. Together, they have invested in high-demand concepts throughout Memphis, including a logistics company, a full-service interior design support business and a fleet cleaning business.
PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans was founded in 1978 by Phyllis Jordan and was acquired by Ballard Brands in 2008. It has over 100 locations.