Joe Moffatt's favorite sandwich is The Hotshot: sun-dried tomato peanut butter, jalapeños, potato chips, cheddar, bacon and mayonnaise. The Hotshot, of course, is his own invention. And the place where he eats it is his own, too: a P.B. Loco cafe.
In February, Moffatt, 29, and his wife, Hollie, 30, opened their P.B. Loco franchise in Tupelo, Mississippi. "People think you're crazy for opening a store for just peanut butter," says Moffatt. But he was sold on the unique concept and thought others would be, too. He was right--he projects first-year sales of about $275,000.
Still, he admits that sometimes it's hard to overcome people's preconceptions about peanut butter. While plain, old peanut butter and jelly is available, P.B. Loco is all about creative concoctions made with gourmet peanut butter flavors, including Asian Curry Spice, European Cafe Mocha and Jungle Banana.
Part of Moffatt's challenge is that P.B. Loco started franchising in 2004, so it's hardly a household name. But being with a newer franchisor has its upside as well. "We're all still learning together," Moffatt says of the corporate office and its franchisees. The excitement for Moffatt is getting to experiment and help shape the franchise's future. While most other cafes are in malls, his is a stand-alone location. He has created a coffeehouse feel with leather couches and flat-screen TVs, and he offers gourmet coffees--an addition that other franchisees have adopted as well. His latest contribution? P.B. Loco is adding The Hotshot to its menu.