Gloria Jean’s sister-act opens fourth Queensland store

Country Victorian siblings Leanne Thompson (58) and Gail Gipp (60) decided they wanted a break from the veterinary and accounting industries and instead looked at a business that could become part of their retirement plan, and give them the opportunity to work together in Queensland.

Proving that sisters really are doing it for themselves, the team says that their fourth store is reinforcing their belief in Gloria Jean’s and provides another opportunity to introduce people to their favourite coffee brand.

“Gloria Jean’s is our retirement plan and together we want to do as much as we can, and as successfully as we can before we get too old. We’ve got a lot of things to do and we’ve still got a lot of time to hit the ground running!”

“But we could not have achieved what we have without our team of dedicated staff – we all work as a team, and we include them in everything, this makes us like family and not only gives us the opportunity to grow but also provides security and a sense of ownership for them.” says Gail.

Since 2012 the sisters would frequent their local Gloria Jean’s store in Gympie as they both loved the coffee and having the option to sit in for their sip-and-chat sessions.

“I used to stop in at the store on my way home from work and I’d think, ‘This store is an opportunity waiting to happen…We could run it really well and differently’, and that thought kept happening over seven long years.”

Not long after, the sisters decided to take a leap of faith and purchased the Gympie store after the owner put the right offer to them.

Gail says the store was always small and was run primarily as a stop-and-go but since taking ownership, they quickly learned how to work the small space to their advantage.

“We make the most of the limited space. It’s actually helped us to change things up and create a place of ambience and closeness that has turned us into a stop-and-stay destination,” says Gail.

Gloria Jean’s General Manager Gary Scigliano says that Leanne and Gail epitomise the recipe for successful franchising.

“Finding the best franchise partners is always a priority for GJC. When you find franchise owners who are real ambassadors, they naturally do the work to maintain the values of the business and that moves through to the way their staff engage with customers and create experiences for their consumers.”

“Our team is so proud of the success these sisters have demonstrated and can’t wait to see what they do next,” says Gary.

Not long after the purchase of the Gympie site, the sisters were hooked and quickly discovered their next moves.

The Tewantin location became available late last year and just in recent weeks, the ladies opened their second store in Townsville.

Gail says her children have always known her and Leanne as workaholics with Gail conceding it will likely never change.

“We love the happiness our coffee brings to our customers and we love the variety of having four stores that have different looks, feels and environments. It makes us think outside the box and each has its own set of challenges and demands. Sometimes the only time Leanne and I see each other is in passing at the airport every other week, but it just works.”

The ladies remain firm that they’ll never leave the GJC system and continue to eye future growth opportunities for other stores in the coming years.



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For further information, interviews or images, please contact:

Christina Jones, Media & Communications Manager, 0432 161 204 or Christina.Jones@rfg.com.au