Mo Fer has a confession to make about Coffee News. When he was a commercial real estate agent, he was approached by his longtime friend, Bill Buckley, to advertise in Coffee News. Buckley started the Coffee News franchise in Bangor, Maine, where Fer lived at the time.
“I kept turning Bill down,” Fer said. “The paper didn’t look like much.”
Today Fer regrets that decision. “I had no idea at the time how powerful that little paper is,” Fer said.
Nor did he know that one day he would become a Coffee News publisher himself.
Fer relocated from Bangor, Maine to Waynesville, North Carolina in 2009. “I had hoped to continue working in commercial real estate, but I didn’t have the relationships established down here and there was a lot of competition.”
Looking for something new to do as he entered semi-retirement, Fer thought that Coffee News might be a good fit and reached out to his friend, Bill Buckley.
“I remembered the first time I heard about Coffee News. Bill had just brought the paper from Canada to the US, and talked about his first issue at a Rotary meeting. From there, he kept talking about how the business was growing and expanding,” Fer recalled.
Fer purchased his first franchise in Waynesville, North Carolina in 2010. In 2013, he purchased a second franchise just south of Ashville.
Fer is happily publishing two editions of Coffee News. “At this point in my life I’m not interested in a ten to twelve hour a day job like when I was in commercial real estate. I want to enjoy my life and earn an income to supplement my retirement income, and Coffee News allows me to do that,” Fer said.
Fer, who likes being “out and about”, delivers his own papers. “I enjoy meeting the people. “I’m constantly amazed by how much people look forward to getting the paper and how much they enjoy it,” he said.
Fer added, “I’ve become known as the Coffee News Guy.”
Fer recently underwent hip replacement surgery that prevented him from making deliveries while he recovered. “I had other people delivering the papers for me, and so many people asked where and how I was. Knowing so many people cared about me was really nice.”
Fer also enjoys working from home and the flexibility the Coffee News business affords him. “I like that I can work when I want to work and make my own hours,” Fer said.
Fer says that people assume to be successful in the Coffee News business you have to be good at sales. “It’s all about getting out there and getting to know people. More importantly it’s about them getting to know you,” he said.
He adds that it’s important to immerse yourself in your community. “It’s not about just joining your local Chamber of Commerce. You need to be an active and involved member,” Fer said.
Fer says many of his advertisers have been with him since he started publishing Coffee News. Adding, “They stay with it because they know it works and they know the paper gets read. They also like the exclusivity of it.”
When asked what Fer looks forward to in the future, he remarked, “I look forward to continuing the relationships that I’ve made and continuing to do my business. Beyond that I just hope to wake up tomorrow. As you get older, you learn to appreciate that more and more.”
Fer offers these tips to be successful in the Coffee News business:
- Immerse yourself in your community.
- Don’t just “join up” – “show up” and be active!
- Get to know people and let them get to know you.
- Believe in what you are doing. Be confident. Don’t forget to smile.