CUPPY’S COFFEE: A Franchise Owner’s Desperate Plea

The following is two comments from Cuppy’s franchisee RS combined and edited to eliminate redundancy:


RS: I am a Cuppy’s Franchise Owner.

I am a Cuppy Franchise Owner.

My wife and I have spent approx. $100,000.00 to get this far.
I have paid Cuppy’s/Elite Manufacturing approx. $170,000.00.
You know what I have for all of this money spent?
A set of blueprints that were grossly inaccurate.
I have some hardwood flooring, 2 ceiling fans and some paint.
Oh yeah I have lots of broken promises from Cuppy’s/Elite.
Promises that I would be open by now.

I have been in the system for over a year.
I have applied for and received an SBA loan.
I have signed a lease with a mall. I have completed my white box.
I have remodeled a store.
I have installed plumbing and an electrical upgrade.

I sat across from the Cuppy’s Coffee owner Dale Nabors.
He looked me squarely in the eye and promised that our store would be open the first week in August.
After that, my phone calls went unanswered.
My emails were ignored.
My store is still unopened.

Earlier this week I recieved an anonymous call from a Cuppy executive.
He informed me the call was “off the record.”
He said they had a cash flow problem and that I might be wise to get an attorney.

Later on I received another call from an executive working for Elite Manufacturing.
He said they also have cash flow problems.
He stated things are in a disarray and that if I was to pursue legal action he would understand.

I was informed that even though I was promised I would be open, I have recieved no equipment, no cabinets, no signs for my store, no sinks, no hot water heater, virtually nothing.

I was informed that they had no money to make my cabinets and that even if they did they do not have plans, templates, dies or anything to make them with.

I feel like I have been left out to hang.
I paid to remodel a store in a mall. I have a lease. I have loan payments, I have an empty store and no promises in the for seeable future to get me open.

A lot of people have been deceived, a lot of families have been forced into bankruptcy or are on the verge.

The things that have been done by Cuppy’s Coffee and Elite manufacturing is criminal, they have shown little regard for those they have sunk.

If you thinking of a coffee franchise, think again, be careful, especially with Cuppy’s Coffee and Elite manufacturing. I may never recover,

I have hired an attorney. I have contacted my SBA funder. I have contacted the mall where my store is located. Yet the sad reality is that my wife and my future is not looking real good.

I know of at least 5 other families in the same boat.


8 thoughts on “CUPPY’S COFFEE: A Franchise Owner’s Desperate Plea

  • August 7, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Depositors that have lost money should call the Federal Trade Commission at 877-382-4357 and FL Attorney General Office (Economic Crimes Unit) at 850-414-3990 to file a complaint. You have to do this so they can see a pattern of fraud/scam, this will initiate an inspection. Let them know that Cuppy’s is moving to Alabama in Sept. Don’t let these scumbags get away.

  • August 7, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    I would like to add to the above. Yes I am an unhappy franchisee, am I giving up, NO WAY. Do I still believe in the concept and the product mix Yes I do. Is Dale Nabors a crook? Absolutely not. Dale didn’t create this mess, he stepped into it. The problems did not happen overnight and they will be corrected overnight. I believe Dale and his team are making a plan, once the plan is made they will work the plan. Because there are many types of stores all over the country each and every store has unique problems associated with it. I am confident they will take a helicopter view and make an assessment, then they will form a strategic plan on getting each store healthy and actively pursue getting new stores open. Yes I am frustrated, but no I am not giving up, we are still going forward. The product mix with Cuppy’s is very good, we have hit a speed bump, we will correct and move forward.

  • August 7, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    RS: Have you asked your attorney if you’d be protected in the event of Cuppy’s/Elite etc. filing for bankruptcy? I’m guessing you are an unsecured creditor and that $170k you gave them could all go away if their assets don’t cover whats owed to secured creditors. Start protecting yourself in case that happens.

  • August 8, 2008 at 10:32 am

    I made a mistake the other night. I posted to this website. I let a moment of frustation get to me. I have never posted before, I truly had no idea the power of the net. I would like to apologize to Dale Nabors and the Cuppy Family. Dale is not a crook, he is a very astute business man. When he bought Cuppy’s Coffee, he stepped into a hornets nest of problems. These problems were not created by Dale, they were not created over night, they will not be fixed over night either. Yes I am frustrated by the process, yes I want my store open, yes it is draining me financially as I sit and wait. I chose Cuppy’s Coffee. I truly believe it is going to be a successful franchise, it is not for the weak of heart. For those of us trying to carve out a little independence, trying to live a dream, we knew it was going to be a struggle. Yes a number of Cuppy Franchises have failed. Is it Dale’s fault? NO WAY… We buy a franchise because we want the security and structure, yet we want to be independent owners. We want to live out our dreams. Often times when a store closes or fails, it usually goes right back to the person who owns the business or franchise. We are human, we make mistakes. Yes sometimes its the economy, sometimes, oftentimes, a bad location was chosen, some stores should never have been open in the first place. We roll the dice we take our chances. It is my belief that Dale Nabors and company are trying to get the infrastucture of Cuppy’s fixed and getting stores open and profitable. When a business or house is built on a bad foundation, it never last, it always has problems, the way to fix is to rebuild the foundation. That is what is happening at Cuppy’s right now. You know who is leading that project, it is Dale Nabors. As I stated above I believe in the future of Cuppy’s, I believe when Dale and his team get the foundation fixed and they will, we will all see a new Cuppy’s. Right now its slow and painful, I have seen the future, I believe we are on the right course. I will continue to hound Cuppy’s each and every day, I want to get open, but I also want a good foundation to build my business. Dale Nabors, my friends and family of Cuppy’s Coffee, I am sorry if I brought any hurt by venting on this website. The future is bright, the future is ours. Cuppy’s Coffee Smoothies and more is going to be successful.

    Ron Spain

  • August 8, 2008 at 10:37 am

    RS: Looks like Dale got to you yesterday. Best of luck, and maybe you’ll see that $170k you invested one day.

  • August 8, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    There’s nothing you’ve posted that isn’t already been said here or elsewhere. The blogs are not to blame for Cuppy’s problems – the poor and/or unethical business practices of many people have created this difficult situation.
    Blogging here and on are open conversations. Dale Nabors is free to provide his viewpoint and clarifications to what’s being written any time, day or night.

    If Dale is as smart and as perceptive as we all hope he is, he will have learned from the mistakes of his predecessors. He has learned, hopefully, that joining the conversation is a far smarter strategy than threats and bullying. Most of us want to see him and the franchisees whose livelihoods depend on him succeed.

    Remember, Dale, that if it weren’t for this blogging conversation it’s likely you’d have never gotten involved with Cuppy’s in the first place. And just imagine if you succeed in pulling this thing off… you’ll want to bask in the warm glow of an appreciative and powerful blogosphere, will you not?

    So be nice to our commenters…

  • August 11, 2008 at 10:41 am

    I noticed in the above mentioned article that Mr. Purvin states, ” the door is open to communication and an honest effort to resolve the growing conflict and controversy surrounding Cuppy’s Coffee.” Dale Nabors will never step forward into that door. He prefers running in the opposite direction. He is a coward and spineless. The franchisee’s that he is running from are actually lucky. Down the road the francisee’s that he does open stores for are just putting off the inevitable road to bankruptcy and failure. Dale Nabor’s leadership qualities are a joke. He hides behind several very uneducate people that he has “brainwashed” into thinking they have a future with this “sinking ship,” Cuppy’s Coffee. Shame on you Dale Nabors, not only for the lives you’ve already ruined but the others that you will bury in the very near future.

    Dales Nabors famous last words…

    Believe (my lies) And Succeed (in going broke)

  • August 11, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    Ron, could you explain to the rest of us why you believe in Dale? Particularly when he has not delivered on his promises and your calls go unanswered. I am not calling him a crook but I am not calling him an astute business man either. Good luck with your store.

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