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Cuppy’s Coffee / Elite Manufacturing Infuriates Franchisees With Form Email

( The franchise blog)  Nothing says We Care like a vague, generic message passed down to a subsidiary VP, then further passed down to an underling.  When Fransynergy purchased Medina Enterprises and all its entities, including both Cuppy’s Coffee and Elite Manufacturing, CEO Dale Nabors vowed to quickly right the wrongs of the previous ownership, and to return the $30,000 – $40,000 deposits rightfully owed to many franchisees  as quickly as possible.

Two months later, well, it’s two months later.  More "depositers" have come forward seeking refunds.  The same old runaround and bullying tactics have reportedly continued.  And then several individuals who have sought return of $39,500 or more for over a year, get this email:

RE: Your request for a refund

As you may be aware, there was a recent change in the ownership of Elite Manufacturing, LLC (“Elite”) and its affiliated entities. The new management understands that you may have concerns regarding your recent request for a refund of your deposit. Please be assured that the company fully intends to repay the deposits of those that are entitled to a refund. We take this issue very seriously.

A great deal of time has been committed to streamlining internal processes and eliminating unnecessary expenses. We are confident that these ongoing changes will ensure that Elite can maintain current operations and commit to commercially reasonable refund repayment schedules for those individuals entitled to a refund of their deposit.

During this transition, we humbly request your patience as these positive changes occur and your refund request is processed. Please allow us until the end of July of 2008 to fully create and implement these changes. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

Thank you in advance for your understanding. We invite you to contact Elite Manufacturing, LLC with any questions or concerns regarding this transition. We look forward to working together to resolve these issues as quickly as possible.


Theresa St. Clair

Vice President

Elite Manufacturing

According to at least one franchisee, this email wasn’t even sent by Ms. St. Clair, but by the same Elite underling that called "2 to 3 times a day to get a status check" on when the initial (ill-fated) deposit was to be made.




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13 thoughts on “Cuppy’s Coffee / Elite Manufacturing Infuriates Franchisees With Form Email

  • Guest

    Charles wrote….how many other’s out there got the e-mail from Theresa St. Clair (VP Elite) in June. I know for a fact that Theresa did not send that email. It came from the legal department even after Theresa told them they did not have her permission to use her name in that email because she did not write it. The legal department ignored her demand and sent it out anyways.

  • Arod

    Franchisees and employees hold tight, from what I understand there is an investigation going on and you will be contacted. Theresa St. Clair is the one of the prime targets in the investigation. She is now the VP of Sales with San Gelato if you can believe that. These are the people that have filed against Dale and Morg Morgan and Theresa St. Clair was the one promising refunds and returns of deposits to franchisees when she was VP of Elite Mfg. Now this same person resigned from Elite 2 weeks ago because she thought Dale Nabors was corrupt and she has “bamboozled” more franchisees than anyone with her promise and most made in writing that franchisees would get their money back should they not get financing or a location within a certain period of time. Now, this same “Judas” is VP of San Gelato????????? You can run but you can’t hide they are coming for you Theresa. I wonder if the owners of San Gelato paid their due diligence before hiring you. With you as VP of Sales, I am sure there will be huge numbers fo franchisees sold with you promising them the world and delivering to them nothing but lies. You are now in the cross hairs right along with Dale and Morg. This should be quite a circus when you all go to court. I suggest all franchisees and employees of Cuppys show up at the courtroom and voice your feelings to Dale Nabors, Theresa St. Clair and Morg Morgan.

    [Editor’s note: Theresa St. Clair writes “I am Theresa St.Clair and the blog above from ‘Arod’ is total false and slanderous. I NEVER had access to ANY money coming in or out. That was strickly Morg and Dale… I am an ethical, honest person with integrity…. this writer is totally wrong I am not a VP for San Gelato either.”]

  • Arod wrote …from what I understand there is an investigation going on and you will be contacted. Theresa St. Clair is the one of the prime targets in the investigation.
    Arod… this is mighty vague. Who is conducting this investigation?

    Why would you put Theresa St. Clair in the same league as Morg & Dale? Did she stand to get rich like they did?

  • Guest

    Guest you are right! Theresa did not send that email. She did tell legal dept not to use her name & they did anyways because Dale told them to.
    Arod… most of the people wanting refunds talked with Danny Jones who is still in the FL office as I speak. He continues to bully zees into settling for less than they paid in and still is not getting zees their refunds even after settlements.

  • Guest

    Arod… that is false information. You don’t know S hit! Theresa is not VP of San Gelato. You are so stupid. No wanter you still work for Dale.

  • Guest

    Arod… is just pissed off because he’s still working and isn’t getting paid by Dale.

  • So if the legal department send this letter and not Theresa what does this now mean to any of us that are waiting for money. Is this going to change anything or it was just a BIG LIE like everything else. Do any of you know Who is handeling refund request???? Do we know of anyone that have gotten a payment????? It is funny that after this letter we have not heard a word from anyone. Funny that ELite took $1,125 for legal fees and legal asssitan fee from my deposit, and all i get is this letter that is an expensive letter!!!!!!

  • Guest

    Theresa NEVER promised anyone anything!!! She always referred them back to their agreement. There was a handful of contracts that she added a statement about “if refund was requested… they would get a refund within so many days”. That statement which would have been very few of was included in contract ONLY if Morg Morgan or Ben Doyle told her to put it in there. If someone did request a refund it ALWAYS went through the legal department which was handled by Danny Jones. Danny Jones ALWAYS tried to bully people into settleing for less refund money than what they paid. Theresa doesn’t have a new vehicle like Amy Hiller and Robine Donlon. She still drives the same vehicle when she first started working for the company. If anyone should be investigated here along with Morg and Ben and Dale, it would be Danny Jones because he’s been with the company sinced Roy Snowden’s Java Jo’z days. Hell, if the zees want someone to testify on their behalf they should talk with Theresa. She use to be VP of Elite sales until Morg threw her into the Elite Ops division against her will because she told Morg & everyone that she knew nothing about construction but Morg put her in there anyway last December. After being in the Elite Ops for a few months she began to realize that something wasn’t right and voiced her concerns with Morg & Ben who continues to tell her and other employees that everything was ok. Theresa kept seeing that the zees were NOT getting built out as promised nor were they getting their cabinetry or equipment, etc… At that time Dale was a consultant and he also kept telling her it was going to get better & asked her to hang in there. She hung in there for a few more months & then Dale bought the company. T was so excited about what changes would’could be happening because Dale promised so much, etc… Unfortunately after 3 months of non-action on Dale’s part to get things moving for the zees, she had enough & put in her letter of resignation which I just happen to have a copy of. I believe this show what Theresa’s values are:

    August 24, 2008

    To: Dale Nabors and Human Resources of Medina Management

    From: Theresa St.Clair – Executive Vice President of Elite Mfg, LLC

    Re: Letter of Resignation

    Dear Dale,

    Before you bought the company, we had several talks about the lack of ethical and honest behavior with the previous owner and the direction of the company and what needed to happen in order for it to truly be successful. I felt we saw eye-to-eye.

    You bought the company approximately 3 months ago. I believed you could and would turn this company around and be on the up and up with the employees and franchisees. Meaning…start operating this organization ethically, honesty and with integrity. The first month I was impressed with your actions.

    Unfortunately, your actions these last few months which include the total absence of any communication from you to your staff in Florida, have made me question your character, your honesty and your integrity. I also no longer feel that you have the franchisees best interest at heart. You have accepted more money from franchisees and you are not delivering their equipment, cabinetry and furniture.

    Therefore, please consider this my letter of resignation effective immediately. Let me know when I may pick up my last paycheck for last week or will it be direct deposited?

    If Terri or Lori has any work related questions for me I will help them as much as possible.


    Theresa St.Clair
    Executive Vice President
    Elite Manufacturing, LLC

  • Krista

    I knew Theresa wasn’t to blame here. She was the only person who I felt tried to help us accomplish anything with Dale. Thank you Theresa!

  • prozac is kicking in, maybe

    Wait a second. I MUST be misunderstanding what I am reading. Ben Doyle was still with the company as recently as last December and possibly later than that?

  • Guest

    Ben Doyle was with the company until Dale bought Morg out

  • Theresa tried to help us more than anyone there. Before joining the JJ’z/Cuppy/Elite/Medina crew she was a very successful entrepreneur since her early 20’s and opened over 30 businesses from the ground up which were all successful. She believed in what the coffee industry could do and joined the company. She stayed on board as long as she could trying to help the owners/franchisees as much as possible. Unfortunately, she had no control of the money once it came in. I’ve know her for over 15 years and she has always been an honest and ethical person in business and in her personal life. The above comments from Arod are slanderous and I hoped Theresa finds out who wrote this and takes them to court. Good luck to you Theresa!! I hope your new employer knows what a fine person you are and hopefully they treat you right. You deserve to work with honest and ethical people.

  • Guest

    Amen to working with honest and ethical people! I wish everyone was so lucky!

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