This week CREAM is celebrating the opening of our brand-new branch at Northmead Mall in Benoni, Gauteng.
For franchisee Riad Vazirna, this new business is a dream come true and we chatted to him about what led to this exciting occasion:
“Customer service, technology and cars (clean ones) have always been major passions of mine. My story goes back over 15 years ago. I spent some time in the UK, working with clients face-to-face in the retail sector and realized that I had not only a knack for it, but it gave me a sense of fulfilment.
Finding my happy place
In 2007 I made my way back to South Africa after 3 years of valuable lessons learned and wondered what to do next. I had saved some money and enquired about opening a car wash, but it didn’t pan out. I then decided to use my newfound passion and joined the corporate technology world. I would eventually spend over a decade in that industry, doing two of the three things I enjoyed: speaking to people and sorting out issues.
Everything was on track as I got married, was blessed with a beautiful daughter and a promising career. Even with all of this, I still felt like this couldn’t be it and every weekend would find myself spending time washing and polishing my car. I even finished the finer details with a toothbrush and then took a picture (yes, I’m that guy). My wife often left me in my “happy place” and my daughter insisted on always helping, especially with the high-pressure hose (with a nervous dad behind her).
Following my passion
Last year (2019), my wife was retrenched and I was on the brink of the same, which forced me to take a step back, and reassess life. One question kept popping up: “Why don’t you take control of your destiny?” I had no answer to that as I was used to making someone else’s business thrive.
My wife asked me, “Why don’t you do what makes you happy?” to which I replied sarcastically, “What? Customer service, tech and cleaning cars?” That’s the moment everything started making sense.
I immediately started searching for an experienced car wash. Because of my limited experience in the industry, I knew I had my work cut out for me. Many business agents did not want to hear me out, but then I gave Alan from CREAM Head Office a call.
The CREAM experience
Alan and I spoke as if we had known each other for months. He convinced me to come and meet him at CREAM’s Southdale branch and I took my accountant (my wife) and my cheerleader (my four-year-old daughter) along.
We decided to treat my wife’s car while Alan took me through CREAM’s ideology and what sets them apart from the competitors. When our car was done, I was immediately sold. It looked like it had been polished in addition to being washed! I then went to their Heidelberg branch, unannounced, to enjoy the CREAM experience first-hand. After experiencing the same quality service, my mind was made up and I became a franchisee.
Despite a few obstacles, including the Covid-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdown, CREAM Northmead Mall’s construction got underway. I have been in good hands with Alan and the team, who ensured that we were prepared for any eventuality. Alan took me through each step of the way, ensuring I have the necessary skills and understanding to make my very own CREAM branch work.
This made everything I am passionate about come true: servicing clients, incredible technology behind the CREAM products and, of course, squeaky clean cars!”
Visit the CREAM Northmead branch for your own CREAM experience and keep an eye on our Facebook page for opening specials!