Dream Doors Bristol, a franchise of the UK's largest kitchen facelift retailer, has traded on the city's Gloucester Road since 2009. In 2013 it was taken over by Barry Payne, a seasoned home-improvement professional with a remarkable story to tell.
Barry had spent the last seven years building his own property maintenance and construction company. On a late summer's day in 2012 he was working on a customer's roof. This was an average job on an average day. The sort of job Barry had completed dozens of times before. And then he tripped, fell backwards through the scaffolding and landed on a plank several feet below.
"It was a serious accident and I ended up with a broken back," Barry says. "By then I was running our company, but still had a very hands-on approach. My doctors advised me that, while I may be able to return to such physically demanding work, it would have a negative impact on my long-term health. Fortunately my son was able to takeover the company, and it continues to trade successfully with him at the helm. I, on the other hand, had to down tools for good."
"But I refused to let that get me down; I shifted my focus and challenged myself to find another way to remain in a trade I both enjoy and understand. And that's when I discovered that Dream Doors Bristol was up for sale. The showroom hadn't fulfilled its potential and the previous owner admitted as much. It was the perfect match for me."
That under-performing franchisee gave Barry a rare opportunity to buy into an award-winning franchise at a discounted price. And the location couldn't have been better. Barry's wife Emma, a corporate lawyer, was now working from offices in Bristol, renting a flat in the city during the week and returning to their Worcestershire home at weekends. Purchasing the existing Dream Doors franchise meant the couple could work and live in the same place again.
"We still have our property in Worcestershire, but rent here in Bristol," says Barry. "We both work hard, and still don't see that much of each other, but we spend more time together than before!"
"Dream Doors is a great fit for my skill set and one that's left me excited and energised by the challenge ahead. And it has been challenging at times! But I'm relishing being back at work – and still being in charge – while also benefitting from all the support I get from Dream Doors."
Craig Allen was a disgruntled employee that chose franchising to find freedom, profit and security with Dream Doors.
How people with no prior experience are building half-a-million-pound businesses with Dream Doors.
Mark and Rachael say that they have never felt more at home whilst working as Dream Doors Franchisees.
Lavine decided to open his own Dream Doors franchise and tells us what first attracted him to the proposition.
Matt Jones, the new owner of Dream Doors Truro, worked as a design technology teacher for 12 years before taking on a franchise.
The training and support has been fantastic and has really reinforced the fact that we made the right decision. The initial training was really helpful and there have been plenty of visits from the Franchise Support Manager to keep us on the right path.Helen Mahon
Everything about the franchise works as it is written in the manual and, in your early days, this is important while you learn the business.Paul Reeder
If you want to work for yourself and have more flexibility, I would recommend a Dream Doors franchise. Also it’s good to know that you can run your own business, but still have the back up of a national company.Matt Jones
nThe kitchen industry is booming and, as an alternative to standard kitchen compaies, Dream Doors offer our customers a solution that saves time, money and hassle
By replacing the doors, and usually the work-surfaces and sink, a kitchen can be transformed in 2 days