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How Desmond’s become an international franchise - and has Mango in its future

Desmond Ambrose looked wistfully at the sign above his Peckham barber shop.


“Who would have thought that 40 years on, we’re about to sell our barber shop franchise with 27 outlets in the UK and the Caribbean?” he said.


His wife Shirley smiled at him: “Desmond, it’s high time to retire. You built the business up from this one shop in Peckham to something you can be proud of. It’s helped the children and grandchildren get an education and set them up in their own careers.”


Desmond laughed: “Not one of them wanted to be a barber, though, did they? Yes, it’s time to sell. We could spend more of the time we have left on the beach in Guyana with Pork Pie…”


A familiar figure walked towards them.


“Matthew!” Desmond shouted.


Matthew waved.


“Mr Ambrose, it is good to see you again!” he said.


The former student who used to hang out in the Peckham barbershop had made his fortune back home in the Gambia and was now a successful businessman.


Now, he wanted to buy the Desmond’s franchise and invest in its future.


“Today is a great day to sign the paperwork,” Matthew said.


“It would have been my father’s 90th birthday. I am sure he would approve of this purchase.”


Desmond and Shirley nodded.


“And we’re pleased our franchise is being bought by someone who won’t break it up or close down the barbershops,” Desmond said.


“We know you’ll want to make some changes and put your own stamp on things, though.”


Matthew smiled: “I will be bringing in some new technology that I use in my other businesses to help with compliance. It is all in the cloud so we will not have piles of paperwork like health and safety certificates or training records.


“And for our UK shops it will help with Martyn’s Law, the planned legislation to protect the public and combat terrorism. We will need to have detailed risk assessments and a clear plan if an incident happens.”


Desmond nodded.


“This all sounds very sensible. You will probably want to change the name…”


Matthew shook his head.


“No, Mr Ambrose. The barbershops will all remain ‘Desmond’s’ and we will add a pork pie hat to the franchise logo in honour of your friend.”


Desmond beamed: “He’ll like that! What’s your online software called?”


“Mango,” said Matthew.


Desmond and Shirley laughed.


“Pork Pie will like that, too! He’s always on the beach eating mango…and we intend to join him as soon as the ink is dry on our agreement,” Desmond said.


  • Find out how Mango’s online compliance software could help your franchise. Book a free demonstration which will be delivered via Zoom. We can help you achieve the ISOs you need, too. Call Penarth Management on 029 2070 3328 or email

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