Luxury toilets prove a hit for Cann
From selling peanuts as a sideline at football games, to running a food truck and hot dog cart and now branching out with deluxe flush portable restrooms, Vernal Cann’s entrepreneurial drive has taken him far in the past 12 years.
His newest endeavour is luxury portable restrooms, and it is proving popular at corporate, public and private events, giving users a more pleasant experience than is typically the case with portable restrooms. That business, which is known as The Royal Throne Room, has provided services for a number of events including the World Rugby Classic and the Kappa Classic.
It was a chance remark by his mother that led Mr Cann to start the deluxe portable restroom business. With help from his family, he runs the Cann Da Licious food truck and hot dog cart. The truck was catering at an event when Mr Cann’s mother commented that the organisers needed to get better portable restrooms.
Mr Cann went on the internet to see what was available. He said: “I Googled restrooms and showed my mom and sister what I had found — women know what they are looking for.”
He bought three of the deluxe flush units last May, and has added nine more after they proved popular with event organisers.
“You don’t get the smell coming back at you when you open the door to go in,” he said.
Mr Cann’s day job is as a mechanic at Belco, but during his free time such as weekends, he looks after his other enterprises.
It all began in 2006 when he started selling bags of roasted peanuts for $3 at his daughter’s football matches.
“It took off and I started selling them at work. Then I went to Somerset Cricket Club and asked if I could sell them at football games,” he said.
He was given the go-ahead, and soon the club was asking if he could provide something more than peanuts for a big game that was scheduled. That spurred Mr Cann to buy a popcorn machine and sell popcorn together with soda, candy and water.
“I found myself getting more jobs. I was doing everything out of my car.”
In 2007, he purchased a hot dog cart, and on Saturdays parked his cart at Barnes Corner, Southampton. The cart allowed him to have a presence at bigger events, such as Bermuda Day and Gombey competitions.
Two years later he was presented with the opportunity to buy a food truck. “I sat down with my mom, dad, and sister, — because it is a family business — and discussed it.”
At the beginning of 2010, the Cann Da Licious food truck got started, taking up a seasonal spot at Albuoy’s Point in Hamilton, and travelling to other locations and providing food at special events. It was at one of the events that the idea for the deluxe portable restrooms came about.
Mr Cann said the restrooms proved popular at last year’s World Rugby Classic. “That’s where it took off with the corporate side. I can see that these [restrooms] have a bright future,” he said. At a Good Friday event last week, where he had a restroom on location, he was able to spread the word and distribute flyers about the business to potential future customers.
Networking is crucial to success, according to Mr Cann. He said: “Networking with other people who are in business can lead you to opportunities.”
He started off selling bags of roasted peanuts as a hobby, and he said when he is away from his main job he still enjoys keeping busy helping out with the food truck and hot dog cart when he has the time. He said for anyone else looking to run their own business a key attribute is to stay focused, reach out to people who are in business and “give it time”.
For more information about the deluxe portable restrooms, e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 336-6188
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