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New Year, New Business for friends who buy a Stumpbusters franchise together

Two men in black jackets stand between a white van with the logo 'Stumpbusters' on it and a yellow stumpgrinder with the name Herder on it. They are smiling.
LtoR: Robin Spicer (40) and Richard Cook (38) new joint owners of Stumpbusters East-West Kent

Two friends have formed a partnership to buy and run tree stump grinding franchise, Stumpbusters East/West Kent together.

StumpBusters’ franchisees are fully qualified, trained and insured professionals who hold City & Guilds and CSCS accreditations in stump grinding and use of a chain saw. Their service includes grinding out tree stumps from a variety of locations, including golf courses, large site clearances, parks and private homes. They also hold national contracts with organisations such as Transport for London and The National Trust.

Stumpbusters was founded in 1991 and has over 41 franchised territories run by 20+ franchisees. The company is part of Darren Taylor’s ‘Taylor Made Franchising’ group. Taylor himself was a Stumpbusters franchisee for many years before buying the business in 2013.

Richard Cook and Robin Spicer have come together to buy Stumpbusters East/West Kent which they will run together from the beginning of February 2021.

Cook (38) whose father Mike was one of the original founders of Stumpbusters, already owns three territories, having joined the business immediately after leaving university in 2006.

Spicer (40) is an experienced motor mechanic, clocking up 23 years of continuous service with his former employer, carrying out MOT’s, servicing and repairing cars.

Cook explained the reasons behind the new purchase,

‘I already have a really busy and successful Stumpbusters business spread over three territories, South West London and Surrey, West Sussex and East London. I wanted to expand the business but it’s not always easy to find reliable staff; I thought the best way would be to go into partnership with someone, so I know he’ll be as committed to making the business a success as me. I’ve known Robin for years, he is a family friend having serviced all our cars and my work vehicles for years. He’s hard working, knows his way around an engine, wears shorts all year and doesn’t feel the cold – the perfect man for the job!’

Spicer, who has a young family to support said,

‘I’m really excited about this new start for me. I’ve been a mechanic since the day I left school at 16 so changing careers is very a big step for me, but everyone has been so supportive, and they all want me to succeed, so I’m incredibly positive about my decision.’

Explaining why he decided to go into partnership as a franchisee Spicer said,

‘I want to do a job where people are genuinely pleased with the outcome; when their garden looks better or their land has a better view once I’ve left. Customers coming into garages just want the job done as quickly and as cheaply as possible; no one is ever happy about spending money on their car. I also want a better work/life balance. I’d like to get home before 8pm at night and spend some time with the children. I’m also really looking forward to being my own boss, but money isn’t the motivating factor here, it’s about quality of life. Being furloughed made me realise I actually don’t need that much to live on, I can go without so many things we took for granted; I’m really looking forward to being outside all day, breathing fresh air and working with clients who are genuinely pleased to see me.’

Franchisor and ex Stumpbusters franchisee himself Darren Taylor said,

‘We wish Richard and Robin the very best of luck with Stumpbusters East/West Kent. As an existing franchisee Richard will be sharing his knowledge with Robin, enabling them to run a really slick operation but with our continued support at head office. Franchisees often come to us for a better work/life balance and for someone who likes being outside all day, I can think of no better career change for Robin.’


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