Australian Franchise News – 18-07-14
An iconic Melbourne café chain offering the ultimate coffee experience is gearing up for nationwide expansion, with leading private equity investor, Fusion Foods now in the driving seat.
Degani, founded by Melbourne-based entrepreneur George Pezaros in 1999, started with a single bakery café in Victoria’s Clifton Hill and has grown to 70 stores in the past 15 years to become a much-loved local brand, synonymous with individual, chic interior fit-outs, superb coffee and great fresh food.
It was a café concept that Mr Pezaros instinctively knew, from day one, would play well across Melbourne, arguably the heart of Australia’s café culture, and eventually, the rest of the nation – a dream soon to be made real, following the deal struck with Fusion Foods.
“At the beginning, in some ways, I did everything the opposite way around but grew Degani to become a consistent and trusted brand in Melbourne. It wasn’t long before I had people approaching me, wanting to open their very own Degani store – we have never had to spend a dollar on advertising which shows how reputable our brand, and coffee, is. The new growth plans for Degani, with Dan at the forefront, are an exciting phase for us and sure to be a success,” said Mr Pezaros.
Brisbane-based franchise business leader, Dan Gallo was appointed to the position of CEO, and charged with transitioning Degani from its licensed model to a national franchise.
Mr Gallo’s previous high-profile roles include six years in various management roles within The Coffee Club and 15 years in food franchising.
“Degani is a trusted and highly reliable brand with a loyal client base. George has successfully built this from the ground up and to become the 70 store strong company it is today. With my expertise in business franchising, we are looking to build on the success of the past and position Degani as the number one choice for franchise business partners and customers, well into the future,”
“I will be shaping the business into a unique franchise model, bringing consistency across all stores, but allowing our franchise business partners the freedom of individuality, which remains true to the brand,” Mr Gallo said.
Already hugely established in Melbourne, the growth plans for Degani just launched, with Queensland first in line to be introduced to this Victorian business. A new store is set to open its doors at Mount Omanney in Brisbane’s south west, enabling potential business franchise partners to see, feel and experience the essence of Degani.
Degani has successfully challenged and expanded the Melbourne café scene since 1999 by tailoring each store to suit its individual customers and surroundings, as well as offering the best food and coffee. This unique approach has always, and will continue to, allow each business franchise owner the freedom to run their business the way they desire, but under a hugely prosperous and trusted brand.
Degani store fit-outs reflect their individual locations, their local communities and the tastes of their owners. Stores vary in size from smaller kiosks and cafes through to chic, spacious restaurants.
Degani is currently recruiting motivated entrepreneurs to join the Degani family and commence the expansion into Queensland.