In a family affair, franchisees Ralph and Denise Fioretti – along with daughter Candice – were awarded Zarraffa’s top honour at last night’s National Franchise Conference gala dinner.
The Fiorettis were acknowledged at the two-hundred strong dinner, held at Sea World Resort on the Gold Coast, in what was one of the most successful financial years the Australian-owned coffee franchise company has ever experienced.
The Fiorettis, who opened their first Zarraffa’s Coffee store in Carseldine in 2009, followed by Boondall ,(the first Zarraffa’s drive thru in Brisbane city limits), in 2014 and the Mango Hill drive thru in July this year, were distinguished with the Franchisee of the Year Award as exceptional brand ambassadors.
Zarraffa’s CEO Kenton Campbell believes the Fiorettis exemplify the best attributes of the brand’s franchisee group and their success is attributable to their passion for the business, and also being a family-run operation.
“Denise and Ralph started from the ground-up, with Denise commencing with the company as an employee of another store, before taking on the mantle of their own franchise,” said Mr Campbell.
“Opening a strip mall site and now two drive thrus, speaks to their adaptability within the company and this award acknowledges all of their hard work to date.”
Mr Campbell also gave credit to the Fioretti’s daughter Candice who has worked in all three businesses, playing a large part in the smooth operation and success of each store.
“It’s heartening to see that at the core of our franchise group we are a family of small business operators.”
Speaking about the win Candice Fioretti said it was humbling to know that their hard work has been recognised by the brand they are all so passionate about.
“We always aim to do our best and motivate our staff to do the same. We are one big, happy family and we wouldn’t be holding this award if it wasn’t for the efforts of each and every one of them,” said Ms Fioretti.
The 2015 Awards also recognised new talent in the company with its northern-most store, Cairns Showgrounds, taking out the Rookie of the Year title.
Cairns’ performance indicates both great business acumen by franchisees Jo and Paul Brierley, and fantastic customer support in this new region for the brand.
“We are ecstatic with our win and definitely didn’t see it coming,” said Mr Brierley.
“We have never owned or operated a business before, and were forewarned about entering a franchise chain, but we knew Zarraffa’s were different. Our Award win is also a credit to the systems Zarraffa’s have set in place.”
The CEO Encouragement Award was presented to multi-store owners Ben Old, Dion Scholz and Nicole Luchterhand – owners of the Acacia Ridge, Slacks Creek, Nerang & Worongary stores – and recognised their corporate diligence, resilience and adherence to the brand and the franchise system.
“You don’t win awards without the backbone of hard work and dedication from all of your employees, and that’s definitely the reason for us to be standing on the stage last night,” said Mr Old.
The Store of the Year Award went to the Beenleigh store, with franchisees Nick and Kelly Daswani, overjoyed with the acknowledgement of their efforts, since opening the store in September 2012.
Mr Daswani said for them, it was about encouraging their team daily and living by the ethos that ‘no man ever gave his best and regretted it’.
“We thank the brand for setting up a strong system for us to follow and all of the Franchisees for guiding us through the early stages of opening our business and mentoring us through the challenges we face.”
“It’s comforting knowing that you have a team of experience behind you.”
The night also acknowledged those Franchisees who had been in the business for over 10 years, commemorating their commitment and success. These included:
- David & Lynn Fulcher (Australia Fair)
- Janice White (Crestwood)
- Terry & Janette Bambury (Maroochydore, Sunshine Plaza, Caloundra, Currimundi, Morayfield)
- Justin Fu (Toowong)
- Rosie Hicks (Cleveland and Victoria Point)
- Brendon & Debbie Blakemore (Fairfield and The Lakes)
“It’s a great feeling to be able to salute so many franchisees who have been with our Group for such a long period of time,” said Mr Campbell.
“These people, along with the multi-owners who are continually reinvesting in this business, are a large part of what make this such a strong brand in such a highly competitive market.”
Zarraffa’s Coffee celebrated 18 years in retail this year and, said Mr Campbell, had come a long way from its humble beginnings as just a single store in Australia Fair Shopping Centre on the Gold Coast.
“We are now bi-coastal in Queensland and Western Australia with 73 stores and at least another 10 on the slate for next year. Our focus is on growing our convenience through drive thru sites, without sacrificing what people enjoy most about us – our great coffee and service.”
When reflecting on the success of his company Mr Campbell credited his franchisees and their adherence to the successful business model of the franchise chain.
“They are local employers, integrated with their communities and small business owners who wake up every day and offer a place to engage with locals.”
“It’s uplifting to see that after 18 years, Zarraffa’s is still a place to come and enjoy a smile, a chat and a great cup of coffee.”
The 2015 Award recipients:
Franchisee of the Year
Ralph and Denise Fioretti (Carseldine, Boondall, Mango Hill)
Rookie of the Year (6-12 months trading)
Zarraffa’s Coffee Cairns Showgrounds
CEO Encouragement Award
Ben Old, Dion Scholz and Nicole Luchterhand (Acacia Ridge, Slacks Creek, Nerang & Worongary)
Store of the Year
Zarraffa’s Coffee Beenleigh
Growth Award (> 2 years trading)
Zarraffa’s Coffee Richlands
Drive Thru Growth Award
Zarraffa’s Coffee Upper Coomera
Strip Mall Growth Award
Zarraffa’s Coffee Banora Point
Internal Shopping Centre Growth Award
Zarraffa’s Coffee Toombul
External Shopping Centre Growth Award
Zarraffa’s Coffee Surfers Paradise