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Homegrown cookie franchise bites into global market

Tuesday, 26 February 2013 | By Michelle Hammond

Gourmet biscuit producer Byron Bay Cookies intends to go global with its franchising model, after establishing six Australian stores, and is looking for franchisees to fuel its expansion.

 

Byron Bay Cookies, which is owned by Slater International, comes from humble beginnings. The cookies were originally baked on a farmhouse stove in the hills of Byron Bay – a region famous for its fresh ingredients.

 

The company now supplies cafes and gourmet food stores across Australia including McCafe, Michel’s Patisserie, Bunnings Warehouse, Harris Farm, Thomas Dux and selected supermarkets.

 

There are also six Australian stores across the country, including four franchisee-operated concession stores located within David Jones in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.

 

Byron Bay Cookies has partnerships in place with Qantas Airlines, Virgin Australia, Tiger and Strategic Airlines, and is also stocked in Costco’s Australian stores.

 

Meanwhile, international stockists include Sainsbury’s and Selfridges in the United Kingdom as well as department stores in North America, Asia and the Middle East.

 

Now the company has announced the global launch of its franchising system. According to Slater International chairman Gordon Slater, the move is well-timed.

 

“After the success of our existing retail stores, we thought the timing was right to extend our retail footprint in Australia and abroad,” Slater said in a statement.

 

Byron Bay Cookies has created a “simple and easy to operate” store franchising system, which applies to both Australia and offshore markets.

 

In addition to cookies, the new store model offers the company’s signature blend of single origin coffee, a savoury range and a pick-and-mix selection.

 

The franchising model is designed to complement the company’s current distribution model.

 

“Franchising will help us to fill a gap in the marketplace,” Slater said.

 

“We strongly believe this new retail model will allow us to create a new shopper experience by connecting with customers in a different way and open new possibilities for growth.”

 

All Australia-based franchisees will be supplied by the company’s bakehouse in Byron Bay, while international franchisees will rely on supply from either the UK or from the United States.

 

The company already has offices in both of these locations.

 

The company says it has already received expressions of interest from international franchisees, which is a “clear sign” of its global brand awareness.

 

As Byron Bay Cookies looks beyond the Australian market, another food franchise is preparing to enter it.

 

US-based burger restaurant chain Carl’s Jr. – described as the ultimate destination for burger enthusiasts – is seeking “bold entrepreneurs” to develop and operate exclusive franchise territories throughout Australia.

 

Carl’s Jr has enlisted franchise specialists DC Strategy to assist with its Australian expansion.