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Pie Face strikes deal to open more than 60 NZ stores

Thursday, 13 September 2012 | By Michelle Hammond

Australian food franchise Pie Face plans to open more than 60 stores in New Zealand after granting an exclusive license to two local businessmen.


Founded in 2003 by Wayne Homschek and Betty Fong, Pie Face specialises in gourmet pies. Australian operations have grown to include 76 stores, with about $50 million in network sales.


In February this year, the company opened its first store in New York before securing a $15 million investment from casino mogul Steven Wynn in June.


Now the company has unveiled a plan to open at least 62 stores in New Zealand, granting an exclusive license to local partners Julian Field and Jared Palmer.


Field in particular is well versed in the business of franchising, and has spent 15 years as a multi-unit franchisee for Subway. The Pie Face stores will be rolled out over a 10-year period.


Field and Palmer will initially establish a training store in Auckland, followed by a rollout there. The first store is expected to open in April next year.


Products will initially be imported from Pie Face in Australia but will then be produced under license in New Zealand.


It’s worth noting this is the first master license arrangement for Pie Face. According to Homschek, Field and Palmer are a good fit for the company.


“We are like-minded in our hands-on approach to operations and see a bright future for our brand in the NZ market,” Homschek said in a statement.


Field and Palmer paid an undisclosed upfront fee to Pie Face, and will pay a share of royalties, trading profits and marketing levies in perpetuity.


Pie Face is the second major pie chain to set up shop in New Zealand following the closure of George Pie in 1999. Meanwhile, Jesters Pies opened in 2002 and now has a network of 17 stores.