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Famous Brands Acquires Artisan Bakery

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Famous Brands Acquires Artisan Bakery

Famous Brands Acquires Artisan Bakery


Famous Brands has acquired a 51% controlling interest in Vovo Telo artisan bakery and cafe, a young business comprising three outlets – two in Port Elizabeth and one in Johannesburg.

The brand will be housed in the group’s ‘Theatre of Foods’ division developed to accommodate privately owned non-mainstream food-service businesses which the group acquires in joint-venture arrangements.

The acquisition consideration is not material and the transaction is effective 1 October 2010.

Famous Brands CEO, Kevin Hedderwick, is confident that the Vovo Telo brand network can be expanded to 50 franchised bakery/restaurants within five years.

Potential for franchising

“Vovo Telo is pioneering a new category in this country, which together with the low cost of entry and unique offering, represents significant upside potential for franchising.

“Famous Brands’ model and the dynamic Vovo Telo team’s passion will serve to unlock value for all stakeholders and assist us in filling another gap in our franchise portfolio and growing brand repertoire,” he said.

“Vovo Telo is a perfect fit for the Group’s expanded strategic intent to grow our best in class franchised leisure brands,” he added.

“In our view, Vovo Telo is a best-kept secret, which we are delighted to have discovered and look forward to sharing. We are privileged to be partnering with founder Matthew Repton and his partners Dave and Marisa Evans in achieving the full potential of the brand,” he added.

Started as a genuine ‘cottage’ industry

Vovo Telo’s young, entrepreneurial management team will be retained to run the brand and develop it further while having full access to Famous Brands’ business model, says Hedderwick.

Repton started the business in 2006 in a restored settler cottage in Richmond Hill, Port Elizabeth.

He was inspired to develop the concept on a surfing trip to Madagascar where he stayed in a small hotel called Vo Vo Telo.

Hedderwick noted that there is a gap in the local market place for a pure artisan bakery offering.

“At present baked goods in this country tend to be mass produced, but increasingly people are seeking out artisan preparation and wholesome quality, evidenced by the increase in fresh food markets.

Franchise models built on artisan baking

“There is a rich heritage in the USA, UK and Europe where strong franchise models built on artisan baking thrive; South Africa is starting to adopt international trends in terms of a renewed appreciation for artisan preparation and high quality foods, and we are excited about pioneering this category together with the current Vovo Telo team,” he said.

Vovo Telo prepares bread and pastries in the traditions of Italy and France. There are no artificial ingredients or additives.

“Matt Repton’s genius in identifying the demand for artisan bread and pastries and his quest for quality will enable us to grow this category from start-up, with it potentially becoming an indispensable offering on the epicurean menu.

“Whilst this acquisition represents a relatively small investment for a Group of our size, the opportunity to change the food lover’s landscape forever is tremendously exciting,” said Hedderwick.

Famous Brands’ portfolio includes Steers, Wimpy including UK, Debonairs Pizza, FishAways, Mugg & Bean, tashas, House of Coffees, Brazilian Cafe, Blacksteer, Keg, McGinty’s and Giramundo.

The Group also manufactures and supplies its franchisees and the retail trade with a wide range of meat, sauce, bakery, ice cream, fruit juice and mineral water products.

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