Blog

Oscar Wylee Open at Market Mall & Halifax Shopping Centre. Next stop - Sherway Gardens

December 09, 2021

Oscar Wylee Open at Market Mall & Halifax Shopping Centre. Next stop - Sherway Gardens

Eyewear and eye care company Oscar Wylee is ending the year with three new locations in Canada and plans to open 20 more stores in 2022. 
The Australian company debuted in Canada this year, opening at West Edmonton Mall in September, followed by 1,000-sq.-ft. stores this fall at Halifax Shopping Centre and Market Mall in Calgary. In December, Oscar Wylee will open at Sherway Gardens in Etobicoke, Ont. 
This latest 935 sq.-ft.-store in Sherway will reflect the brand’s strong design ethos, which is welcoming and modern, with an attention to detail.  The space is to feature light wood floors and fixtures, modern lightening and a calming vibe for shopping in style. 
The Canadian market entry comes on the back of the eyewear retailer opening more than 30 stores across Australia and New Zealand since January. “We are always looking for new location opportunities to expand access to quality eye care,” Kane Ford, the Director of Retail Operations at Oscar Wylee, said in a statement. 
It’s been an incredible journey for the family-run business that started as a small ecommerce operation and has evolved into a multinational organization since Jack Teoh and Bob Teoh purchased the company with their investment firm in 2012. At the time, the company sold glasses online, however the Teoh brothers opened the first physical stores in 2015 and since then, Oscar Wylee has grown exponentially, now operating more than 100 stores across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and, now, Canada. 
In 2022, Oscar Wylee is eyeing aggressive expansion in Canada, with a goal of opening 20 locations. Markets of interest include, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia and ideal sizes are 700 to 1,000 sq. ft. in shopping malls and along busy high streets in proximity to fashion or general merchandise retailers.
The concept sets itself apart from the competition by offering more than glasses. Through its joint-venture program, the Oscar Wylee grows by partnering with optometrists to provide a one-stop-store—quality professional eye care and exams, as well as a modern and fashion-focused retail experience.  The brand is known for its “2 Pairs From $199” price point across its optical and sunglass range. 
Plus, with its private label signature frames and sunglasses, Oscar Wylee offers consumers unique items they can’t get elsewhere. 
Visit Oscar Wylee at https://oscarwylee.ca.
Think Retail is excited to work with the Oscar Wylee team to grow the dynamic concept across Canada. This is a valuable tenant with expansion experience. For more information, contact the Think Retail team. 

Rock’n Deli opens four restaurants in 2021: Next year already off to a great start

December 03, 2021

Rock’n Deli opens four restaurants in 2021: Next year already off to a great start

Montreal-based Rock'n Deli continues to grow, ending the year by announcing one more opening in 2021 and another on the books for 2022. 
An institution, Rock’n Deli debuted in the Gourmet Area at Carrefour Laval in 1992 and quickly built a large group of loyal customers, who returned again and again for its authentic Montreal-style smoked meat. 
Today, Rock’n Deli operates 13 locations—eight in its home province of Quebec and five in Ontario. Customer enjoy the lively casual dining experience and an expansive menu that include not only its famous smoked meat, but a variety of sandwiches, burgers, chicken wings, poutine, salads and breakfast items. . 
In 2021, Rock’n Deli opened an impressive four locations, the most recent last month—a 1,700 sq. ft. site in Vaudreuil-Dorian, a suburb of Greater Montreal. Earlier this year, the team opened two Ontario restaurants—one in Vaughan and the other in Woodbridge—as well as a location at CF Fairview Pointe Claire in Quebec. 
Now, Think Retail is thrilled to announce that a new 1,475-sq.-ft. restaurant is to open in Mascouche, is an off-island suburb of Montreal, at Place Mascouche in May 2022. 
We are excited to work with the unstoppable Rock’n Deli team on its next stage of growth: The company is looking to expand further in 2022 in both Montreal and Toronto. Ideal spaces are 1,000 to 1,500 sq. ft. along busy high streets and in large open-air centres. Locations with patios are of particular interest. 
Rock’n Deli is a proven concept, offering a popular menu that covers all dayparts in a unique well-designed environment. Restaurants are bright and beautifully thought-out, with warm wood accents and a welcoming yellow and black pallet. The versatile restaurant also offers take out and delivery.
For more expansion details, contact the Think Retail team. 

The best coffee shop in France is now expanding in Montreal—say hello to Columbus Café & Co.

September 28, 2021

The best coffee shop in France is now expanding in Montreal—say hello to Columbus Café & Co.

Warm, inviting and modern, the Columbus Café & Co has it all and the French concept is about to become a Montreal destination. 
Founded in France in 1994, Columbus Café & Co is known as the first coffee chain in France. The brand quickly gained momentum due to its premium coffee products, delicious menu and well designed spaces that are bright, unique and beautiful—places that you want to visit again and again for coffee with friends, a lunch or a grab and go on the way to work. 
The company kicked off its international expansion in 2001 with a site in Brussels and began franchising in 2007. With 27 years of experience and more than 200 locations under its belt, Columbus Café & Co has a winning formula that covers all customers wants, from on-premise atmosphere to a thriving retail business. Voted the best coffee-shop chain in France by Allegra Coffee Symposium, Columbus Café & Co is ready to expand in North America and debuted on Mont-Royal Avenue in Montreal in 2020. 
As a kick off, Columbus Cafe & Co. is filling the void left by many Starbucks closures, taking over former locations across Montreal. Columbus Café recently opened on Park Avenue and is getting ready to open in another former Starbucks site: The 1,500 sq. ft. café at 1370 St. Catherine W (the corner of Crescent) is scheduled to open by mid-November. Next up, Columbus just reached agreement to open in a 1,000 sq. ft. location at Carrefour Laval.
The company is on a roll and actively looking to expand further in Montreal. High-traffic street front locations are ideal, but Columbus will also consider the right fit in busy super regional malls, open-air centres and other non-conventional locations. High traffic is the key and the optimal size is 1,500 sq. ft. 
With its logo—a big-hearted, but sophisticated bear—on-point branding and fabulous sense of design and space, the Columbus Café & Co. is the perfect addition to neighbourhoods seeking a high-end coffee shop with great food and atmosphere. It doesn’t feel like a cookie cutter chain, but rather a neighbourhood staple where people can gather with friends or relax with good coffee, healthy smoothies, milkshakes, fresh juices, iced drinks and gourmet sandwiches and salads, plus an array of quality baked goods and sweet treats. 
The Think Retail team is honoured to partner with Columbus Café & Co. on its Canadian expansion here in Montreal. This is a quality organization at every level that customers will quickly fall in love with. For more information, contact the Think Retail Team. 

Oscar Wylee eyes Canadian debut and serious growth

August 20, 2021

Oscar Wylee eyes Canadian debut and serious growth

Australia-based eyewear company Oscar Wylee has its sights set on Canada, with two inaugural locations under construction and aggressive expansion ahead.
This family-run business has grown from a small ecommerce operation into an international organization. Brothers Jack and Bob Teoh took over the business, opening the first stores in 2015 and today there are more than 90 locations across Australia, Singapore and New Zealand. 
Oscar Wylee is preparing to open its first stores in Canada at West Edmonton Mall and construction is underway on its new site at Halifax Shopping Centre. Its stores are a reflection of the brand itself—welcoming and beautifully designed, with a modern edge. 
The company has also reached an agreement to open four more locations in November in Calgary and Toronto. Details to be announced shortly. 
Through its joint-venture program, the company also grows by partnering with optometrists to offer patients the full package—quality professional eye care, as well as an unparalleled retail experience.  The brand—modern, fresh and fashion-focused—is known for its “2 Pairs From $199” price point across its optical and sunglass range. 
Research shows eye care is a flourishing market in Canada, as consumers desire choice and experiential shopping: People don’t want to be tied down to the same glasses for years on end, they want glasses that reflect their mood, their outfit and there’s a desire, especially among younger demographics, to shake things up with a variety of looks and glasses that reflect their personality. 
Oscar Wylee is positioned to capture this momentum. 
Through its branded signature frames and sunglasses, the company offers consumers items they can’t get elsewhere. Oscar Wylee has a strong fan base made up of people drawn to their quality collection, which combine on-trend design with state-of-the-art materials. 
Think Retail is excited to work with the experience Oscar Wylee team to establish and build their presence across Canada. In addition to the new stores, the company is aggressively targeting Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. Ideal spaces are 700 to 1,000 sq. ft. in shopping malls and along busy high streets in proximity to noteworthy fashion or general merchandise retailers. Its award-winning stores are designed with patient care top of mind, offering a clean, modern aesthetic for a relaxing experience. 
This is a stellar tenant with a strong global brand presence and expansion experience. For more about this innovative brand and its Canadian growth plans, contact the Think Retail team.

Foodtastic continues major growth with Milestones acquisition

June 17, 2021

Foodtastic continues major growth with Milestones acquisition

Foodtastic continues to build its portfolio of fantastic brands with the acquisition of the high-profile Milestones restaurant brand. 
Quebec-based Foodtastic is a culinary success story and a leader in the restaurant franchising business. It purchased Milestones from Recipe Unlimited Corporation and the deal includes all of the assets comprising the Milestones restaurant brand.
"We are extremely impressed by the Milestones restaurant brand and are excited to welcome them into the Foodtastic family," said Peter Mammas, president and CEO of Foodtastic. "We look forward to welcoming all our new franchisees, teammates and customers. This acquisition is consistent with our strategy of acquiring quality Canadian brands with growth potential, and we are excited to introduce Milestones to the Quebec market."
The first Milestones opened on Denman Street in Vancouver in 1989 and now there are more than 40 casual-dining locations in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Ontario. 
Foodtastic is on an upward trajectory, aggressively and successfully expanding top restaurant brands across the country and beyond. With more than 370 restaurants and $390 million in annualized sales, the franchisor owns multiple restaurant concepts, including Second Cup, Au Coq, La Belle et La Boeuf, Monza, Carlos & Pepe's, Souvlaki Bar, Nickels, Rotisseries Benny, Chocolato, Big Rig, Bacaro, Copper Branch, Tommy Café, Gatto Matto, La Chambre and L'Gros Luxe. 
The Milestones acquisition is the latest highpoint in Foodtastic’s growth journey. 
"By selling Milestones to an experienced operator like Foodtastic, the transaction should enable both companies to accelerate growth and better serve their customers," said Frank Hennessey, CEO of Recipe, which operates 25 recognizable brands, including Swiss Chalet, St-Hubert, The Keg, Pickle Barrel Bier Markt and 1909 Taverne Moderne. "This transaction enables Recipe to further rationalize our portfolio to focus on large brands that generate significant free cash flow and dominate their segment with younger brands that offer attractive opportunities for accelerated new restaurant growth. While it is always difficult to depart with valued franchisees and teammates, we feel that Foodtastic is the right parent for Milestones at this stage of its history."
Foodtastic is proving itself a major player in the restaurant space, with a string of strategic acquisitions and impressive results. It’s already shaping up to be an exciting 2021 for Foodtastic, which earlier this year bought the Second Cup Coffee Co. chain from Aegis Brands Inc. then, in May, announced another major acquisition—plant-based powerhouse Copper Branch.
The timing is ideal: The pent-up demand for restaurants and eating out continues to grow across the country, as Canadians emerge from pandemic-related lockdowns.  
At Think Retail we are thrilled to watch this Quebec-based company execute its vision and we congratulate the Foodtastic team on their latest acquisition. 
For more information or to talk about Foodtastic’s exciting growth plans, contact the Think Retail Team. 

Dream team: Foodtastic acquires plant-based powerhouse, Copper Branch

May 17, 2021

Dream team: Foodtastic acquires plant-based powerhouse, Copper Branch

Plant-based eating is proving popular with the palette, prompting Foodtastic to get in on the action with acquisition of Copper Branch. 
At Think Retail, we are huge fans of both companies and are thrilled to see this partnership come to fruition. 
Copper Branch, which built an extraordinary brand based on its innovative and delicious 100% Plant-Based – Power Food menu, set out to bring plant-based mainstream and the acquisition by Foodtastic, a leader in the restaurant franchising business with more than 370 restaurants and $390 million in annualized sales, is the culmination of that mission. 
"Copper Branch is the largest Vegan restaurant brand in the world, and we are happy to welcome it into the Foodtastic Family" said Peter Mammas, president and CEO of Foodtastic. "We look forward to working with all our new franchisees and emerging through this pandemic with a revitalized leader in the plant powered restaurant space. This acquisition is consistent with our strategy of acquiring quality Canadian brands with growth potential."
Foodtastic is the franchisor of multiple high-profile restaurant concepts including, Second Cup, Au Coq, La Belle et La Boeuf, Monza, Carlos & Pepe's, Souvlaki Bar, Nickels, Rotisseries Benny, Chocolato, Big Rig, Bacaro, Rotisserie Joliette, Tommy Café, Gatto Matto, La Chambre and L'Gros Luxe. Copper Branch enhances the company’s portfolio and gives it a powerful foothold in the accelerating plant-based restaurant market.  
Established in Montreal in 2014, the Copper Branch quickly became a leader and driving force behind what is now a major food movement. Founder and former chairman, Rio Infantino spent 25 years serving up traditional fast food, before setting out to redefine the QSR experience by turning “real” nourishing gourmet power foods into fast food for health-conscious time-strapped consumers looking for fresh options.  Today, it operates more than 40 restaurants, mostly in Canada, but also some in the U.S.
"Since its beginning, Copper Branch has been on a mission to empower the health and lives of our customers through our inspired, wholesome plant-based menu,” said Infantino. “I am proud to have seen the brand grow and I look forward to its next chapter and continued success with Foodtastic. An experienced and dedicated company, I know Copper Branch is in good hands for a bright future." 
Foodtastic looks to aggressively grow the brand in Canada, as well as internationally, with more than 40 new locations expected to open in the next 36 months. 
"We are very proud of the mission of our organization and the progress we have achieved in creating value and delivering a sustainable, plant powered experience for our guests," said Trish Paterson, CEO of Copper Branch. "This relationship will enable us to move more quickly and efficiently to bring Copper Branch's brand to a new global customer base while driving improved operational efficiency and resources for our franchisees." 
We are excited to see what’s next for this innovative concept, as it grows with the visionary leadership team at Foodtastic. 
Questions or comments? Contact the Think Retail team