ETOBICOKE, Ont. – It was all smiles at a recent Etobicoke, Ontario restaurant Sept. 21, as Cora Tsouflidou, the affable matriarch behind the growing Cora Franchise Group, opened the chain’s 111th store.
Also on-hand for the official ceremony (appropriately an egg breaking, rather than a ribbon cutting), was owner-franchisee Michael McCarthy, executive vice-president David Polny, development director Sid Farraj and local member of provincial parliament Laurel Broten.
“This is a fantastic area for us. It’s a rejuvenated neighbourhood, and we’re looking forward to working and living in the area,” said McCarthy. “I absolutely love the brand and just can’t say enough about the training department that has been here working with us,” he added.
Since opening her first converted snack bar in Montreal in 1987, Tsouflidou has grown the brand across the country and has plans for more development. “When we first started looking at expanding into Ontario, people said it wouldn’t work. They said: ‘they just eat bagels in their cars, they’re all too busy, and they don’t love to eat,’” Tsouflidou told the audience at the event. “But, here we are, opening another restaurant. Frankly, I think it’s amazing.”
Even more impressive, is the fact that Tsouflidou sees the wildly popular breakfast chain eventually expanding to 70 Ontario locations and 225 stores nationwide, with B.C. being the next frontier. She credits the chain’s success to a dedicated group of franchisees and a great concept. “I realized that people love food, and they love going out for breakfast,” she said. “Even in a recession, people might cut out the heavy steakhouse, but they can still go out for a breakfast with their family.”
In fact, Tsouflidou acknowledges only one flaw in her system, the ubiquitous line-ups that always form outside her franchises on Saturday and Sunday morning. “Even the lines though, are probably good for our marketing campaign.” she laughed.