Foodtastic continues major growth with Milestones acquisition

June 17, 2021

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

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

Retail and business expert Martin Lamarche joins Think Retail

April 12, 2021

Think Retail is thrilled to welcome Martin Lamarche to our growing and high-performing team.
Martin brings to the table a dynamic entrepreneurial spirit and strong focus on customer service excellence, which will be invaluable to our amazing clients.
With more than 20 years of experience in the retail and wholesale apparel industry, including product development, sales and management, Martin knows the retail scape and offers a unique perspective that will help brands to grow their footprint in the Quebec market and across Canada.
Martin has a diverse business background and is well positioned to offer insights fuelled by strong analytical, interpersonal and negotiation skills.
Most recently, as CEO and co-founder of Berso Branding and Retail Inc., Martin created an innovative immersive retail concept designed for tech-savvy new parents.
Previously, he served as Divisional Vice-President, Children Category, for Aubainerie, a Montreal-based fashion brand that operates more than 50 locations.
Martin also spent eight years with Montreal-based Boyz Group Inc. as Divisional Vice-President of national and international business and product development. In this role, Martin travelled extensively in Europe and Asia Pacific for fashion and product research. This international experience gave him a unique foundation and valuable insights into global retail trends and opportunities.
A creative and confident leader, Martin is a gifted communicator and the type of person you want in your corner. We are thrilled to have him in ours, and working on behalf of Think Retail clients.
Please join us in welcoming Martin to the team!
Martin can be reached at or 514-607-9783

Second Cup Coffee Co. acquisition is fantastic news for Foodtastic

February 09, 2021

Quebec-based Foodtastic is building on its stellar line up of franchise foodservice brands with the acquisition of Second Cup Coffee Co.
"Second Cup has been a Canadian staple for almost 45 years and we're excited to welcome them into the Foodtastic family," Peter Mammas, President and CEO of Foodtastic, said following the announcement.  
Think Retail congratulates the Foodtastic team on the strategic acquisition of this iconic Canadian coffee brand, which presenting exciting potential for growth and innovative partnerships. 
Foodtastic, a leader in the restaurant franchising industry, purchased the Canadian coffee brand from Mississauga-based Aegis Brands Inc. for $14 million in cash, plus a post-closing earn-out. The deal allows Aegis, formerly known as The Second Cup Ltd., to focus on its other businesses, including the Hemisphere Cannabis Co.
We see the Second Cup chain as the ideal partner for Foodtastic and the move is keeping with a mandate to ramp up growth with new and existing brands following a $47-million investment from Restaurant Royalty Partners in December 2018. 
Since then, Foodtastic has made several exciting announcements, including the addition of Ottawa’s Big Rig Kitchen & Brewery and Quebec-based Chocolato to its portfolio of marquee restaurant concepts. Foodtastic is well-positioned as a leader in the restaurant franchising business, with more than 130 restaurants—brands include, Au Coq, La Belle et La Boeuf, Monza, Carlos & Pepe's, Souvlaki Bar, Nickels, Rotisseries Benny and Bacaro—and $240 million in annualized sales.
"We look forward to working with all our new franchisees and emerging through this pandemic with a revitalized Canadian leader in the premium coffee segment. This acquisition is consistent with our strategy of acquiring quality Canadian brands with growth potential," explains Mammas. 
In 2020, Second Cup operated 244 locations across the country and pivoted quickly to adjust to the pandemic. It closed underperforming cafés, but also launched an ecommerce platform; announced plans to sell via retail locations; and outlined a plan to open 14 “non-traditional” locations in places such as hospitals. In August, it partnered with Petro-Canada to pilot three drive-through locations at gas stations in Ontario. 
Think Retail is honoured to work with Foodtastic as it builds its portfolio and charts innovative plans for its strong network of foodservice concepts. For more information about Foodtastic and its portfolio, visit the Foodtastic website or contact the Think Retail team

Star Bédard to become Beauté Star, as part of a retail and brand reinvention

October 13, 2020

It’s fitting a company in the business of helping people transform themselves through hair and beauty products is undergoing a transformation itself. 
Top Beauty Group (TBG), which comprises Star Bédard, as well as M2B, Professional by Fama and Madame B2K, is rebranding its chain of retail stores, launching a new website and unveiling a new prototype store in Drummondville, Que. 
The company operates 24 Star Bédard/M2B stores in the Province of Quebec, as well as Northern New Brunswick and Eastern Ontario. The stores will now operate under the Beauté Star moniker, kicking off a new direction for the Quebec-based company. 
“We created a name change to support both brands,” says Andrew St-Charles, Directeur, E-commerce et Marketing for TBG. “The name change is also based on a change to our business model.” 
Founded in 1978 by France Bédard Bourdon and Gaétan Bourdon, the family-run business made a name for itself by offing salons a range of high-end products at accessible prices. It soon became the go-to destination for everything that salon owners need to operate their businesses, from products to equipment and accessories. 
Today, the company, with headquarters in Laval, is still owned and managed by the Bourdon family, however the founders’ daughters—Marie-Christine and Marie-Danielle—officially took the helm in 2015 and are co-presidents. The fashionable sisters have built on an enduring reputation as the Quebec leader in the distribution of professional hairstyling products, continuing to innovate and expand the business to further solidify its position as a leader in the hairstyling and beauty industry. 
The change in business model is an exciting new direction that puts the company’s selection of quality, professional and exclusive hair and beauty products directly in the hands of consumers. 
“People have learned what it actually means to use these products. It’s not the same mindset as before,” says St. Charles. “Consumers are more conscious of what products they're putting on their body and in their hair so they want to make sure that they're using higher quality products.” 
Beauté Star is positioning itself to be the go-to destination for these products. People are accustomed to quality, but they need to buy product more often than the very three to six months that they visit their salon—the new Beauté Star business model will fill that gap. 
In order to support its salon clients and share profits, the company is giving salons promo codes to share with clients: When people purchase products via the Beauté Star website or in stores, salons will get a commission. 
First up, the company is launching a new direct-to-consumer website and, on November 30, plans to debut its new prototype store, which St-Charles calls “feminine and exciting.” Designed by famed architects Provencher-Roy, the new store is experiential with a strong digital focus; for instance, there is an in-store shopping app and iPads throughout. 
The new store won’t be open to consumers until some time next year. Eventually all 24 Star Bédard locations will rebrand as Beauté Star. For now, the initial focus in on building the direct-to-consumer brand online. 
Think Retail is honoured to work with this innovative Quebec-based company: The Bourdon family represents true entrepreneurial spirit and Beauté Star is a retail success story with an exciting future.
For more information visit the new Beauté Star website or connect with the Think Retail team

CellPlus Services to open five new locations in Ontario and Quebec

October 07, 2020

CellPlus Services is dialing up growth, with plans to open five new locations in the next 12 months. 
The Quebec-based already has four sites in the province—Les Galeries Lachine, Les Jardins Dorval and Le Place Vertu in Montreal, plus Centre Régional Châteauguay in Châteauguay. 
Now, the plan is on opening 100 sq. ft. kiosks in regional malls across Ontario and Quebec, with a primary focus on Ottawa and Montreal. 
CellPlus Services has carved a reputation for its professionalism and customer service. All repairs are done in-store by trained, bonded, customer-service oriented technicians. In addition to cellphones and smartphones, technicians repair iPads and other tablets. 
Studies show people are waiting longer before upgrading their smartphones, which means the device lifecycle is extended, often requiring more repairs. 
With the slogan—‘Don’t Replace It, Let’s Fix It’—cracked screens, faulty buttons, fuzzy cameras, lax charge ports, non-functioning speakers and crackly headphone jacks are just a taste of what they can tackle. 
In addition, CellPlus Services sells a wide range of smartphone and tablet accessories, including cases, headphones and Bluetooth components. 
CellPlus Services sets itself apart by promising on-the-spot screen repair in 30 minutes. In addition, technicians offer free diagnosis—customers only pay once the device is repaired. Plus, all work is backed by a six-month warranty on parts and workmanship.  
The timely retail concept appeals to a wide customer base, repairing all major smartphone and tablet brands, including Samsung, Apple, LG, BlackBerry and Huawei. 
For more information about the tech repair brand and its services, visit
Think Retail is thrilled to partner with CellPlus Services to take this dynamic company through its next stage of expansion. To discuss opportunities, contact the Think Retail Team.