Sam Ferreira brings more than 25 years in coffee, retail, fintech and franchising to new role
Retail Food Group, Australia’s largest multi-brand retail food franchisor and a global food and beverage company, recently announced the hiring of Sam Ferreira as president of the U.S. business. Ferreira will be focused on developing new innovative brand initiatives and building on the strong legacy the brand has established in the states through Gloria Jean’s Coffees and It’s A Grind Coffee House.
Ferreira’s most recent role was Senior Director of Retail Operations/Sales & Service at Oportun, where he was responsible for the rapid expansion of the business. He also brings experience overseeing large chains and franchises through senior roles at Peet’s Coffee and Tea, Blockbuster and Subway.
“We are thrilled to welcome Sam to the Retail Food Group leadership team to drive the growth of our U.S. business,” said Mike Gilbert, Chief Executive – International, Retail Food Group. “Sam’s passion for delivering positive results with a focus on process, people and innovation, paired with his 25 years of experience driving results across multiple retail disciplines, will position our brands to compete in the ever-growing coffee segment.”
Retail Food Group’s U.S. brand portfolio includes Gloria Jean’s Coffees, with 57 locations in 20 states, and It’s A Grind Coffee House, with 17 locations. In 2018, Retail Food Group announced plans to introduce the highly successful Australian concepts including Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar, Donut King and Brumby’s Bakery to the U.S. market, as well as a strategic plan to expand Gloria Jean’s Coffees on a global scale, announcing a 40-store development initiative planned for Germany.
This planned expansion is coming at a time when the coffee industry is as hot as ever. According to industry research firm Technomic, among the Top 500 coffee chains in the United States in 2016, sales reached $24.8 billion, a 9.7 percent increase from the previous year. The corresponding U.S. unit count increase, up 4.8 percent from the year prior to 24,391 total units, made the sector the second largest cuisine segment behind burgers.
“I am looking forward to working with our franchisees partners to grow our brands and increase our Average Unit Volume,” said Ferreira. “The potential in the brands is there to capture the growing coffee segment and showcase a handcrafted, small batch roasted story with unique flavor profiles allowing us to excite the US marketplace.”
In 2017 alone, Gloria Jean’s opened eight new U.S. locations. The momentum did not stop in 2018, with six openings scheduled before mid-2018, including two It’s A Grind locations opening in Northern California. The brand’s commitment to quality-sourced beans and a legacy of unique flavor innovation, sourcing 100 percent of its coffees directly from exotic locations across the globe and then roasting every bean at its facility in California, has competitors of Gloria Jean’s and It’s A Grind in hot water. But while the rest of the coffee industry catches up to the flavor revolution, Gloria Jean’s plans to improve upon its own legacy of innovation at the brand’s in-house roastery in Los Angeles and It’s a Grind continues to drive its Coffee Forward flavor profile to the masses.
Gloria Jean’s Coffees is an innovator in the specialty coffee segment, providing customers fresh, premium blends and award-winning roasts. Gloria Jean’s Coffees was founded in 1979 in a small town outside Chicago by the company’s namesake, Gloria Jean Kvetko. What began as a small gift shop soon became a nationwide and later international franchise concept, and the brand now boasts nearly 900 stores worldwide. Gloria Jean’s delectable menu also offers ice-blended chillers, mochas, lattes, hot cocoa, a variety of baked goods and pastries, whole beans and retail merchandise. For more information on Gloria Jean’s Coffees, visit www.gloriajeans.com. To inquire about franchise opportunities, visit www.gloriajeans.com/franchise.
It’s A Grind Coffee House is a neighborhood destination serving high quality signature coffee in a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere. Founded in 1994, It’s A Grind Coffee House serves several different blends of specialty coffee, roasted in Southern California and brewed fresh each day. Each location also serves espresso beverages, iced blended coffee creations, freshly made breakfast sandwiches and a variety of foods at all times throughout the day. Retail Food Group Ltd. (RFG), one of the world’s largest multi-brand retail food franchisors and leading wholesale coffee roasters, acquired It’s A Grind Coffee House in 2014 with plans to grow the brand through franchising. The brand currently has 18 locations in the U.S. and eight internationally. For more information on It’s A Grind Coffee House, visit http://www.itsagrind.com. To inquire about franchise opportunities, visit www.itsagrind.com/franchise/.