The President of the Queensland chapter of the Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) and Director of the FCA’s national board, Ralph Edwards, joins the Zarraffa’s Coffee Board today.
Mr Edwards’ confirmation replaces outgoing Chairman Terry Wimberley, who recently retired from his position as Chair and Director of Leasing with the Australian-owned franchise chain.
Company CEO and founder Kenton Campbell acknowledged Mr Wimberley’s contribution to the company over his four year tenure.
“I wish to acknowledge Terry’s involvement in growing the brand into Western Australia among other achievements, and express our thanks for his time and leadership.”
Mr Campbell went on to say that he believed Mr Edwards would herald a new chapter for the company’s governance.
“The addition of Mr Edwards will bring a strong hands-on franchising, retail and supply chain background with a track record of success in guiding growing businesses, including the Bright Eyes Sunglasses chain,” said Mr Campbell.
“This, combined with his wide ranging experience on a number of boards and significant franchise industry involvement, will provide a balanced perspective of where the company should be heading now and into the future.”
Mr Edwards, who has had a long-standing business relationship with Mr Campbell, said he was attracted to the strength of the Zarraffa’s brand and the fact that the business is experiencing solid growth.
“I have held a keen interest in the Zarraffa’s business over many years and have closely watched and admired the success and growth of the company,” he said.
“It is a brand that has withstood the test of a difficult retail environment and economic conditions and still continues to outperform its competitors.”
“Ultimately, Mr Campbell has a great vision for the business and I am eager to be a part of his passion for the coffee industry.”
Mr Edwards believes the great growth and business evolution experienced by Zarraffa’s in recent times will necessitate the development of even stronger systems, procedures and corporate governance to provide the stability to continue to grow into the future.
“Zarraffa’s currently boasts 70 stores and is now expanding into new markets such as Western Australia and North Queensland. Broadening the base of the company into interstate and regional locations presents some new challenges that need to be carefully managed across the organisation.”
Mr Campbell agreed by saying that the retail environment is still quite volatile and Mr Edwards’ extensive retail and industry knowledge and specialist experience in property leasing and tenant advocacy, has arrived at an opportune time.
“It’s an exciting new era for the company as we consolidate our systems and look internally at improving our major business tenants of product and service. Experienced leadership and management will be critical to our operation as we edge closer to reaching the one hundred store milestone.”
“With 17 years of retail history behind us and the recent recruitment of key management and board level experience to ‘steer the ship’, Zarraffa’s is equipped to drive the brand in a positive and profitable direction for the betterment of our franchisees and customers, now and in the future.”
Ralph Edwards is a champion of franchising and retail business who has successfully owned, managed and grown a variety of businesses over the past 30 years.
Ralph has always been vigorously involved in the maintenance and expansion of his own retail businesses through a hands-on approach to every aspect of retail real estate and franchising and is passionate about imparting the knowledge gained from his highly-successful retailing career onto other growing businesses.
Ralph owned and successfully managed Bright Eyes Sunglass Stores Australia for eight years, during which time he successfully expanded the business from 80 to 140 franchisees, making it Australia’s largest privately owned sunglass retail network. While he was running Bright Eyes, the business made the respected BRW Fast 100 list for three years in a row, as well as the BRW Fast Franchises list for two years in row.
In 2007, Ralph sold Bright Eyes to a large international public company. He regained ownership of the Bright Eyes business in 2013. As a Consultant with Lease1, Australia’s only national Retail Shop Lease consultancy that provides a tenant-only representation service, he is a powerful retail advocate who delivers first-hand insights and valuable leasing solutions to retail clients.
In addition to other Board positions, Ralph is the current President for the Queensland Chapter of the Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) and Director and member of the FCA’s National Board. Ralph also holds an invited position on the Queensland Governments Business Advisory Forum and the Queensland Governments Small Business Advisory Council.