As the award-winning New Zealand cafe franchise makes inroads into Southeast Asia, parent company Starfleet Innotech shares additional progress on the global expansion of its F&B ecosystem.
NEW YORK, June 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Award-winning New Zealand cafe franchise Epiphany Cafe today announced it has more than doubled its domestic footprint since the beginning of the year. Leveraging this momentum, the business is now mobilizing into Malaysia, with plans for an expansion into the Philippines and the United States before year-end.
Epiphany Cafe is the flagship business in global investment holding company Starfleet Innotech, Inc. (OTC Pink: SFIO)’s F&B ecosystem. According to Chito Galvez, SFIO’s Divisional Manager for Franchising, Epiphany Cafe plays a leading role in the conglomerate’s global growth plans, establishing the group’s footprint in new markets and creating the scaffolding necessary to expand the other products and services in SFIO’s portfolio. These include New Zealand Manuka Honey (under the Epiphany Cafe brand) and instant coffee (under the Gorgeous Coffee brand), both slated to be available for purchase online in North America by July.
Galvez brings over 35 years of experience in franchise business development, retail site expansion, sales building, customer service, negotiations, and business relationship building to his role spearheading SFIO‘s franchising operations. Prior to joining SFIO, Galvez played crucial roles in the growth teams of F&B giants such as 7-11 and the Jollibee Group, with a career taking him across the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, India, and New Zealand.
“At the beginning of the year, we mapped out a two-year roadmap for 200 new Epiphany Cafe locations across New Zealand, Australia, and Southeast Asia,” said SFIO CEO and Co-founder of Epiphany Cafe Jeths Lacson. “Under Chito’s leadership, we are making great progress in our regional expansion plans.” Epiphany Cafe more than doubled its footprint across New Zealand in the first half of 2022, growing from 30 locations to 65 franchised and licensed locations within the country. Following the completion of market research and feasibility studies, Epiphany Cafe has already secured trademarks and reserved flagship locations to enter the Malaysian market. Initial teams to manage these brick-and-mortar operations in Malaysia will be training in New Zealand next quarter.
Similar feasibility studies are now underway for an expansion into the Philippines.
As Epiphany Cafe continues to grow domestically and regionally, the SFIO group is setting the stage for an entrance into North America. “In addition to partnering with local distributors to sell our F&B products online, we’re actively exploring M&A opportunities with existing cafe and bakery businesses to bring our award-winning New Zealand brand to the United States,” said Lacson. “Our Chief Investments Officer Richard de Lima plays a central role in finding and shaping precisely these opportunities.”
CIO Richard de Lima is an asset manager and global corporate advisor, bringing over 30 years of experience in the capital markets to leading the conglomerate’s global partnership efforts. As an expert in business finance engineering, mergers & acquisitions, portfolio management, and strategic corporate investor relations, De Lima specializes in cross-border transactions in the lower middle market.
In addition to his experience working across Wall Street investment banking firms, he was the President and CEO of LeBevCo Holdings, a global F&B operation. Now leading SFIO’s partnership initiatives in the United States, he leverages his decades of experience and network-building among F&B distributors, manufacturers, and brick-and-mortar businesses to strike and structure the strategic deals necessary for an impactful debut for Epiphany Cafe.
“As we build momentum for Epiphany Cafe in New Zealand, Malaysia, and beyond, we continue to keep our sights trained on North America as our key market,” said Lacson. “We’re at an inflection point now in our growth journey—lining up strategic partners that share our vision. In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing more news around our progress in that journey.”
For media enquiries, please contact:
Craymond Yeong, PR & Marketing Specialist
Starfleet Innotech, Inc.
Phone: (+64) 21 0833 2966
About Starfleet Innotech, Inc.
Starfleet Innotech, Inc. (OTC: SFIO) is a global investment holding company focused on innovation through disruptive collaborations across its three key industries: Food and Beverage (F&B), Real Estate, and Technology. With a strong presence across New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, and the Philippines, SFIO makes strategic investments in high-growth businesses, building synergies across its diverse portfolio to provide maximum shareholder value. Guided by tradition, driven by innovation, and enabled by collaboration—SFIO is on a hyper-growth path to build a thriving global business ecosystem, shaping the futures of its core industries.
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