Artisanal Souffle Pancake Concept ‘Fuwa Fuwa’ Expanding Further with Locations Across Canada [Interview]

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One of North America’s most popular dessert brands Fuwa Fuwa Pancakes has opened its third location in Calgary as it continues to expand in the market.

The new location at Chinook Plaza is the company’s fifth location in Alberta. Other locations in Calgary are in the University District and Kensington neighbourhoods. The other two in Alberta are in Edmonton. The brand currently has 22 locations in Canada and internationally.

And there are plans to continue expansion. 

Fuwa Fuwa was founded in 2018 in Toronto where Nicolas Poon, COO, and his co-founder Benson Lau, wanted to bring their love of Japanese desserts and a unique concept to Canada, a place where multiculturalism, diversity and innovative products are welcomed.

“We have more to be coming as well in the West Coast,” said Poon. “We have expanded across Ontario. And we have expanded across Alberta and now we are expanding across to Quebec, to British Columbia and other provinces as well.”

Fuwa Fuwa is known for souffle pancakes, which are light, fluffy, high in protein and low in sugar. Poon said every souffle pancake dish at Fuwa Fuwa is handcrafted and carefully plated to produce an artisanal piece that is popular on social media for its “photogenicism.”

“We often get DM’s and emails from enthusiastic followers around the world asking us to open a store near them,” he said.

Fuwa Fuwa Pancakes at Golden Square Mississauga (Image: Fuwa Fuwa)

Fuwa Fuwa won the Best Asia Pacific Business Award 2023 in the Association of Chinese Canadian Entrepreneurs.

“We have actually already expanded internationally. We have presence in the UK, in France. We’ll be expanding to the U.S. We will roll out on the first phase about 15 locations in the U.S. from Atlanta to Florida to the east coast like New York, New Jersey area as well as Boston. And then we also have down south in Texas and west in California, Los Angeles.”

Fuwa Fuwa Pancakes at Fairview Mall North York (Image: Fuwa Fuwa)

Six locations are currently opening internationally with 20 more locations that will be opening by the second quarter of 2024.

“Fuwa Fuwa literally means fluffy, fluffy. We specialize in something called the Japanese souffle pancakes. Unlike a traditional pancake, it’s light as air, fluffy as cloud pancakes. It’s actually also high in protein and low in sugar,” said Poon.

“There’s a lot of care that is also put into every plate in how we craft and place our products. It’s very artisanal and social media friendly as well.”

Adam Lieberman

Fuwa Fuwa is represented by Adam Liberman of Brokerage Oberfeld Snowcap in Quebec.

Image: Fuwa Fuwa
Fuwa Fuwa Pancakes at Chinook Plaza Calgary (Image: Fuwa Fuwa)

Robson Yuen, who is operating the Chinook Plaza location, said he’s quite happy with the location of the new store and it feels like his dream has come true.

Yuen said most Fuwa Fuwa stores are about 1,000 to 1,200 square feet but his is slightly bigger with about 1,700 square feet.

Food and beverage concepts from Japan have become increasingly more popular in Canada.

“Our product is really a symbolism of multiculturalism and diversity because the origin of souffle pancakes actually originated from France. So pancakes is like bread and butter for North Americans and it’s also slightly reinvented in Japan,” said Poon. 

“So this product has gone around the world and now as the largest souffle pancake chain in North America we also tie them in as a multicultural and globalized product and it ends up to be one of the very unique products that we have and it’s an innovation of a traditional product.”

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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