Second Cup Debuts Refreshed Look and Expands Brand Partnerships Amidst Rapid Growth of Foodtastic Empire [Interview]

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National coffee brand Second Cup has launched a new look as it starts to add more stores in Canada that are combined with other brands such as Chocolato, Pita Pit and Freshii.

Sam Wadera, Vice-President for the Foodtastic umbrella of brands, said the Second Cup’s core business is still coffee but the menu has expanded as well. 

Sam Wadera

Second Cup has 181 locations in Canada with six of them opening this year.

“We didn’t open anything in 2022. Coming out of the pandemic was a challenge for us,” said Wadera. “I have four more on my list to open and I’m pretty sure they’ll open.

“I believe after every couple of decades we all need a refresh look. I wanted to bring some colours and cleaner inviting finish lines to our new look.”

Image: Second Cup
Image: Second Cup

Edmonton entrepreneur Ravi Prakash Singh recently opened two Second Cups in Calgary – 2803 17th Ave SW and 7 Mahogany Plaza SE.

“I’ve changed the look of Second Cup. There’s a new look now. I’ve changed the branding. I’ve also changed or revolutionized the offering since I’ve come in (August 2022) based on my past experiences and what I have done in my life. So there is a new menu when it comes to liquid and food items available now in Second Cup,” said Wadera. 

The Chocolato brand, a sister and complimentary company to Second Cup, is primarily based in Quebec. Wadera said there are 29 locations for Chocolato with seven which have opened this year and four more still to open.

Second Cup Mississauga (Image: Foodtastic)
Second Cup Mississauga (Image: Foodtastic)

He said the potential for growth of both these brands in the next fiscal year is 14-plus for Chocolato and 30-plus for Second Cup.

“Second Cup and Chocolato are sister brands at Foodtastic.  These two brands are the perfect complement to each other. Second Cup is the largest Canadian specialty coffee retailer. Our cafés offer a wide selection of brewed specialty coffees, hot and cold espresso-based beverages, smoothies, specialty teas, hot​ chocolates, premium baked goods and more,” said Wadera.

“Chocolato is a cross between a chocolate shop and dairy bar. Chocolato invites​ you to a world of chocolate, desserts including soft-serve ice cream and dips.  Enjoy a soft-serve cone with your choice of 100% pure chocolate dips. Second Cup’s café environment and menu are an ideal pairing with Chocolato. Our guests can come and enjoy a handcrafted beverage and a dipped cone or other decadent dessert.”

Second Cup Café at Union Station Bus Terminal (Image: Foodtastic)
Second Cup Café at Union Station Bus Terminal (Image: Foodtastic)

Foodtastic has a handful of locations that are a combination of Second Cup and Chocolato with more locations coming for that concept.

Foodtastic, founded in 2016, has established itself as a giant in the Canadian restaurant industry. Over the past few years, the cumulative sales of all Foodtastic restaurants have grown by leaps and bounds, from $50 million to over $1.15 billion. Today, Foodtastic manages over 1,100 restaurants and continues to expand at a rapid pace. 

Its brands also include Milestones, Freshii, Pita Pit, La Belle & La Boeuf, Shoeless Joe’s, Quesada, Rôtisseries Benny, Fionn’s, Enoteca Monza Pizzeria Moderna, Souvlaki Bar, Rôtisseries Fusée, Rôtisseries Au Coq, Copper Branch, Nickels Deli, Bacaro, L’Gros Luxe, Carlos & Pepe’s, Big Rig, La Chambre, Tommy, and GattoMatto.

“Obviously, standalone Second Cup is very important. We’re doing some drive-thrus as well. But we’re doing combos also. (Recently) I opened up one in a very busy area of downtown Toronto. It’s a Second Cup and a Pita Pit. This is right across from the Scotia Arena. A very busy spot,” said Wadera.

“So we’re doing some of these combos. Adding Second Cup to Freshii. Lot more going on when it comes to Second Cup.”

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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