If you have been to Orchard Park Shopping Centre you may have noticed a brand new sandwich shop in the food court, but what you may not know is it is a Kelowna man’s franchise.
Chachi’s may have started in 2006 in Calgary, but it has a strong connection to Kelowna as one of the business partners, Jason Cunningham, grew up in the city. Cunningham helped open up the first Starbucks in the Shopping Centre in 1995 and was the assistant manager. He is now back at his old stomping grounds with the Chachi’s sandwich shop, which opened at the beginning of August.
“We were received extremely well and people were happy that there is something local, interesting and exciting in the food court,” said Cunningham.
Cunningham and one of his two business partners were both baristas at the Okanagan’s first Starbucks coffee shop, learning and understanding the business industry.
“We developed a great friendship and from there went into business and today we grow franchise brands across Western Canada and Chachi’s now has 24 locations,” explained Cunningham.
The Kelowna location is the first one in the B.C. Interior. Cunningham is now looking for a franchise partner to take over the Orchard Park location because they feel it’s important that the business is run locally and keeps a local connection.
“Our menu is based on ingredients from local producers, and we believe the best management is when people who own the business also live and work in the community,” said Cunningham. “No one cares like a franchise partner who has a vested interest in the business. Hopefully it blossoms into other locations in the Valley.”
Chachi’s uses ingredients from local supplies in Western Canada and hand picks certain butchers, bakeries, and cheese suppliers. In fact, they are currently looking for someone local to supply cookies for the Kelowna location.
During the Kelowna grand opening of the Chachi’s store, Cunningham says they raised $2,000 for BC Wildfire victims and were blown away by the generosity from the local community for their new business.
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