QSR Media spoke with Coco Bliss’ co-founder, Candice Kemp, to discuss the brand’s journey since its founding at 2013, as well as how it differentiates from other healthy brands.
The idea was simple: the founders just wanted to create what they wished existed. With 8 stores across Australia, the brand has been a place to find a juice or smoothie made with real, nutrient dense ingredients, and a place where you could indulge your sweet tooth but not feel guilty about it.
QSR Media: Can you describe the brand Coco Bliss?
We would describe Coco Bliss as a lifestyle brand. We suit any and every lifestyle choice and want to promote balance and taking care of your body from the inside. It’s not about diets or restriction at all, it’s about knowing that you can come to us when you need a vitamin hit, and that every mouthful of Coco Bliss is doing great things for your body. Every item we serve, even our chocolate and decadent treats are still packed with vitamins & minerals and free from refined sugars and preservatives. Our mantra is simple: eat pure, nutritious wholefoods.
QSR Media: How has been the customer reception with the raw, whole-foods restaurant concept so far?
It has been incredible since day 1. When we began Coco Bliss, it was the first concept of its kind in Brisbane. Whilst there were vegan cafes around the Gold Coast and NSW and they did a great job for their niche, we found that they weren’t overly appealing to us as regular non-vegan ‘foodies’ who just wanted to tidy up what we were putting into our bodies. So, we felt there was a gap in the market to create a concept that had the benefits that came with raw wholefoods, but still appealed to the mass population. We have never labelled ourselves as vegan, paleo or raw – however, these are elements that happen to make up a huge part of our menu because plant-based wholefoods are nutritional powerhouses.
QSR Media: What have you learned since launching this concept in 2013?
Wow, a LOT. We had to learn as we went because for one thing it all happened so quickly from the conception of the idea, to opening our doors and having customers lining up down the street from the first morning, and to not truly being prepared for how crazy the response was. And secondly, because it was a market that didn't exist, supply chain and equipment we needed didn't exist commercially. We made pretty much every mistake in our first 18 months, and realised it all starts from the bottom and how tight your processes, procedures, supply chain and percentages are. It’s not enough to be making a huge amount of money in your till if it’s draining just as quickly at the other end. Thanks to the right team we now have an incredibly successful model that has phenomenal growth potential and longevity.
QSR Media: How do you differentiate Coco Bliss in the healthy foods category?
Our concept is fast fresh food that is visually stunning, but is also tasty enough to win over even the toughest critics. Fast food is thought of as a nasty word, but imagine if we could become as mainstream as your typical fast food chains and we reset the expectations of fast food. We are extremely passionate about ensuring every item we serve is doing good things for the body so we don’t cut corners. We use the absolute best quality ingredients we can get our hands on, and we pack those nutrients into each item from our super shots to our smoothies to our bowls to our cabinet treats, and more. When most people think of healthy food, they think of low-fat and diet food, whereas Coco Bliss is about nourishment and plenty of good healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. We hope to have our stores scattered everywhere and easily accessible to the masses, so that if you’re feeling run down or lacking energy, or simply want a daily vitamin hit, all you need to do is look for our teal disc and know that we’ve got you covered.
QSR Media: Who is your typical customer?
Honestly, anyone that wants to look after themselves and feel good. We get all ages from babies to grandparents and everything in between. Parents know they can feed their bubs with our eats and drinks because it’s more pure than what you would get out of a baby good jar off a shelf. Our fit fam know that we look after their pre-workout and recovery needs. School students love to come and hang out in groups because it’s a great place to chill out after school with a bowl, and they’re getting the 'Coco Glow’ from all the antioxidants. Retirees love to pop in on their morning walks for a smoothie and supershot and find themselves with a new found energy. This is what we love about Coco Bliss. It was a brand started for us because we wanted it ourselves, and it’s something that has become a brand for everyone.
QSR Media: Any big plans for the year?
We are always full of big plans. But for the rest of the year, we will be opening our next 3 stores which will take us to 10. We will also launch a new concept that ties in well with Coco Bliss as a sister brand and is another first of its kind.
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