WHY HONOURING THE FLAVOURS OF PORTUGAL IS THIS FRANCHISEE’S PASSION.
Oporto franchisee in Buranda (Brisbane), QLD.
For new franchisee Manny Farinha, family is everything (so it’s also for us!)
That’s why Oporto was such a perfect fit – not only does the brand espouse family values, it celebrates the flavours of Portugal which is where Manny’s own family hails from. Here the experienced business owner tells us why he connected so much with the brand and shares his exciting goals for the future.
Manny it’s interesting to hear you’re of Portuguese heritage, tell us about your background?
I come from a very big family and we’re all really close. My parents were born on the Portuguese Island of Madeira and immigrated to South Africa in the 1960s. I moved to Australia 10 years ago. My mum’s family were in hospitality and dad owned a supermarket. Both my parents were very hard workers – dad always said, ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ and I haven’t forgotten that.
Why was opening an Oporto franchise so important to you?
Well, my Portuguese heritage is very important to me and I want to pass that onto my kids. The brand is also very vibrant which reflects our culture, so it really was the right fit. As family is very central in my life, I immediately saw those values reflected in the brand. Being an immigrant, I also connected with the founder Antonio Cerqueira’s story. When you’re an immigrant, you have that mindset that if you’re given an opportunity, you make the most of it. That’s what he did and that’s what I’ve done.
So how do you honestly think the Portuguese flavours stack up?
The food is excellent – really authentic Portuguese! I really like the grilled chicken – it’s my favourite and I like to have it with the amazing chili sauce. I just love spicy food – we call chili sauce ‘peri peri’ and I eat it with everything. That’s such a Portuguese thing which reminds me of home.
What’s been your career path to date?
After gaining a Diploma in Hospitality, I owned and operated several restaurants and bars as part of the family business for nine years. An opportunity then came up for us to acquire a supermarket, so I ran that until 2008. As my wife has family in Sydney, we moved to Australia and I became a senior store manager with Woolworths. That really sparked my desire to own a business again, so I took on a petrol station for three years. However, I sold that this year and I have opened the new Oporto franchise in Buranda, Brisbane in June. So, it’s a new business and very exciting times for us.
Future plans within Oporto
What are you most looking forward to?
Our new customer experience store features which will hopefully engage new customers. I’m also excited about our store being in one of Brisbane’s east side, as I’m ready to tap into that community for the brand and offer something new to the area.
Can you name a challenge that’s helped shape who you are today?
Leaving my family behind to move to Australia was a huge decision. I have a particularly special bond with my mum who was diagnosed with cancer in 1990. We went through a lot together as I supported her through it and thankfully she’s now been cancer free for 25 years. That whole experience made the family even closer. Business-wise, setting up my first business with my partner was both challenging and rewarding. We were quite young and inexperienced but we did end up running it for nine years so that was a great accomplishment!
How do you see your franchise growing?
My goal is to do really well with the store, with an idea to becoming a multi-store owner. From my past business experience, if you do well with your first store you’ll know how to run other stores successfully. I really want to make this brand my home and I’m looking forward to the company continuing to support franchisees in Queensland, which is still a relatively new market, so we can reach the same amount of brand recognition there is in New South Wales.
Would you like to be like Manny and become a successful Oporto store owner? Keep reading!