Business Profiles

by Bocky Boo Gelato

last updated 20/06/2024

Listing information is supplied by that particular entity. You are advised to confirm the accuracy of the listing and the FANZ membership status of any entity. Neither the sponsors of this Directory nor FANZ nor the publisher accept responsibility for any omissions or errors.

After Dinner Delight, Serving up Loads of Fun

by Bocky Boo Gelato

last updated 20/06/2024

Bocky Boo Gelato - the franchise that brings the fun to town

When the De’Ath family returned to New Zealand after a four-year stint in the Australian Northern Territory, they came back with a plan to serve up epic amounts of delicious gelato to the people of Whangārei.

Armed with a vision to help transform the inner city into a fun place for families to hangout and make awesome memories together, they enlisted everyone they knew to make it happen.

As only friends can, Josh Van Berkel didn’t hold back from suggesting to Chris De’Ath that his time under the Northern Territory sun might have made him a little crazy.

‘Firstly’, says Josh, ‘they were returning to live in Whangārei, not Rangiora – our hometown.’ And given Chris’s complete absence of hospitality experience Josh was less than convinced that he could pull it off.

Josh continues, ‘I had to give them points for the name though - Bocky Boo Gelato, both original and highly memorable. Bocky Boo being their youngest daughter Kaela’s childhood nickname.’

Well, that was in 2019. A lot has happened since then and, according to Josh, ‘you could say I’ve had to eat a scoop of “humble gelato”.’

With his wife Liz and their three kids, Josh went on several holidays to the Bay of Islands, each time visiting Chris’s Bocky Boo Gelato in Whangārei on the way.

‘Wow, were we impressed!’ Josh says. ‘The location, creative design, brightly coloured fit-out, displays full of gorgeous gelato and tasty treats, staff who clearly love their work, and, of course, the queues of happy customers were all very impressive.’

Josh was sold on the concept and approached Chris with the proposal to become the Rangiora Bocky Boo Gelato franchisee. ‘In November 2022 we opened and already I can say it is the best business and lifestyle decision we have ever made,’ says Josh. ‘Who cares that we had no previous hospo experience!’

Who doesn’t love gelato?

Chris laughs at the memory of Josh questioning his sanity. ‘He definitely thought we’d bitten off more than we could chew, but I felt Whangārei desperately needed Bocky Boo Gelato as a seven-days-a-week fun café.

‘We knew we could create wide customer appeal, opening mid-morning until late evening. We wanted somewhere people could go after meals at nearby eateries, or even come out after dinner at home. Somewhere families and friends could enjoy a fun, dedicated dessert experience together.

‘It’s been special for us to be able to provide a positive, super fun workplace in which our teenage kids can learn valuable life skills. It’s enabled them to save money; one daughter is funding a business degree, while another decided to buy a new MG3. People really love the family vibe of the place.’

The perfect lifestyle business

After a successful career in radio, Josh had become an early franchisee of GroutPro by ProGroup. Having built up his franchise – with no previous tiling or grouting experience – he sold it, switching to a career as a pastor.

‘We were fortunate to be able to become Rangiora Bocky Boo Gelato franchisees and to locate an ideal corner site, with two street frontages. It’s a decision that has rewarded us with income well ahead of projections; we made $35,000 in the first month and have never looked back. Even the winter months don’t put customers off; we see more hot desserts and specialty hot chocolates sales!’

The business is a family affair, with Liz at the helm for an average of three days a week and the kids mixing homeschooling and social lives with working in the café, while Josh takes shifts in between being a pastor. ‘Having fantastic staff also contributes to us enjoying a great work-life balance,’ he says.

Tapping into the right talent

As a franchisor, Chris has leaned on his aviation management experience, previously managing a fleet of 11 aircraft and a team of 40 staff, along with input from lawyers, accountants and other professionals to develop the Bocky Boo franchise model to a very high standard.

Having the highest quality product to bring to the market was important. ‘We didn’t go into this lightly.’ Chris explains, ‘We did a lot of research to tap into the right talent, like the Italian gelato master who taught us the art of gelato making. We also chose the renowned Coffee Supreme as our supplier and for ongoing barista training.’

The Bocky Boo Gelato investment is $150,000 to $350,000, depending on size and location. This includes gelato making equipment, baking facilities, site fit out, all franchisee and staff training, ongoing support and marketing. Advertising is based on creative social media content and word-of-mouth. Additional and ongoing support can also include location selection, lease negotiation, and day-to-day management assistance.

Gelato, desserts and coffee

The Bocky Boo franchise model is simple and based on proven operational and safety systems. Chris and his wife Ruth are still involved with mission and aid work, which the business model allows them the freedom to do. Besides the incomparable gelato range, income streams include on-site baked goods and desserts, coffee, gelato birthday cakes, and party catering, with tremendous potential formulti-unit franchisees.

‘We’d love to hear from potential franchisees who, like Josh and Liz, are keen to open their own Bocky Boo Gelato as the fun place in their town.’

See this advertorial on page 9 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 33 Issue 2

Contact details for Bocky Boo Gelato

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