From the tropical coasts of the Philippines, Ricardo “Richie” Z. Cuna, owner of Italian ice cream maker Fiorgelato, is also keeping himself busy with his branches in the United States, opening Fior Café and Ice Cream Gallery.
Cuna is slowly and steadily expanding his reach in in the US market. [Read about the new gelato player in town here]
Cuna is also working on his Coco Banana brand for Goldilocks, which is being distributed in the US.
“We are aggressive overseas. I’m working on Japan now. Kuala Lumpur opened in March 15,” Cuna said, in addition to his ice cream plants in China, making him one of Globe Telecommunications’ (Globe) Negostar – Globe’s roster of inspiring entrepreneurs. [Read about the prospects of franchising in the country here]
When he started, Cuna had less than five employees, and he had to prepare all the ice cream and attend to the shop at the same time. From this humble beginnings, Milkin Corp. now has more than 60 people and Cuna said he has given the business to his employees.
Fiorgelato, the "pure Italian ice cream", traced its beginnings from Cuna’s fondness for ice cream since he was a child. Now with 18 years in the business, Fiorgelato has established a niche market and has grown the brand with 50 outlets nationwide.
This passion for ice cream has driven Cuna to venture overseas.
“Milkin manufactures distributes and retails gelato. So it’s an end-to-end venture. I gave Milkin to the employees. I had employees who were with us for 18 years. It’s really for them now. The reason why I am still here is because my people need my support,” he said. [Learn how to find the best employees here]
One of the brand\\\'s success secrets is the fact that Cuna remains to be on top of the business, regardless of his location. “I cannot live without my Globe mobile. It’s really part of my life already. Communication is crucial to me and the business as I need to email text and call regularly,” he said.
Making sure that all his outlets are sticking true to the branding of Fiorgelato, Cuna constantly keeps himself connected with his 35 franchisees. [Find out if franchising is for you here]
Offered through Globe Business, his Biz Broadband, Biz Landline and Business Plus allow him to have constant communication with his franchisees and to the main office.
Also, using Biz Broadband, he can regularly check Fiorgelato’s website and receive orders needed for the outlets through email. With Biz Landline and Business Plus, he can be reached right away by franchisees for immediate consultation and instant coordination. Cuna said he values his communication tools as these help him make fast decisions for the business.
Fiorgelato: The Pure Italian Ice Cream
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