Restaurant chain has more than 80 locations
Rosa Soo Young Park/for metro toronto
A mountain of fruit, crepes, pancakes and waffles are characteristic of Cora’s restaurants. The breakfast franchise, distinguished by its quality of food and the fun atmosphere, has more than 80 locations across Canada and is still expanding.
At each franchise, the walls are covered with colourful, whimsical drawings. The place isn’t only for kids, but for anyone who still has a kid in them.
Behind this award-winning franchise is a woman who started it all from scratch. Cora Tsouflidou says it was her passion to delight customers that has turned a small snack bar into a giant breakfast franchise.
From talking to the woman who’s been through it all, it was clear to see that it was her passion and dedication to the brand she created that made her successful.
"Every time you face difficult situations, you need to persevere and move on," says Tsouflidou.
She was a 35-year-old, freshly divorced single mother with three kids when she got into the business. She says the hardship she faced at the time was the best motivation because she had to make it to survive.
And Tsouflidou has definitely made it. Last month, she was awarded for her entrepreneurial spirit at the Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 summit by the Women’s Executive Network, which was held here in Toronto. She has also received numerous recognitions in the past, including the Consumer Choice Award. Cora’s Franchise was also named one of the Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies.
"Success in business means taking territory. At a personal level, success means acquiring harmony and balance," says Tsouflidou, who has now achieved success at both levels. But when she began, there was no balance in her life. "To balance my business and family life, I brought my kids to work," says Tsouflidou.
Cora’s became a family business as her three children all helped out. As for working with her children, she says family is all about love, and it helps them get through disagreements.
Final words of advice?
"It’s never too late, and you are never too old."