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How many Lenard’s stores do you own and/or operate? 


Are you the sole owner or are there co-owners? 

Sole owner.

Please tell us a little about yourself, your background,
and how (and when) you came to become a Lenard’s Franchisee? 


I started my journey with Lenard’s in 2004, buying the Cairns Central store after having spent 13 years in the Australian Army’s catering corp as a qualified chef. I closed the store ten years later in 2014 with the strong belief there was still more I could achieve within the brand. I bought an old butcher shop on Aumuller Street, and converted it into a Lenard’s store. I then started supplying three local Super IGA Piccones located at Edmonton, Manoora, Fresh St Marketplace located in Atherton, and Tietzel’s IGA Tully. I would make all their products which  they would sell in their deli sections. I am still supplying these stores to this day.

In the same year, an opportunity arose for me to open a new store located in the suburb of Redlynch. Armed with a new strategy, I built a kiosk-style store to avoid the high cost of a de-fit if the relationship with the shopping centre failed or the costs became too high to survive. I continued to operate the two stores for three years, running back-and-forth between the two. The butcher shop store called Lenard’s Westcourt was the production site, and made all the stock for every store. Lenard’s Redlynch was supplied all stock, and it was just sold in store.

Redlynch as a community was growing, and as I felt the shop was too small and did not have the flexibility to provide enough stock for the demand, I approached the landlord about the possibility of expanding to the vacant tenancy next door. I found a buyer for the Lenard’s Westcourt store to finance the expansion at Redlynch, however, one week prior to settlement, the sale fell through leaving me with a vacant store with a lease still in place, and no extra cash to pay for the build. Fortunately, I had some savings and the builder allowed me to pay the shortfall for the build off weekly, and the shopping centre owners, the local Marino’s family, supported me through this time. I was able to break the lease at Westcourt with a financial payment.

In December 2017, I opened the expanded store at Redlynch, and haven’t looked back. Sales have continued to grow over the years and are still continuing to do so. My turnover has been more than $1,500,000 each year for the past three years, and I have grown my customer count from 350 to 1000 over the past seven years.

I should have quit a dozen times over the past 18 years, however, the love of the Lenard’s brand and product has had me wanting to not give up, and see how much I could achieve. I am a very honest, hardworking person who still works seven days a week most weeks, however, would not be where I am if I didn’t have the support of my family, Lenard’s head office and my landlord, Charlie Marino. I have been presented with the Lenard’s franchise owner of the year award twice, and I am now also working with Lenard’s head office as a Business Coach supporting franchise owners on the east coast of Australia.

My store is thriving, my debt is minimal, and for the first time in 18 years, I can take a holiday. I am now also starting to supply more local IGAs, FoodWorks and Friendly Grocers throughout Cairns. I love supporting these stores, as they too, are locally owned-and-operated stores, and I look forward to helping our relationship grow.

What do you love most about being a Lenard’s store owner?

Unlimited chicken ha ha ha! But seriously, being able to own your own store and having the support from Head Office, as well as the great opportunities to learn.

What aspects do you find most challenging? 

Building the best team for the job.

What do you love most about your local area and community? Have you always lived in the area? 

We have a great community feel, everyone is well-connected and look out for one another.

Which Lenard’s products do you stock? 

We stock the full range of Lenard’s products, including the new Ready to Heat pre-cooked range.

What is your favourite aspect of the support provided by Lenard’s, ie marketing and sales support etc? 

There is always support on offer when you need it.

What do you and your customers love most about Lenard’s products? 

Quick and easy, fresh and great variety.

Why do you think Lenard’s products are so popular and have endured for so many years? 

Because our customers have been enjoying our handmade chicken products for 30+ years. The majority of our customers were raised on Lenard’s and are now offering to their own families.

Which Lenard’s products are most popular at your store/s, and why? 

Kievs, Mini Strudels, and our ready to cook Curries fly out the door, they are so quick and easy, and no washing up!

Which Lenard’s product is your personal favourite? 

Mignons and Baguettes. 

Find out more about Lenard’s Redlynch here.

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