Paul Diballa Brings His Restaurant Experience to Toastique!
Location: Tampa, Florida
Toastique, Gourmet Toast & Juice Bar has been a success since its first store opened in 2018, and the brand hasn’t looked back. Thanks to the vision of founder Brianna Keefe, the sky’s the limit for this boutique brunch spot. It’s quickly become one of the best franchising brands we at Raintree have the pleasure of working with.
Someone else has taken notice of Toastique’s success, and his name is Paul Diballa. Paul is a classically trained chef with many years of experience working on the line in several restaurants throughout the Chicago, Illinois area. He finally decided to strike out on his own, and everything the Toastique Healthy Breakfast Franchise stands for aligned perfectly with his personal values. Follow along below to learn more about Paul’s journey into the world of franchising.
What is your professional background?
I went to Ole Miss but left without getting a degree. Then a friend of mine mentioned I should try culinary school, and I jumped at it. I ended up at Johnson & Wales University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts. From there, I went to Chicago and worked in a restaurant owned by Wolfgang Puck. I did everything in the kitchen, from washing dishes and prepping recipes from scratch to running the line. And I also met my wife while she was working in the pastry department.
After six more years in several other Chicago restaurants, I switched to selling insurance. During this time, my wife took a job at Gordon Food Service, a food distribution company, in the sales department. She really enjoyed working there, so when there was another opening in the sales department, I took it and spent six years as a sales representative. I then spent another six as a local franchise sales representative, where my interest in franchising developed.
How did you first become aware of the Toastique breakfast franchise brand?
I attended a franchise discovery day for a different brand, but it didn’t feel right from the get-go. Then I discovered Raintree, and through them, I eventually came across Toastique, Gourmet Toast and Juice Bar.
What did you like about the Toastique franchise opportunity? What set Toastique apart, in your eyes, from other franchise business opportunities in the Food/Fast Casual Industry?
Toastique’s entire operation and business model were simple. It was also a new franchise concept that I hadn’t seen before that came with a small staffing number, low business overhead expenses, and a proven product that has been making a profit from day one. Also, the support I got from the executive team at Toastique and Raintree was a significant selling point.
What did you like about meeting Toastique’s Founder and the rest of the corporate team?
Brianna’s energy and belief in the healthy food that Toastique is selling were infectious. There’s no question I can’t ask that the corporate team won’t answer, and no problem too big or small for them to help me solve.
What did you like about Toastique’s Approval Day (formerly known as Discovery Day)?
It was a great time all around. Getting to visit different stores and see how they operate in such an efficient way was amazing.
What do you think will make you successful?
It boils down to who we hire because whoever that person will be, they will be the face of the business. Plus, I’ll be there almost daily to ensure the business is booming.
What advice would you give to a potential Franchise Owner?
Look at your returns and what you’re willing to spend. Don’t be afraid to reach out to franchise support, and do as much digging into the finances as possible.
We can’t wait for Paul to get up and running with his Tampa, FL, Toastique healthy breakfast franchise location. He’s got a good head on his shoulders, and we have no doubt he’ll be a success.
If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Toastique, Gourmet Toast & Juice Bar family by investing in a franchise location, click here to learn more.