Fred Mouawad, the founder of GFA, was always intrigued by the power and growth potential of retail brands that are recognized, visible, and accessible to a broad customer base. Being the fourth generation of a family (www.mouawad.com) that has predominantly been in the fine gems and jewelry business dealing with an exclusive segment of society, Fred always dreamt of being able to offer a great retail experience to a general audience.
His mission to accomplish that objective began in 1996, when he contemplated the possibility of opening a pizza restaurant in Chennai, India. He found the opportunity to open a food service business in India, the second most populous country after China, irresistibly alluring. At the time he considered becoming a franchisee himself but quickly realized how difficult it was to become a partner of an established international chain without being a large corporation and having direct experience in the restaurant business. As a result, he launched his own brand "Pizza Corner," and at the time vowed to grow the company to one day make it easy for capable entrepreneurs to become franchisees of his brand.
In 1997, one year after launching Pizza Corner in India, Fred saw a similar opportunity in Thailand in the Coffee category. He noticed the emergence of coffee in the USA, and was convinced it would one day become a trend in Asia. He, therefore, set out to found Coffee World in Bangkok, Thailand, and to position the brand early in the development of the market. Pizza Corner and Coffee World were always two separate ventures operated independently, and in 1999 Fred secured private equity funds to invest in both businesses separately. A few years later, in 2004, Fred bought out the shares held by his equity partners and formed Global Franchise Architects (GFA). Fred's vision behind GFA was to build one company with one operating system to manage multiple brands in multiple countries. At the same time, the company would continue to do what it had done previously, namely to build its own brands.
In 2004, GFA launched New York 5th Av. Deli; in 2005, Cream & Fudge; in 2006, The Donut Baker. The trajectory of the Company in the last decade has been consistent, thereby setting a clear path for its future.