Industry News | June 7, 2013

Italian Doughnut Brand Gets the Franchising Bug

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Bomboloni—an original concept started in New York City’s trendy Upper West Side in 2010 and which has been featured on The Food Network, The Cooking Channel, and “The Nate Berkus Show”, as well as in The New York Times, New York Post, and Village Voice—is expanding around the world through corporate locations and a highly selective franchising/licensing program through its partnership with Fransmart. 

Since its opening in 2010, patrons have lined up out of the doors for the flavors of Bomboloni—an Italian pastry filled with fruit and crème—and the concept has garnered glowing press. 

With up to 20 different fillings and toppings that change with the seasons, Bomboloni are a piece of Italian culture and fashion. Owner David Ruggerio describes eating a Bomboloni by saying, “With every bite, you experience a piece of Italian art.”

Bomboloni in Italy is a simple doughnut filled with jam or cream and dusted with sugar, but Ruggerio’s vision for his NYC Bomboloni shop was much grander. 

The shop is designed to look more like something in a high-fashion district of New York or Italy.  

Included in the store, in addition to the Italian ambience and bomboloni, are selections of homemade gelati and special blends of espresso, as well as an Italian café menu featuring panini sandwiches, salads, and antipasti.

“When it comes to ultimate indulgence and style, no one does it like the Italians,” Ruggerio says.   

The bomboloni are made fresh on-premises daily. The dough is fried and then baked in the oven, the key to achieving the outer crispiness. Once ready, the donuts are filled with assorted jams, creams, and fillings, which are made from scratch in-house, then dipped in melted chocolate and topped with finishing touches such as powdered sugar, peanut butter cups, and marshmallows. 

There are no preservatives used in the desserts, so they make only small batches at a time.

Bomboloni’s goal is to expand the brand through franchising, by partnering with Fransmart, the franchise development company behind the growth of restaurant franchises such as Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Qdoba Mexican Grill. 

“Our company’s primary goal is to make each franchise profitable and provide the support needed for each franchisee,” Ruggerio says.

Fransmart’s CEO, Dan Rowe, says, “The volumes of Bomboloni’s tiny NYC location underscore the opportunity for a unique, high-quality, Italian-centric dessert concept. With the desserts and coffee bar’s massive appeal, as well as possessing the extraordinary unit economics that franchisees look for in an investment, this concept will sell out worldwide very quickly.”