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Donna Saparco plans to bring 20 Fuwa Fuwa restaurants to B.C.

Fuwa Fuwa Plans to Open 20 Restaurants in B.C.

Donna Saparco has big plans for the Fuwa Fuwa restaurant chain in B.C.

The Vancouver-based entrepreneur has secured the chain’s B.C. franchise rights. She plans to bring 20 Fuwa Fuwa locations to the province, averaging two openings per year over the next decade.

Fuwa Fuwa restaurants serve Japanese-style soufflé pancakes and desserts. The Japanese term fuwa fuwa means “fluffy fluffy.” The pancake toppings contain fresh fruits and other treats.

Saparco will own and operate the first Fuwa Fuwa restaurant in B.C. She has leased space for a flagship location in a new GWL Realty mixed-use rental residential building in the 1500 block of Robson Street.

The location is slated to open in July. She will also sell other B.C.-based Fuwa Fuwa franchises.

“My approach to expanding our presence involves offering turnkey franchise opportunities to aspiring operators or owners, ensuring hassle-free ownership of a Fuwa Fuwa café,” said Saparco in an interview with Connect.

Nicolas Poon and Benson Lau co-founded the chain in Toronto in 2018 and quickly embarked on developing a global footprint. Outside of Canada, the award-winning chain has locations in Los Angeles and other U.S. markets, the U.K., Paris and China. Within Canada, Fuwa Fuwa currently operates in Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton.

Saparco chose to invest in Fuwa Fuwa because she was familiar with the pancakes through a family member. Her daughter-in-law is of Japanese descent and the entrepreneur has visited Japan.

Saparco will use the Robson Street location as a model for other B.C. franchisees. The forthcoming Vancouver location is in a shopping district that attracts international customers. Other tenants near the Fuwa Fuwa will include the Running Room and Perfecto Café.

“So, lots of new development is going on in the area, which is another great reason why that location was selected as an option for her flagship store,” said Katie Zoladek, a commercial real estate broker in William Wright’s Vancouver office.

Zoladek and partner Meg Cooney represented Saparco in the lease transaction. Construction of the new restaurant is expected to begin soon, after all permits are obtained.

Saparco has contracted Surrey, B.C.-based Suteki Construction to build the restaurant.

Photo: Courtesy of Donna Saparco


Inside The Story

Fuwa FuwaKatie Zoladek

About Monte Stewart

Monte Stewart serves as Content Director - Canada for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Monte provides daily news coverage of major Canadian commercial real estate markets, including Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. He has written about the real estate sector for various media outlets and Avison Young since the early 2000s. In addition, he has covered sports, general news and business for several leading wire services and publications, including The Canadian Press, The Associated Press, The Calgary Herald, The Globe and Mail, Research Money, The Daily Oil Bulletin, Natural Gas World and The Toronto Star. Monte is active in his community as a youth basketball coach and raises funds for such charitable causes as Movember.

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