Gelare founder Farid Torabi’s story

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As a kid and to this day, Gelare’s waffles have been a constant craving. As a kid, I would have Gelare’s waffle cone (yep without the ice cream for 70c) after a Chinese banquet in Northbridge. As an uni student in my early 20s, half price Tuesday waffles and Utopia bubble tea became a bit of a tradition. Nowadays, it seems every time I walk past a Gelare, I’m drawn in by the sweet waffle aromas and more often than not, I cave to my craving and have a waffle regardless of whether it is half price (sometimes even before dinner!).

I always have the same waffle combination – I top my half with strawberry syrup and strawberry ice cream whilst burger boy covers his in maple syrup and a scoop of cookies & cream ice cream.

Gelare-Waffles

After a lifetime of eating Gelare waffles I had no idea that the founder Farid Torabi was actually based in Perth and previously an Engineer (Caricature Artist Joe Filocamo who I interviewed last week was also an Engineer)!

Here’s Farid’s story on how he started Gelare…

Farid-Gelare-founder

What inspired you to start Gelare?

After years of living and working in the US as a young newly married Senior Engineer, in early 1985, I moved to Australia to live in Melbourne. A week after I arrived in Melbourne, I decided to visit the West and came to Perth. I fell in love with the place and 30 years later, I am still here.

I found a few jobs in engineering, but they were not as challenging as the ones I held in the US. So, less than a year later after the birth of our first child, I decided to move back to the US. It was at that time, that by chance I ran into an American friend who was an ice cream connoisseur. He was disappointed with the lack of availability of a good ice cream in Perth and suggested for us to start a high quality ice cream business together with him as a silent partner.

After a few sleepless nights, hours of soul searching, discussions with my wife and considering our priorities, I decided to take up the friend’s offer. After months of preparation and running around I opened up an ice cream cafe in Fremantle and named it Gelare and the rest is history. A few years later, my friend moved back to the US and I purchased his interest in the business. I am still as passionate about this business as I was in day one and I love every minute of it.

How many stores are currently owned vs franchised?

There are currently three company owned Gelare stores, two in WA and one in Melbourne.

What’s the benefit of joining the Gelare franchise?

These are some benefits of owning and operating a Gelare Cafe:

  • Easy to learn and operate 
  • Easy to train staff, does not require special skills by employees
  • Great for families with young children as they can all be involved in running the business
  • We provide initial and ongoing training
  • Franchisees benefit from our ongoing research and development and new products
  • There is no hard food preparation, all products are either ready to serve or require minimum preparation
  • Almost no food wastage or throwaways

What does it take to be a Gelare franchisee?

We receive a lot of inquiries from people interested in the Geláre franchise, and we find that we turn down more applicants than we accept. We are after people who enjoy running a Geláre Cafe and are passionate about it. Being hands on and involved in the day-to-day running of a business and a love meeting people is a must.

I absolutely love Gelare’s waffles and have been having half price Tuesday waffles for as long as I can remember; will you be keeping this special offer indefinitely?

We have been offering Half price Waffles on Tuesdays for nearly 25 years. It is our way of saying thanks to our customers and rewarding them for their loyalty. We will continue offering it for as long as we can.

If you’re craving waffles you can find Gelares in the following Perth suburbs:

  • Applecross
  • Armadale
  • Carousel Canningvale
  • Harbour Town
  • Harvest Lakes Shopping Centre
  • Innaloo
  • Joondalup
  • Karrinyup
  • Morley Galleria
  • Mt Lawley (our local)
  • Perth City
  • Subiaco
  • South Perth
  • Waterford Plaza 

Geláre also has an additional eight stores in Singapore with further 3 stores under way before the by October, one in Hong Kong and two planned to open in Malaysia by the end of 2014. When asked about future plans for the company, Farid tells that he plan to continue his overseas expansion.

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About Author

I have foodie cravings all the time and sometimes at very odd hours, hence the name of this food blog, where I share my love for food and appliances that save me time in the kitchen. I also own Crust Mount Lawley with my burger eating half burger boy and am a mum to two girls - junior burger and baby cravings.

17 Comments

  1. What a great interview! Thank you :) It's nice to have the inside scoop ;) I'm a 26 year old choc chip cookie dough with a toasty warm waffle, whipped cream and a touch of maple syrup! Gosh! Now I'm drooling!
  2. Definitely Cookie Dough...love at first taste! Actually, Kirsty has my perfect combination...ice-cream, waffle, cream and some syrup...mmmm mmmmm! 34
  3. When I was little, travelling up to Perth with my family from Albany was always very exciting. Before we began the journey back home on the Sunday, it was always our tradition to go the Gelare in Freo for the best icecream and waffles I have ever had - Cookies Dough was and still is my favourite. Afterward we would always go to the fairy shop next door, miss those trips!
  4. Ever since I was a kid I have been going to the Applecross one. I LOVE their cookie dough... on top of waffles... with cream! yum. I am now 22 and still love going there.

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