Bresco in the News
View the most recent news articles about or mentioning Bresco:
Business in Focus Magazine - July 2018
From Restaurant Concept to Completion
by Robert Hoshowsky — Featured in Business in Focus magazine, July 2018
Based in historic Birmingham, Alabama, the team at Bresco meets the foodservice needs of customers with passion, professionalism, and experience. Unlike others who just provide products, the company’s design-build arm, Bresco Designs, works with restaurants, bars, nightclubs, hotels, healthcare, country clubs, assisted living and other institutional clients from concept to initial design stages, and all the way to construction and successful project completion.
“We do so many other jobs, like colleges, prisons, schools, corporate headquarters, churches,” says Bresco’s President, George Tobia. “We don’t limit it to just restaurants, but other food service establishments as well.”
Founded in 1974, Bresco today is the Southeast’s leading food-service equipment dealer for a number of reasons ranging from customer service to price, selection, and on-time delivery. Occupying an entire city block in Birmingham, the company’s current facility – three buildings, in addition to a main office and showroom under roof of 132,000 square feet – holds about 5,000 stock keeping units (SKUs), with Bresco’s ability to secure other products being virtually limitless. Rated the 44th largest distributor in America, the business that started out of the trunk of an Oldsmobile Cutlass Sedan brought in $33,524,000 in sales last year alone.
President Tobia recalls the company’s early years fondly. A recent graduate from Alabama’s Auburn University at the time, Tobia, along with his cousin, who completed his studies at the University of Alabama, talked about starting a business. This soon led to a meeting with his cousin’s future father-in-law, the owner of a restaurant supply store in Huntsville, who suggested since there wasn’t much competition in Birmingham, they should start their own shop. With about $800 worth of silverware, pots and pans which they stored in the house of his partner’s mother (much to her dismay), the two young men hit the streets selling product.
With a $2,000 loan in their fathers’ names, the duo tirelessly knocked on restaurant doors. Buying glassware from other stores and marking it up slightly to make a profit, Bresco made a promise to customers virtually unheard of at the time: If you give us an order today before noon, we will deliver it today. For local restaurants – who had to go out of their way to restaurant supply stores for much-needed supplies – the Bresco business proposition was instantly embraced. “That was a great service at the time, as there was hardly anybody back in those days who even delivered,” says Tobia. Along with the help of a 70-year-old aunt, the company’s deliveries, and business relationships, soon increased. Over time, the fledgling business learned who to buy from, and how to buy direct. “So that’s how we got started, right out of the trunks of our cars.”
Soon, Bresco moved to a 1,000 square foot space in a distribution center, and borrowed money from the Small Business Administration (SBA), later securing bank loans, with profits being re-invested into the business. Continuing to grow, it soon became necessary to rent three warehouses to stock inventory, and by 1981, Tobia bought out his business partner and continued to build Bresco into the respected company that it is today.
Birmingham Business Journal - June 2018
With $33.52 million in 2017 revenue, Bresco was ranked as the 66th largest privately held company in Birmingham by the Birmingham Business Journal in June of 2018. If you’re a subscriber, you can read the entire article here.
Foodservice Equipment Reports Magazine - March 2018
PRIDE: ChopShop Gets it Right
by Janice Cha, Fe3 — from Foodservice Equipment Reports, March 2018
When private equity firm Hargett Hunter Capital Partners, Raleigh, N.C., purchased in 2016 the Original ChopShop, an approachable, natural food restaurant with three units in the Phoenix area and a nearly cult following, it had big plans: to take the concept national. But first they needed a model restaurant.
The group opted for an unusual path: They would build and operate three slightly different prototype restaurants—then put the best elements of each into the fourth and final prototype.
The ChopShop features “just feel good food” (fresh juices, acai bowls, protein shakes, sandwiches, specialty drinks made to order in full view) served in a fun, “contemporary farmhouse” setting that mixes reclaimed wood, decorative tiles, stainless, slate and bright yellow metal bar stools.
In about nine busy months after the acquisition, the first of ChopShop’s four prototypes opened in Queen Creek, Ariz., in April ’17. At press time, this new store has become the young chain’s second most profitable unit, after the flagship location in Scottsdale, Ariz. And thanks to a smarter back-of-house layout, the new design has allowed ChopShop to reduce labor by one person during peak times.
“It’s been an incredibly collaborative approach between owners, vendors, contractors and us, the designers,” says Steve Starr, Principal of Charlotte, N.C.-based Starr Design, the kitchen consulting firm tapped to oversee back-of-house plans. “Instead of spending $1 million on one fancy new store, ChopShop owners opted to invest $250,000 four times on four models.”
A strong leadership team began working on a new design late in the summer of ’16. Leading the way were ChopShop’s new owners, CEO Jason Morgan (former CFO for Zoe’s Kitchen), overseeing aesthetics and vision; and COO Kyle Frederick, operations expert and “the keeper of the flame— Kyle is present at all site visits and planning meetings,” Cangro says. Starr Design, led by Starr and Cangro, came on board to handle kitchen design and layout. Equipment dealer Bresco, Birmingham, Ala., handled rough-in drawings, equipment choices and options.
Foodservice Equipment and Supplies Magazine - April 2017
2017 Distribution Giants
Bresco named 50th largest distributor in the country — published April 3, 2017
Foodservice Equipment Reports Magazine - January 2017
Management Excellence – Dealer
by Amanda McCorquodale, Contributing Editor
Despite its current prominent location that encompasses one full block of downtown Birmingham, Ala., Birmingham Restaurant Supply (Bresco) had very humble beginnings. George Tobia, President of Bresco, founded the company in 1974 with his cousin and a small business loan. “We started out of the trunk of our cars. Back then, nobody really delivered, so we told everybody if they gave us an order before noon, we’d deliver it the same day,” says Tobia.
Forty-two years later, Bresco has grown from a 1,000-sq.-ft. warehouse to a 132,000-sq.-ft. location. Tobia bought out his cousin in ’81 and the company now does just as much restaurant supply as they do designing and building out kitchens. Despite Bresco’s exceptional growth and the decades that have passed, Tobia says, the company’s humble start still drives the business.