Coco Cubano Franchising

Cuba is a nation bursting with a unique mix of history and beauty. From the hedonistic times of the 20’s when it became a renowned playground for the rich and famous; to the revolution in the 50’s which brought with it an embargo and saw Cuba become a mysterious island locked in time.

Creators of Coco Cubano, husband and wife team Tony and Avril Melhem, fell in love with Cuba’s fascinating history eclectic and indulgent culture. A culture which spawned the Mojito, Daiquiri, Pina Colada, the Salsa, Buena Vista Social Club and Havana Club Rum. An irresistibly charming way of life, which they decided to bring to Australia.

Coco Cubano has been one of the fastest growing franchise hospitality groups in Australia. A Cuban Street Food Cantina open early till late, serving everything from morning espresso to moonlight mojitos & all things in between. Coco Cubano’s appeal spans a variety of age groups and demographics. There are plenty of reasons and occasions that drive visitation for different audiences.

While each Coco Cubano venue is vibrant and unique, it’s the people that breathe life into the experience. Coco Cubano is a complete attitude. As a brand ambassador, your priority is to create a funky and fun environment. A place where people keep coming back for more. You know how to make your customers and staff feel good, feel special and important.

Pressure doesn’t scare you, and you feel comfortable slinging out those cocktails and cuban delights like a pro. You’re a positive person who focuses on the solution and not the problem.

With a growth mindset, you know how to have fun, but you also know when to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Networking and marketing come naturally to you and you can identify new opportunities. Your staff look to you for inspiration and motivation, and your passion and enthusiasm brings everyone together.

The Coco Cubano concept was inspired by Avril and Tony Melhem’s dreamlike experience in Havana, Cuba. They began their journey to build a successful licensed cafe business model that captured the exciting Cuban experience. Inspired by Havana, Coco Cubano was born in the inner city streets of Potts Point – Sydney, Australia in 2008.

Soon after the first doors opened, the Coco Cubano way of life spread and as a result franchising began in 2012. Coco Cubano has now grown to 12 locations across New South Wales, Queensland and Perth. The business has been one of the fastest growing franchise groups in Australia.

Coco is a unique business concept and nothing like this has existed before in Australia. With a large product mix,  Coco Cubano caters to numerous demographics.  The multiple business formats available to franchisees allow for targeted venues that suit the location and the customers.



To give every guest the most positive and uplifting hospitality experience possible.

Passion for


We are devoted to giving every single guest a positive & uplifting experience.

Act with


Be true to yourself and do the right thing – even if no one is watching you.

Great Team
Working Culture


Passion and work should be the same thing. Create an environment that people love working in every day.



Set and maintain the highest standards of service – deliver the best customer experience and set the bar high.

Keith Brown

Chief Executive Officer


Born and raised in the UK, Keith rose to the position of Managing Director of Hallmark. In this role he revitalised the franchise network of the Gold Crown stores. With his leadership, the network grew from 97 to over 250 locations in a four year period.

Keith moved to Australia to take up the role of CFO for Gloria Jeans Coffees. His value was quickly recognised, and Keith was promoted to CEO one year later. Keith was responsible for the Australian and International markets. He led the business through rapid growth which saw the brand grow to over 1000 stores across 39 countries.

Avril Melhem

El Director


Avril has over 14 years of experience in hospitality and franchising. She has won some of Australia’s top industry awards, including the Franchise Council of Australia ‘Franchisee of the Year’, in 2005 and again in 2006. Avril was a finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Award 2004. This placed her in the top six business women across NSW.

Avril’s operational and retail expertise is the driving force behind the day to day running of Coco Cubano. She has an eye for detail and design, which was instrumental in establishing the unique brand and atmosphere of Coco Cubano.

Tony Melhem

El Presidente


Tony is one of Australia’s most successful franchisee and small business owners. Tony’s hospitality, business, franchise and government experience has been key to his success. Tony was the founding Director of the Australia Cuba Business Council. In 2016 his contribution to the development of bilateral relations between Australia and Cuba in enterprise and trade was recognised. He was awarded Businessman of the Year by the Ambassador of Cuba.

Tony has served as Deputy Chairman and as Director of the Franchise Council of Australia. He was also the founding Chairman of the Franchise Council’s National Franchisee Forum from 2007-2012. In these roles Tony represented the political interests of a $144 billion industry. He was the voice of Australia’s 72,000 franchisees to the Federal and State Governments, the media, business and public.

Let’s talk format


Coco Cubano began as a Café/Bar, and has since been developed into two additional models;

A large Café/Restaurant/Bar (CRB),
A smaller Cubanita (kiosk/in line store).

The Cubanita Kiosk is the newest format, designed to be located within higher foot traffic areas. Being the smallest, the lowest cost and the most scalable format, the Cubanita is the easiest Coco Cubano to run and manage. Coco Cubano’s first Cubanita opened in October 2016 in the newly redeveloped Pacific Fair shopping centre (Gold Coast, QLD).

The Cubanita offers counter service and features a new limited menu. Developed to fit the faster pace and more casual environment of a kiosk shop. The Cubanita provides an easy escape and a good meeting place within shopping centres making coffee and a quality pastry cabinet integral to the mix.

The three models have each been developed to suit a variety of site locations. Coco Cubano is for everyone, and everywhere, and you will find us in:

Shopping centres
Restaurant precincts
Outdoor dining destinations
High streets
Stand-alone locations
Transport hubs

Coco Cubano is for


Open for that morning espresso hit, or lounging for a late night cocktail, Coco Cubano has a universal appeal. Every age group and every. demographic can find something at Coco Cubano – everyone is welcome!

A quick casual visit at any time of the day. They meet for coffee, a bite to eat, or maybe a cocktail or two, or three, or four!

For breakfast on the go, we’re the place to get a caffeinated hit. We know how to cater for a long team lunch or happy hour drinks after work. Here for dinner? How about some share plates?

We’ve got activity sheets and high chairs for the rugrats. With a broad range of dishes, including a kids menu, we’ve got a combination of meals the whole family will enjoy.

Dining on a budget? We’ve got you covered! They love a special and the best value dishes and keep them coming back for more.

Our unique Cuban inspired experience is the perfect pitstop for tourists to recharge and to treat themselves to some fun and relaxation.

Whether it’s breakfast, date night or a romantic night cap we make sure each visit to Coco Cubano is special.

We know how to throw a celebration at Coco Cubano – the Cuban way. From Birthdays, Christmas parties and end of season dinners we have group menus and cocktail jugs.



We don’t just believe we have a great and unique franchise opportunity, we have the award and accolades to prove it too. Coco Cubano has been recognised as one of Australia’s fastest growing franchises. We’ve won awards for our business opportunity and for our experience.

BRW Fast 100 as one of Australia’s fastest growing companies, 2013, 2014, 2015


Finalist in the Franchise Council of Australia Emerging Franchisor of the Year, 2014, 2015
Voted NSW’s Favourite Cafe and Coffee in Foxtel Lifestyle Food, 2012, 2014


Voted NSW’s Favourite Cafe and Coffee in I LOVE Food Awards – Australia’s biggest people’s choice awards, 2012, 2014


We know a thing or two about marketing and we have developed a Coco Cubano marketing strategy to create targeted campaigns for our customers. Online is a big part of what we do. It’s the easiest way we can engage our existing customers and let them know what’s new with Coco Cubano. Coco Cubano lends itself to plenty of Instagramable and Facebook moments. We currently have 50,000 Facebook followers and counting.

We’re big on partnerships and have strategically engaged with hospitality and delivery services to strengthen the Coco brand. As a Coco Cubano franchisee, you will have access to Uber Eats, leaving no barriers between your customers and your food. Additionally, franchisees can expect to join:

Uber Eats
Open Table
The Entertainment Book

Our marketing efforts ensure our customers stay happy and stay connected with us. Through loyalty programs and the Coco Cubano App, guests can earn points on every visit on food and drinks.

Establishment Costs


To establish your very own Coco Cubano,  costs start from $400,000. Depending on the format that suits you, size and fit out, costs will change, but we will help you through the process.

Get in touch to find out more!