On Wednesday, a significant transaction in the BC restaurant sector was revealed. Richard Jaffray, the original owner of Cactus Club, has sold the entire business to the Fuller family, who also operate Earls Kitchen + Bar.
Joey owns Cactus Club, right?
Beyond sharing similar themes and menu items, Cactus Club, Earls, and Joey Restaurants all have one thing in common: they are currently all owned by the Fuller family.
Following a protracted court struggle, the Fuller family declared it had fully bought the Cactus Club from its president and founder Richard Jaffray.
Leonard Earl “The eateries Earls and Joey were founded by Bus Fuller. He also made an early investment in Cactus Club, which Scott Morison and Jaffray launched in 1988. Morison and Jaffray both used to work for Earls. Because Jaffray sold his ownership part to the Fullers after Morison left the company in 2004, he will vacate his position as president in March.
“We are incredibly proud of what Richard has created. Under his direction, Richard and the Cactus team created and expanded an exceptional restaurant brand and concept, building strong and enduring relationships with customers in the process. We are happy to be assuming 100% ownership of the business because our family has been a partner in Cactus Club from the very beginning, the Fullers said in a news statement.
Since Jaffray claimed he wasn’t properly notified of a transfer of Cactus Club shares in 2018, he and the Fullers have been engaged in a legal dispute. The Fullers disputed the existence of the transfer.
Jaffray also had issues with the way Joey Restaurants was run. Joey competed directly with Cactus Club, and Jaffray wanted to discontinue giving the Fullers audited financial documents because they felt it provided Joey an unfair advantage. The case was ultimately dismissed.
Then the family retaliated, claiming that Jaffray had embezzled corporate funds by charging excursions on private jets and purchases of art for his residence.
It appears the parties are putting the bad blood behind them after Wednesday’s statement.
“The group who turned Cactus Club into Canada’s top casual fine dining brand has my utmost respect. There is no finer team anywhere, and I have no doubt that they will maintain the Cactus Club brand’s success in the years to come, according to Jaffray.
The Fullers expressed appreciation for their partnership with Jaffray and their best wishes for him “only the very best for the future.
The Fuller family owns what?
Leroy Fuller, the father of a family that owns some of Vancouver’s most prosperous restaurant businesses, launched Earls in the 1980s and passed away at the age of 90.
Fuller passed away quietly over the weekend at home in the company of family members, according to a statement released by his family on Monday.
According to the statement, “those fortunate enough to work with and know Bus have lost an amazing mentor, a charismatic leader, and a great friend.”
“Bus leaves behind a legacy that was made possible by his commitment, perseverance, and capacity to surround himself with outstanding individuals. He will always be cherished and missed for the way he impacted so many people’s hearts.”
Fuller, who was known as Bus as a boy, served in the Korean War before running A&W locations in Edmonton from the 1950s through the 1970s.
The popular brand, which gave customers an excellent dining experience at a reasonable cost, helped the Fuller family’s restaurant business take off.
Jeff, Fuller’s son, founded Joey in 1992 and currently serves as its CEO. The Fullers also assisted two former Earls servers in starting the first Cactus Club Cafe, which they now hold a majority of.
The Cactus Club: Did It Sell?
On Monday, February 8, 2021, a photograph of Vancouver’s Cactus Club on Davie Street was taken.
The proprietor of a restaurant chain that started in North Vancouver, British Columbia, thirty years ago has sold his shares in the company and given control of it to a family he had battled in court.
In a news release on Wednesday, the Fuller family announced the sale and Richard Jaffray’s resignation as president.
The Fullers, who have been secret partners since Cactus Club was established in 1988, reportedly hold 100% of the company presently.
The Fullers’ assertion claimed that North Vancouver was home to the first Cactus Club. Since then, it has expanded across Canada; there are currently 32 facilities and over 5,000 employees.
In the statement, Jaffray expressed his “very proudness of the team” that operates his restaurant business and his confidence that the Fullers will “carry the Cactus Club brand on to continuing success in the future.”
According to Stan Fuller, who spoke on behalf of the family, Cactus Club would continue to operate independently despite the family’s acquisition because he has “enormous respect for what (Jaffray) has built.”
Six years before Cactus Club opened, Stan and his father launched the Canadian restaurant chain Earls Kitchen and Bar, which is also owned by the Fuller family. According to a posting on the Earls website, the family has been in West Vancouver since the 1970s.
The Joey restaurant chain is also owned by the Fuller family. Under the direction of Jeff, Stan’s brother, the chain got its start in the early 1990s.
Earls and Joey’s directors are Jeff, Stan, and their brothers Clayton and Stewart.
Although it was stated in the news release on Wednesday announcing the sale that the Fullers and Jaffray families were cordial and supportive of one another, this hasn’t always been the case.
The Fullers and Jaffray squared off in a B.C. courtroom in 2019, and Joey was referred to as a “direct and active” rival by the owner of Cactus Club at the time.
Three years ago, a case was heard in Vancouver regarding an injunction that, among other things, would restrict the use of information acquired by other Fuller family members and forbid Jeff Fuller from receiving audited financial statements from Cactus Club due to his position at Joey.
The legal counsel for Jaffray alleged that there had been violations of an existing confidentiality agreement and that Joey had gained an advantage over Cactus Club by leaking financial information.
The family “strongly” objected to the order, according to court documents from the judge’s decision on June 6, 2019, and said no information in those shared documents would provide Joey or Earls an advantage over them.
The judge finally dismissed the application, stating that it was not proven in court that the expense or harm of disclosing those records outweighed the value to shareholders. The whole judgement may be viewed online.
Who is the owner of Joeys?
In contrast to Earls, Joey Restaurant Group actively and directly competes with Cactus Club for the same patrons, workers, and restaurant spaces in Canadian cities. Joey just so happens to be owned by the Fullers as well. Jeff Fuller, son of Bus Fuller, is Joey’s CEO.
Owner of King Taps?
The Fuller family, who operate Earls Kitchen + Bar, bought Cactus Club Ltd., which had originally developed King Taps, in the beginning of February. Cactus Club vice-president Christy Murphy told KelownaNow two years prior that the franchise had taken over Rose’s former location.
Who is Joey Tomatoes’ owner?
Over 16 years have passed since this article was published. Some information might not be up to date anymore.
No, you aren’t seeing things twice. Joeys, a casual fine-dining business with its first location just recently launched in Vancouver, does certainly resemble Earls both visually and flavor-wise. Both businesses have executive chefs with impressive backgrounds (Chris Mills at Joeys, who apprenticed with Michael Noble of Earls), four-letter men’s names without possessive apostrophes, an abundance of stacked rock in their decors, vaguely trendy but secure menus that skew oddly toward Asian and Mediterranean cuisine.
It makes sense why they are similar. The same family is responsible for both of the businesses from British Columbia, both of which started out with eateries in Alberta. Joeys is run by Jeff Fuller, and Earls is run by his brother Stan (and also owns a substantial share in the Cactus Club chain). The casual steakhouse chain Saltlik, which recently debuted in Vancouver, is owned by Stewart, brother number three. Leroy Earl, their father, was one of the first A&W franchise owners, and he is the patriarch who established the family business (which, coincidentally, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year).
Joeys has undergone many changes during the years. The original eatery was a family-style pizza and pasta place called Joey Tomato’s, which debuted in Calgary in 1992. The name was changed to Joey Tomato’s Mediterranean Grill eight years later as the franchise evolved and became a little bit more sophisticated. Then Mills was hired the next year, expanding the menu to include more Asian flavors. The name is gradually being reduced to just Joeys as part of its new appearance.
There are currently 13 locations for the business in Washington State, Manitoba, Alberta, and B.C. Additionally, it owns the American franchise Cucina, Cucina. However, this new eatery marks the business’s first venture into Vancouver, and it is located on West Broadway between Granville and Oak.
Each restaurant and business within the family is allegedly unique. However, the new Broadway location shares the same general genes as its relatives, as evidenced by its stacked-rock facade and swaying palm trees outside the entryway. The interior is gloomy and unpleasant, much like Saltlik and the brand-new Paramount Earls. The rear wall’s rough-hewn wood is stained brown, as are the carpets, leather seats, table tops, and tablecloths (with only a scattering of mirrored tiles to lighten things up).
Like practically every other “casual fine-dining” chain on the West Coast, including Earls, the Cactus Club, Milestone’s, Moxie’s, and Joeys, the majority of the employees at Joeys are gorgeous young women with polished grins. Particularly Earls is renowned for the thorough training it offers brand-new hires. Some claim that these eateries produce a priceless talent pool that eventually filters up to more upscale dining establishments, but in my opinion, corporate training is most effective at depersonalizing its personnel. Although our server was pleasant enough, it seemed as though she was giving us pre-written words that were taken from from a manual.
The Mediterranean Tapas Picnic ($19.99) was where we started. Warm pita wedges, garlicky tzatziki and hummus, tempura-battered calamari that wasn’t quite “crisp,” and a mystery, pucker-inducing orange cream sauce were all piled high on the enormous plate. The claimed complimentary bruschetta was definitely unnecessary, so perhaps it was best that it never showed up.
Another enormous dish was the jumbo ravioli loaded with lobster, crab, and ricotta ($16.49), which was served with a lot of lovely grape tomatoes. The dill seemed to be absent, but the lemon cream sauce was lovely and sharp. It had no taste at all.
The Rotisserie Chicken and Rib Combo ($21.99) was my favorite dish. I didn’t like the half a back of ribs (very soft, so obviously boiled, and slathered with a wet and sugary BBQ sauce). However, the slow-roasted chicken was cooked quite well. It was served with buttery mashed potatoes and crisp asparagus and was juicy and moist with a crispy skin and loads of herbs.
In reference to the well-known Quebec rotisserie business, my impressed friend remarked, “It’s almost as excellent as St-Hubert.”
I concurred, giving it higher grades than the preferred roasted-chicken chain in Ontario, saying, “It’s a lot better than Swiss Chalet.”
Joeys should undoubtedly be superior to those locations, which are more like White Spot in terms of ambiance and price. Joeys, Earls, and others of a similar caliber advertise as “premium casual eateries” (sometimes referred to in the trade as casual fine dining). Once upon a time, these might have been inexpensive places to grab a bite, but they aren’t now. They try to fill the middle ground, which is becoming more and more congested, particularly in Vancouver where famous chefs like Rob Feenie and Vikram Vij are now blending casual bistros with their upscale brands.
Chains that offer casual fine dining have a place. They offer predictable, largely consistent food in welcoming settings that exude a pseudo-sophisticated image without being overly scary. They resemble the Starbucks of supper, in a way. In smaller rural towns, they are frequently the best option available or at the very least a sure bet.
It’s clear that Joeys is doing well. The company’s news announcement states that Canadian revenues increased from $23 million in 1999 to $55 million last year. Additionally, Joeys has the greatest average sales per restaurant in Western Canada, according to the Pacific Prairie Restaurant News Magazine.
However, I could purchase a much better lunch at Bin, Lolita’s, Cru, Aurora Bistro, Hapa Izakaya, Cassis, and many other independent casual fine-dining establishments for the same cost as a meal at Joeys, where the servers have sass and the rooms have sizzle. Call me radical, but I’d much rather put my heart and soul into helping the underdog independents than lining the wallets of an already powerful family with subpar food and corporate obedience.
The number of Cactus Club locations is how many.
Our “West Coast culinary empire has expanded from one location in North Vancouver to approximately 30 locations across Canada,” says Cactus Club Cafe, which has a rich past and a promising future.
As we move toward the east, things are off to an exciting start.
We were selected as one of Toronto’s finest new restaurants to open in 2015 and as the greatest establishment in the city’s Financial District. In addition to our recently established flagship locations across Toronto, Calgary, and Kelowna, we are intending to open at least 20 other restaurants in Ontario. We are thrilled to be one of Canada’s most popular and rapidly expanding restaurant concepts, and we are always looking for outstanding individuals to add to our team. The restaurant business is competitive, but we’re excited to expand into new markets with our innovative idea and cultivate leaders who regularly achieve outstanding results at every level of our organization.
Purchasing Cactus Club by Earls?
As Cactus Club and Earls will continue to compete in the same market segment, Ian Tostenson, president of the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association, predicts that customers at the well-known restaurant chains may not notice much of a change.
The family has demonstrated that its restaurant ideas divide customers, and each of those businesses will develop its own culture, which is crucial, he added.
According to him, the acquisition is not necessarily a bad thing for smaller restaurants because they may still succeed by focusing on a certain cuisine.
Chains find it quite challenging to accomplish that, he said. “They operate using a formula. Because they accomplish some of the things they do in such a magnificent manner, they can’t get too specialized in them.”
According to Vancouver food critic Tim Pawsey, changing either brand would be “insane,” thus he anticipates their continued differentiation.
The Fuller family, who also control Earls, now fully owns Cactus Club, putting an end to a protracted legal dispute between the two businesses. Tim Pawsey, a food blogger, discusses what this means for the neighborhood restaurant scene.