Hyperlocal news about Melbourne's first suburb: Fitzroy 3065

Fitzroy franchise successes


Some readers respond negatively to my criticisms of some businesses, and don’t seem to notice when I write positive things about businesses. I don’t have a negative view of business as such, though I am opposed to excessive consumption, the greedy capitalist mentality that drives it, and the unethical behaviour of some business owners. Today I’d like to focus on the positive achievements of two Fitzroy businesses: San Churro and Trampoline.

San Churro opened on Brunswick St in 2006 and was part of the chocolate cafe revolution in Melbourne. It has now franchised around Australia and has also opened a shop in Korea this year.

Reviewed by Jenius, Caf report, Cook almost anything, Where’s the beef, Eaterati, Eat like a cow and many others, San Churro seems to have survived increases in competition in Fitzroy (hot chocolate from Gertrude St Enoteca and Shocolate, and churros from Juanita’s and Añada).

Trampoline gelato opened on Brunswick St in 2004 and expanded locally then interstate to Queensland in 2009 and Darwin in 2010.

Reviewed by Whiff and a sip and Two kg, Trampoline on Brunswick St is busy even when other icecream shops nearby are not. It surprises me that icecream is not reviewed more. I think a blog that specialised in icecream reviews would be a hit.

Fitzroy is a place of commercial experimentation as much as artistic and cultural experimentation. Many commercial ventures fail, but some are very successful. It partially because we, the residents of (and visitors to) Fitzroy, have responded positively to these commercial experiments that these businesses have been so successful.

Before anyone leaps into criticising me for endorsing franchises, when I have previously stated that I generally avoid food from chain businesses, it should be obvious that when San Churro and Trampoline were new they were unique shops, not franchises, and I patronised them accordingly.


  1. I’m interested in hearing why the Swanston St Trampoline franchise closed down…

  2. I dislike multinational franchises like McDonald’s, which serve cheap, shitty food and contribute very little to the communities in which they operate, but I actually think the recent boom of local “high-end” fast food franchises in Melbourne (Grill’d, Lord of the Fries, Crust) is generally a good thing — builds local jobs and economies, they generally use (an often spruik) local products and ingredients (Trampoline boast making everything from their own dairy in Gippsland, Lord of the Fries sell cookies and brownies from a local one-woman baking business and pies and sausage rolls from Preston’s La Panella bakers [which is run by a cult, but it’s a friendly cult]), generally have a much higher focus on nutrition and quality (Grill’d and Urban Burger offer wholemeal and gluten free buns and low-fat meat, Fritz Gelato sell organic, low-fat ice cream), and are often supporters and drivers of community programs.

    I’ve just moved to the US, which has seen a similar trend. Here in Portland, I’ve seen more of the local chain Burgerville — which only uses local, sustainable, seasonal food — than Maccas, and more Laughing Planet</a< Mexican — huge on sustainable, local, nutrition and recycling — than Taco Bells. Locals probably wouldn't rate it as the BEST food in the city, but they seem to look upon the businesses favourably. Hell, one of the best coffee shops here (and in the country) is a chain, and even most Melbourne third wave coffee snob baristas would tell you that’s a really good thing.

    I guess it’s all a question of scale and how the businesses are run, though — Baker’s Delight and Gloria Jeans were probably “local businesses made good” at one point, too, but I wouldn’t be cheering if either opened in Fitzroy/Collingwood… I suppose I would still rather see them than a Krispy Kreme or Starbucks, though.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

You own the copyright of your comment. By submitting your comment you grant this site a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution.