Case Studies

Rizzi spells sweet success for Florentines’ Patisserie


Florentines’ NZ started 11 years ago as a Patisserie Cafe in Mt Maunganui (North Island). The owners realised there was a market for their products and took them out into the foodservice industry. From small beginnings, a great brand developed. Florentines’ soon attracted an excellent reputation for delivering quality cakes; so much so that the supplier forced them to manufacture large quantities to be able to supply the demand they had created.

Currently in New Zealand, Florentines’ are the market leader. Greg and Donna Knight and Barry and Val Knight are the owners of Florentines. They are extremely passionate about the company and are excited about the growth of Florentines’ Australia.

Florentines’ Australia started here more than three years ago in two states only, and with only two small distributors. Florentines’ was testing out the market to see what they needed to do to be competitive. They had some work to do and went back to NZ and developed some products they thought would then be suitable for the market in Australia.

Then two and half years ago they hired me, Jessica Brisbane, with more than 15 years food service experience, to take on the market with the range and develop it into a leading brand from nothing. The first step I took was to find the right freezer storage facility, the right transport, the best distributors, and then to take the cakes to the market. This was not an easy task, as competition was and still remains rife. We do now have a broker in QLD and VIC and sales people in NSW and SA; and are targeting WA and NT next year.

Florentines’ Patisserie is all about quality ingredients and quality products we have developed products to suit the market at a great competitive price. Our target market is predominantly Food Service, Hotels, Motels, Aged Care, Institutional, Cafes, Pubs, Clubs, and Airlines.

We would not have been able to establish our market in Australia without the support and personal attention we get from our Freezer Storage facility Rizzi’s. We are not treated like a number, and their personalised service has been a great help to me personally and to Florentines’.

When we first started out in Australia, if I was away and there was an order I needed to get brochures or samples on, Rizzi would pick-up the samples box and have them on the pallet leaving. Although this is not in their job description, they did this for us. There are many more things Rizzi do to help. I know that I certainly wouldn’t get that kind of support from a larger company as they wouldn’t have the time to give the personalised attention that I have received. They are especially helpful when we have been under pressure; waiting for containers to come in and then to have completed orders from that same container that need to be picked packed and sent that same day. As you can imagine, it is not an easy feat.

I am grateful for the time and effort that goes into the distribution of the Florentines’ range through Rizzi’s and the support and commitment from them to grow with us. We used to only have a 20ft container a month coming through and now we alternate weekly with a 20ft and a 40ft and we still have the other half of Australia to develop. We have approximately 80 cake lines in Australia where NZ have around 120.

The Florentines’ name, brand and reputation are growing and would not be here without the help of Rizzi’s and the Distributors who support us and the customers who love our products.