Tropical Gyros hoping to raise $850k through crowdfunding

Tropical Gyros is the latest company to look to crowdfunding to expand its business, after officially launching on the ArawakX platform yesterday with the hope of raising $850,000, to increase its locations locally and begin the process of franchising locally and internationally.

The company is seeking to raise a minimum of $320,000 and as of the time of this article’s publishing, it had already raised $96,280 from 16 investors.

Tropical Gyros’ owner Kevin Culmer said he believes that his company can become the first Bahamian brand to be sold as a franchise.

His five-year-old brick and mortar store survived the COVID-19 pandemic, and now Culmer is chasing his dream of expanding Tropical Gyros into the United States and the Family Islands.

If he is successful in raising the $850,000 that will aid in that expansion, he will first begin with the opening of another brick and mortar location, as well as a production and distribution center that will become the backbone of the company’s expansion internationally via franchising.

“I believe that I have created a brand that can be franchised internationally,” said Culmer.

“I want to be the first Bahamian brand created here locally in The Bahamas to franchise internationally.

“Yes, we have some Bahamian restaurants that have opened in America, but have they franchised to the point that we are trying to, to put ourselves in the same market as a Colonel Sanders, as a Wendy’s?

“Too many times we see Bahamians bringing international franchises into The Bahamas. We have so much talent and creativity here in this country, why aren’t we exporting our ideas to the world as well? So, with Tropical Gyros and with ArawakX helping me, guiding me along this process and with the community at large through the crowdfunding program, we plan to bring Tropical Gyros to the world.”

Culmer said he has already been approached by an international restaurant group interested in expanding his company.

According to Culmer, he began to see his company as exportable after selling his gyros at international sporting events held locally and getting positive feedback from people who flew in for those events.

He said Tropical Gyros – which began in 2015 as a food stand at the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) World Relays – has been a labor of love.

Culmer said the company’s expansion on New Providence is not dependent on the crowdfunding, but the company will wait until the crowdfunding round is completed to begin to make other moves.

“I didn’t just want to create a restaurant. I wanted to create a brand that could compete on the world stage,” he said.

“And I think we’ve done that. I think we have a unique product. I’m hopeful that the community at large will see what we’re trying to do and would want to come on board with that program.”

Tropical Gyros is the fourth company to be listed on ArawakX’s crowdfunding platform. Red Lobster was the first of the initial three listed companies to successfully raise funds.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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