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How Married at First Sight's Justin Fischer built a $35m global business

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How Married at First Sight's Justin Fischer built a $35m global business article image

Justin Fischer became a familiar face nationally on the recent smash hit TV reality show, Married at First Sight.

He’s the high flyer who was torn between career and a steady personal relationship.

His drive and commitment to reach the top of the corporate ladder took its toll on his personal life, with his first marriage ending in separation.

Justin was hoping to find true love after taking part in the national TV experiment, but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be.

But in business it’s a different story. Justin continues to grow from strength to strength.

He began his career as a teenager behind the counter of a McDonald’s store in Queensland.

Now, Justin is at the helm of a global business that is fast approaching $35 million in turnover annually.

Justin’s remarkable rise to the top began with a light bulb moment while being employed at McDonald’s.

At just 17, this budding entrepreneur had become Australia’s youngest McDonald’s manager, winning every possible award within the business.

At that time, Justin noticed the soft serve ice cream machines were breaking down regularly. So, he taught himself how to clean them. This delivered big savings for the business owner.

He then began approaching other franchise owners offering to clean their machines in his own time. Friends and family thought was crazy and would never be successful servicing ice cream machines.

Still he persisted. Using Yellow Pages, Justin called every McDonald’s franchise owner in his neighbourhood.

But why should they pay him to clean their machines when their staff could do it?

Justin called every McDonald’s store in Queensland, however, his services were rejected.

To prove the value of his skills, he offered to service machines for free in different locations for a month.

When those machines didn’t have any breakdowns for an entire month, the franchise owners were sold on using Justin’s services. His business grew through referrals and he eventually employed over 30 people.

Back to square one

But at the peak of his success, Justin’s personal life took a beating as he navigated his way through a separation. He was forced to sell the company and found himself back at square one.

After selling the business, the contract he had signed with McDonald’s prevented him from trading in Queensland for five years.

But Justin is not the type of guy who gives up easily.

In 2002, he packed up his life into a ute and drove down to Sydney to start his business from scratch. With little money, he was unable to afford furniture or even a fridge. For months he survived on a basic diet of bread, butter, milk and noodles.

But with a strong track record of achievement in Queensland, Justin was able to approach McDonald’s stores in Sydney and offer to service their soft serve machines.

Hard work and determination

After establishing a strong business in Sydney he expanded to Melbourne and Adelaide – and was soon able to trade again in Queensland.

Through hard work and determination he was eventually servicing nearly every McDonald’s in Australia.

Justin serviced more than 10,000 ice cream machines for McDonalds before expanding into the Burger King, Hungry Jacks and Donut King networks.

He then saw an opportunity to move into the coffee business, fixing and distributing coffee machines. This lead to the launch of two new businesses – Café Quip and Ruggito Coffee.

But his best business move was still to come.

Soon after tasting success in the coffee business, Justin saw a gap in the market for high quality, reliable and high performance soft serve machines.

$35 million global business

With 20 years’ experience working with ice cream machines combined with the frustration of  being unable to find a suitable product to import, Justin started manufacturing his own machines.

This year, his global soft serve machine business, Brullen (meaning ‘raw’ in German), is set to turn over $35 million.Justin Fischer - 6

Justin now works with his brother Scott designing and engineering soft serve machines with the retailer and consumer in mind.

The high quality machine components have been sourced from the most reputable manufacturers throughout Europe, in particular Italy, Germany and France.

“Our machines are user friendly, work seamlessly, are easy to clean and most importantly, they withstand the test of time,” says Justin.

“This is a testament to the importance of developing sustainable products that work.”

Expanding into frozen yoghurt machines

Brullen machines are ideal for families, food retailers, restaurant owners, hotels and businesses looking to add soft serve products into their mix.

Two years ago, Brullen expanded to include frozen yoghurt machines.

And in October last year, in recognition of their outstanding achievements, the company was invited to participate in HostMilano, the world’s leading trade fair dedicated to the catering and hospitality industry.

Brullen manufacture and export its world class machines to food service businesses and retailers in Europe, US, Canada, UAE, Asia, Africa and New Zealand.

The company is now working with the international Gloria Jeans coffee chain, having recently signed a deal to install Brullen i26 soft serve machines in their stores.

This quiet achiever has certainly come a long way his days cleaning ice cream machines at McDonald’s.

For Justin, it’s a case of lucky in business, unlucky in love.

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