Mr. Occhiogrosso’s involvement in business development & franchising began in 1984 when he left a decade-long career in NY radio to become a Dunkin' Donuts franchisee. In addition to operating a successful retail shop, Mr. Occhiogrosso created a wholesale baked goods division within his company which supplied donuts and other fresh-baked goods to over 80 points of sale while concurrently serving on Dunkin' Donuts' franchisee advisory council and advertising committee. Mr. Occhiogrosso continued his involvement in franchising in 1989 by opening a gourmet confection and gift basket shop, Ralph’s Nut Pound. As a consultant to the franchisor, the company developed 53 additional units.
He followed up its success in 1991 with GPM Consulting Inc., a New York-based Sales and Brand Development firm which successfully developed several national franchise brands including Blimpie Salad and Subs, Treasure Cache, Teamworks and Ranch*1.
Working with the founders of Ranch *1 Franchise Corp., he grew the brand into a 60-restaurant chain with commitments for an additional 200 units. Gary created the operating system and strategic development plan for the company. In addition he planned and executed Ranch*1 advertising and brand development strategy which included the “Howard Stern” radio show and NY TV campaigns.
Mr. Occhiogrosso moved on to become President & COO of Desert Moon Fresh Mexican Grille a Fresh Mexican fast casual concept where lead the concept from a 4 unit start-up to 23 unit regional chain. He elected to leave that role in early 2009 to pursue a position with up-and-coming TRUFOODS, LLC.
He is the founder of the educational franchise website: Franchise Money Maker.com. Mr. Occhiogrosso maintains memberships in the International Franchise Association and is a table member for the NYC Roundtable of Restaurant Professionals.
Advisory and Director participation: He has served on the board of directors for Desert Moon Holdings Corp., LS Franchise Group and Golden Pear Café Franchise Inc. Gary has been an advisory member and mentor to Brands such as: 16 Handles, Pronto Pizza, Zorn’s Take-Out, Twin Donut, Ottomenelli Bros. and Papperdelle’s Pizza and Pasta. Gary also served on Dunkin' Donuts' Franchisee Advisory Council and New York Advertising Committee.