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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 20 June 2015
NEWS 8 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 20 JUNE 2015 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Franco Cozzo immortalised ‘Megalo’ mural pays tribute to the furniture king The lovable furniture salesman that used his bilingual skills to appeal to the migrant community of Melbourne is the subject of a colourful mural in Footscray. A household name in Melbourne's Greek and Italian communities, Franco Cozzo now adorns the whole east side of his Footscray store thanks to local street artist collective Heesco. While the store was put up for sale last year, Cozzo has left his mark, quite literally, on the shop. Painted with his arms outstretched in his signature suit and tie, Cozzo is joined by other Footscray landmarks including famous train station donut shop, Olympic Doughnuts. Heesco says the team of street artists initially fielded the idea to Cozzo's son Louigi, and was met with delight and enthusiasm. "We wanted to celebrate this larger than life character because he has been around for so long and people associate him with Footscray," a spokesperson for Heesco told the Herald Sun. Franco Cozzo, 78, has had the store at Footscray (his first) since 1959, opening his second Brunswick store soon after and a third in North Melbourne. Known for selling garish but popular imported furniture at the time, Cozzo delighted migrants by using targeted marketing to garner interest. He ingeniously translated his "grand sales" pitch into Greek and Italian, with many imitating his "megalo xepoulima" spiel for years to come. Cozzo migrated to Australia from Italy in 1956 and started selling televisions, refrigerators and washing machines door-to-door before opening his furniture store. Footscray train station staple, Olympic Doughnuts, also makes an appearance. Franco Cozzo’s grand mural. SA food specialist expands 50 new jobs to be created Adelaide Greek food business Gaganis is to create 50 new jobs as part of a multimillion dollar expansion of its business over the next year. Gaganis - a wholesaler of food and liquor products as well as a manufacturer of dips, spice blends, coffee and deli products - was established in 1971, and according to Director Emanouel Gaganis, the expansion will provide the company's infrastructural need for the next 50 years of growth. "We have half a century of running a solid business behind us. This is the next phase," said Mr Gaganis. "At a time when manufacturing jobs are moving away from South Australia, we are doing the opposite and investing here". Mr Gaganis added that the expansion would be a staged process with a number of projects starting immediately. "This is a substantial capital investment for us and should take about six to 12 months to complete." The company's plans include reviving commercial-scale dips production in SA and ex- Gaganis’ warehouse in Hindmarsh. porting lentils, nuts and spices to China where Gaganis has already established partners in Shanghai and Guangzhou. Fifty new jobs will be created in the areas of manufacturing, customer service, sales, logistics and administration. Gaganis currently employs 100 staff in SA and Melbourne. Founder Paul Gaganis is the company's managing director, with wife Maria, son Emanouel and daughter Kaliopi Georgiadis-Gaganis as directors. Gaganis' plans include; developing its manufacturing resources for one of its flagship products, the Mediterranean seasoning Nostimini, quadrupling dips production, adding additional automatic packing assembly lines, and commercialising the family's SA olive One of Gaganis’ flagship products, Nostimini. grove, Limestone Olive Park, in Port Wakefield. Gaganis is also targeting increased exports to China, and expanding its warehousing and distribution capabilities. Maras heads Property Council SA Steve Maras appointed state president of property industry body The Property Council of Australia has announced Steve Maras as South Australia's tenth Division President. Known for his considerable philanthropic efforts in Adelaide, Mr Maras - Managing Director and CEO of leading commercial property development company Maras Group - is also co-founder of the Living Without Limits (LWL) Foundation - a notfor-profit children's charity which raises funds for causes relating to autism and cerebral palsy. Mr Maras will be joined on the Property Council's South Australian board by vice-president Adrian Esplin, along with fellow vicepresident Anthony Carrocci and treasurer Con Tragakis, Chairman of Partners at KPMG, and who is also of Greek origin. Next month LWL will host its 2015 Gala Dinner Spec- tacular on July 18 at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. All funds raised will go towards the Foundation's mission to develop a House of Respite for families of children affected by the conditions. Speaking to Neos Kosmos, Mr Maras said through funds raised at the event, LWL could realise that dream. "We're ever so close to having enough funds to go ahead with purchasing a property by the seaside and then converting it into holiday accommodation. "It'll be professionally serviced, managed and maintained, and be specifically for families of children with either autism or cerebral palsy who are unable to afford a holiday, and who simply can't take a break - the house is for them to finally have some much needed and well-earned respite. "This is something that is desperately needed here in South Australia and has been a core focus of our group and we are working on delivering this facility over the next twelve months PHOTO: DANIEL BOWEN Charity co-founder and CEO of Maras Group, Steve Maras. if everything falls into line". Mr Maras expressed his sincere thanks to CMI Toyota, Principal Partner of the 2015 Gala Dinner, who have generously donated a brand new 5-door Toyota Yaris Ascent as the top prize in the event's raffle. Just 400 tickets are on sale at $100 per ticket. Second prize is $1000 cash. There will also be over 80 items that will be on offer on the night through the main and silent auctions.
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