Our Team

Damien Blakeney

General Manager

Damien has had the pleasure of leading this start-up sushi franchise since we opened our first three locations in December 2011.
Despite the inherent challenges of any start-up business, notwithstanding the challenges the franchise sector continually endures, Damien’s journey at AFC has been truly inspiring and rewarding.
Damien, together with the team, shares a simple philosophy towards our business, which is ‘always strive to do better’. In other words, never settle on the efforts today but focus on how we can do better tomorrow! Damien believes this ethos is tantamount to improving everyday lives.
The unheralded notion of serving hand-crafted, fresh sushi, in-store to thousands and thousands of customers every day is a testament to the success of ‘Supermarket Sushi’ in Australia.

Luisa Wanstall

Quality Assurance & Regulatory Manager

Luisa joined Advanced Fresh Concepts Australia in 2013, with a background in Microbiology and a strong passion for food safety.
Prior to working for AFC, Luisa worked in laboratories for many years testing raw ingredients and finished products to verify their quality. She lives and breathes by the belief that everyone has a right to fully trust that the food they eat is safe and will not cause any harm.
Luisa, together with her team of Food Safety Specialists, is proud to promote a food safety culture across the business. They have pride in ensuring our chefs are producing safe food every time and recognise that a good quality product must be safe to eat.
We at AFC pride ourselves on the development of applying best industry practices and adhering to our own comprehensive food safety and quality management systems ‘FSQMS’, that are HACCP and WQA certified.
Luisa and her team promote food safety as a culture of doing the right thing even when no-one else is looking, where quality assurance has become a reality, and no longer just an inconvenience.

Marcela Vasak-Rider

Human Resources Manager

Marcela joined the AFC Australia team in 2013, which has provided her with an outstanding opportunity to experience AFC’s exponential growth as well as the success and achievements of the AFC team.
At AFC, we are building a workplace environment that attracts and retains the most talented employees in our industry by championing a healthy workplace culture, values, and work ethics. A focus on building and maintaining a positive workplace culture is contributing to the current and future success of AFC.
Marcela’s high priority is to help, nurture and assist our employee’s growth, with a number of opportunities for advancement, training, and continuous learning, since the long term success of any business relies greatly on talented and skilled employees.

Heru Wiyanto

Training Manager

Heru started to work for Advanced Fresh Concepts Australia back in 2013, as a Project Supervisor, and in 2017 progressed to become AFC Australia’s Training Manager. Heru has been working in the hospitality industry for more than 20 years, both domestically and internationally as a chef.
At AFC, Heru manages the Franchisee Training Program and the Ongoing Support Platform which are designed to support our new franchisees to strive in business, and to ensure our franchisees are getting the most out of their investment and delivering the best sushi experience for our customers.
We at AFC pride ourselves on respecting the heritage of sushi, applying industry best practices, sourcing fresh local produce, and using the highest quality ingredients in our range of products. Our talented sushi chefs trained by Heru have mastered their craft in making traditional sushi with a contemporary twist for our loyal customers.

Helen Huang

National Operations Manager

Helen joined AFC back in 2018 as an area manager and has now progressed to the role of National Operations Manager.
Helen has had the privilege of leading and developing high performing teams throughout her career. Now she continues to mentor and coach franchise partners and our operations team to aspire towards new heights and even greater achievements.
Helen and her team are working hard for our sites to achieve retail excellence and a memorable experience for our customers.

Cassie Har

Business Development Manager

Cassie’s association with Advanced Fresh Concepts Australia started in 2013 as a supplier and he joined AFC as our Business Development Manager in 2019.
As BDM, Cassie’s key areas of focus are driving business growth through strategic partnerships with clients, and at the same time looking for gaps in the market in which AFC could service by leveraging on our specialist capabilities to provide high quality handcrafted sushi. Based on his industry experience, Cassie is also responsible for the management of AFC Sushi’s supply chain in Australia.
Cassie considers himself fortunate to work alongside an amazing team of high-performing professionals in the work of driving process change and creating value across different areas of the company as we continue to improve in the way we do business and push for ongoing growth.

Morra Joseph

Marketing Coordinator

Morra started with Advanced Fresh Concepts Australia in 2018 in the role of Franchise Administrator and became AFC’s Marketing Coordinator in 2021. Her role revolves around developing our company’s brand strategy and implementing marketing tactics that support our company’s objectives.
As Marketing Coordinator, Morra’s role includes implementing marketing strategies that include print, radio, broadcast, and online content, managing online platforms as well as assisting in new product launches.
She is passionate, dedicated and committed to implementing new and fresh ideas – and learning new skills and techniques along the way is a must!

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