a Recipe for success

initial investment

$ 0

In Line Retail Center*

$ 0
Stand Alone*

*Costs vary from market to market, size per square foot, construction, equipment, furniture, etc.

median gross sales

$ 0

average gross sales**

$ 0

**Based on 11 company owned CAO Bakery outlets that have been open for more than one year an have not had a change of ownership.



CAO Bakery & Café is named after the Cao family whose baking tradition spans three generations. The word, CAO, is also an acronym for Cuban American Original, which is reflected in the brand’s mission to provide best of Cuban baking with a warm and inviting café atmosphere. As South Florida’s fastest-growing Cuban bakery chain, our reputation as a community pillar can be attributed to generations-old family recipes enjoyed by loyal customers – both neighbors and visitors alike. From sweet cafecitos to fresh pastelitos, we bring the next generation of fast casual to your neighborhood.

who we are

CAO Bakery & Café is led by South Florida residents and childhood friends. Antonio (Tony) Cao and Carlos De Varona. Tony, a third-generation baker with over 20 years of baking experience, leads the team with his passion for baking and vision for expansion. Behind the numbers and financials is Carlos, with an extensive background in business and real estate. He is responsible for business growth and development. Click on the photos to learn more about our upper management team.


Tony Cao


Carlos De Varona

CMO + Operations

Yvette Cao


Amy Giron

what makes us famous

At CAO baking is a family tradition. I learned to bake from my grandfather and learned how to run the business from my dad. I watched closely and took notes from the best as they made our last name, Cao, popular in Miami for having the best pastries and desserts in town. Our bakeries are known for our Pastelitos, traditional Cuban pastries. As a third generation baker, my vision was to evolve the brand while keeping true to our Cuban roots. We took our classic recipes one step further and introduced unique products like the “Medio Dia” – an award winning sandwich made from a pastelito. Today, our bakeries have over 1 million visitors a year. The store buildouts are modern and we have new additions to the menu, yet our recipes and culture remain the same.


As childhood friends, Tony and I, grew up in Hialeah, Florida. We met in grade school and remained friends throughout high school. I studied business and graduated with an international business degree, while Tony followed his family’s legacy and pursued his passion for baking. Our paths crossed again in 2014 when I expressed interest in opening a bakery. At the time, Tony owned two bakeries and was ready to expand with a partner. In late 2015, we opened our first stand alone and 24 hour location, making it our most successful and flagship store. We knew we had built something special with this location as it quickly became a well known Miami landmark for cafectios and pastelitos. Just a year later, we opened our 2nd location in North Miami Beach, which also grew into our second leading store. Our growth happened quickly as the demand for Cuban food and fast casual eateries became more popular. Today we have 11 locations throughout South Florida. Our vision is to introduce CAO across Florida and one day, nationwide. Cheers to the next cafecito in your neighborhood.

franchise benefits


*Round the clock support by a management team committed to your success

*Support with scouting locations, exterior and interior design and maintenance assistance

*A comprehensive training program, on-site opening assistance and ongoing operational guidance

*Select the footprint option that works best for you: inline retail centers, stand alone location or drive thru, kiosk (food halls, stadiums, airports)

*Creative branding materials and packaging

*Various community efforts



How many locations does CAO Bakery & Café have?

We currently have 11 locations in South Florida with two new locations opening in 2022.

How much is the franchise fee and what does it include?

The initial franchise fee is $40,000 upon execution of the Franchise Agreement and provides you with: grant of an exclusive territory, site selection and lease negotiation guidance, planning assistance, owner / manager training program, on-site assistance and the operation manual.

How much do I need to open a CAO location?

The estimated initial investment ranges from $365,800 - $698,000. Costs vary from market to market, size per square foot, construction, equipment, furniture, etc.

Do I need to have retail or baking experience?

No and that’s the sweet part of it! You do not need to be an expert baker or have any retail experience to own a CAO Bakery. We will provide all the ingredients and tools you need. We are looking for passionate and savvy individuals who will be hands on operators and enjoy working with people. As a neighborhood bakery, having a strong owner / management presence is crucial for its success.

Are there on going fees paid to CAO?

Yes, a continuing royalty fee of 5% and the marketing fund fee of 2% of the prior month’s gross sales. The fees entitle you to use of the CAO name and trademark, access to our operating systems and marketing campaigns.

What training will I receive?

The initial training program is offered at least 30 days but not more than 45 days prior to your store’s opening. The program will be approximately 5 weeks in duration and may include classroom and on the job training. We will provide up to two weeks of on-site opening training and assistance at your location immediately before and/or after the commencement of the operations