Cactus Club, Earls and Joey Restaurants all have something in common beyond their similar food themes and offerings – they are now all owned by the Fuller family.
After a fierce legal battle, the Fuller family announced that they had acquired 100% ownership of the Cactus Club from founder and chairman Richard Jaffray.
Leroy Earl “Bus” Fuller is the founder of Earls and Joey’s restaurants. He was also an early investor in the Cactus Club, founded by Jaffray and Scott Morison in 1988. Both Jaffray and Morison are former Earls employees. Morison left the company in 2004 and with Jaffray selling his stake to the Fullers, he will step down as chairman in March.
“We have enormous respect for what Richard has built. Under his leadership, Richard and the Cactus team established and developed an exceptional restaurant brand and concept, developing deep and lasting customer relationships. Our family has partnered with Cactus Club from the very beginning, and we are thrilled to assume 100% ownership of the brand,” the Fullers said in a press release.
Jaffray and the Fullers have been embroiled in a legal wrangle since 2018 when Jaffray alleged a transfer of Cactus Club stock was made without giving him proper notice. The Fullers denied the transfer took place.
Jaffray also took issue with the operation of Joey Restaurants. Joey operated as a direct competitor to the Cactus Club, and Jaffray wanted to stop providing audited financial statements to the Fullers, arguing that it gave Joey a competitive advantage. Ultimately, the case was dismissed.
Then the family hit back, alleging that Jaffray embezzled company funds by spending on private jet travel and art for his home.
With Wednesday’s announcement, it looks like the parties are putting the bad blood behind them.
“I am incredibly proud of the team that has made Cactus Club the leading casual fine dining brand in Canada. There is no better team to be found anywhere, and I know they will carry the Cactus Club brand to continued success in the future,” Jaffray said.
The Fullers said they valued the relationship they had with Jaffray and wished him “all the best” for the future.