April 19, 2011 // Franchising.com // ST. PAUL, Minn. — Mountain Mudd® Espresso drive-thru specialty coffee, a brand of CHS, is expanding into the state of Connecticut through a long-term contract with PJP Coffee Enterprises, Inc. "I'm thrilled to represent the Mountain Mudd brand and bring world-class specialty coffee drinks to the Nutmeg State," says Phillip J. Penn, owner of PJP Coffee Enterprises.
First phase of the development includes opening two Mountain Mudd kiosks in Hartford and Litchfield counties in 2011, with plans to develop 38 additional franchise locations in the state by early 2016.
Penn, already a minority owner of two non-competing beverage businesses, will be drawing on more than two decades of business experience to drive the success of Mountain Mudd in Connecticut. Prior to founding PJP Coffee Enterprises, Penn was most recently vice president, Finance Strategic Initiatives, for The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., and served as chief financial officer for its property and casualty claims division. A 1989 graduate of Cornell University, Penn has extensive experience in finance, strategic planning, operations and communications. He and his family reside in Burlington, Conn., where he is active in community affairs as both an elected official and a volunteer.
"We are excited to grow into the Connecticut market and move into this strategic relationship with Phil Penn," says Gary Braaten, president of Mountain Mudd operations for CHS, a leading energy, grains and foods company. "Phil's experience and entrepreneurial spirit are impressive, and his personal passion for the brand is contagious. This expansion fits our mission of becoming the dominant, premier drive-thru specialty coffee retailer worldwide. The success of our franchisees is our highest priority."
Despite the weak economic backdrop, Mountain Mudd Espresso system-wide sales held strong in 2010, and are slated for substantial growth in 2011, according to Braaten.
"Mountain Mudd locations offer the same great experience and delectable products, whether you order your latte in Burlington or in Byblos, Lebanon," says Jill Mason, Mountain Mudd national sales consultant. "Progressive entrepreneurs recognize the value of this brand and are capitalizing on the market for convenient, premium beverages."
Recently named to Entrepreneur's 32nd annual Franchise 500® list, Mountain Mudd is currently seeking expansion in the United States and select international markets. Founded in 1994, it is one of the leading drive-thru specialty coffee franchises in the country. More information about Mountain Mudd and its business opportunities can be found at www.mountainmudd.com.