ATLANTA, GA - (Marketwire - Jan 3, 2013) - FOCUS Brands Inc., the fast-growing company responsible for overseas expansion of Cinnabon®, Auntie Anne's® Pretzels, Carvel® Ice Cream, Moe's Southwest Grill®, Schlotzsky's® and Seattle's Best Coffee®, has opened its 1,000th international location -- a milestone capitalizing on the vast global opportunities for U.S. food brands.
The 1,000th location is a co-branded Cinnabon and Auntie Anne's store, which debuted Nov. 29 in Port of Spain, Trinidad at The Fall of Westmall. It is operated by Cinnaworld Ltd., a franchise group consisting of a husband-and-wife team from Trinidad. Naveed Mohammed and Renee Peterson are entrepreneurs by trade and have opened a total of five Auntie Anne's and Cinnabon stores in the Trinidad and Tobago area. The duo recently expanded their territory rights to include Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados, Antigua, Barbuda, St. Lucia and Grenada and have committed to opening an additional 15 locations over the next seven years. The group, Cinnaworld Ltd., also received the award for "International New Franchise Partner of the Year" for 2011 at the FOCUS Brands® Worldwide Convention in January 2012.
"This opening is a landmark in our international expansion plan, which is crucial for our growth," said Mike Shattuck, President of FOCUS Brands International. "Building our global brand presence has substantial value for us, especially when we can increase our visibility and brand presence by opening in high-traffic venues in new markets."
In 2012, FOCUS Brands opened 205 locations in international markets, and a projected 260 will open this year. This growth comes while FOCUS Brands continues to increase its domestic footprint in the U.S. through franchise expansion of all brands.
Earlier this year, Cinnabon and Carvel became the first American brands to open in Libya, with nine additional Cinnabon bakeries and new Carvel and Moe's Southwest Grill locations on the way. Moe's Southwest Grill and Schlotzsky's recently expanded to Russia.
More than 80 new Auntie Anne's bakeries have opened in 2012 internationally and plans call for more than 118 to open overseas in 2013 in countries such as Vietnam, Bahamas, India, and Aruba, as well as Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.
Cinnabon bakeries currently operate in more than 51 countries and will launch in Iraq, Mongolia and Ukraine in the coming year.
"We are thrilled by the consumer response we're seeing when our brands enter a new market," said Shattuck. "We're always looking for opportunities to grow with individuals who possess a strong entrepreneurial spirit and the right industry experience."
Atlanta-based FOCUS Brands Inc. is the franchisor and operator of nearly 3,500 ice cream shoppes, bakeries, restaurants and cafes in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 60 foreign countries under the brand names Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Schlotzsky's®, Moe's Southwest Grill®, and Auntie Anne's® Pretzels as well as the franchisor of Seattle's Best Coffee® on certain military bases and in certain international markets. Please visit www.focusbrands.com to learn more.
Fishman Public Relations