Cinnabon opens location in Libya

by Eric Schroeder
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ATLANTA — Cinnabon, Inc., a bakery-cafe provider of cinnamon rolls, baked goods and beverages, has strengthened its international presence with the opening of a co-branded Cinnabon and Carvel store in Tripoli, Libya.

“The tenacity and courage of our franchise partners and their team show their ultimate commitment to the Cinnabon brand,” said Mike Shattuck, president of Focus Brands International, which handles overseas expansion for Cinnabon, Carvel Ice Cream, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Schlotzsky’s and Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. “We are excited to be the first American brand to develop in this market and we know there’s a lot more growth potential in the region.”

The location was developed by franchise partners Arief and Ahmed Swaidek, brothers who plan to build another Cinnabon location later this year and will develop at least 10 Cinnabon stores in the next five years. The partners also have signed on to bring more Carvel and Moe’s Southwest Grill locations to Libya.

Cinnabon has more than 900 locations in 51 countries. Throughout the remainder of 2012, Cinnabon said it plans to open approximately 130 new international bakeries globally with new market launches in Nicaragua, Iraq and Ukraine. The company plans to enter an additional eight new international markets in the next 12 months.

International expansion is a main focus for the brand's immediate growth. The company has opened 71 Cinnabon locations in Russia in three years, with plans for another 80 over the next five years. Mr. Shattuck also said Cinnabon is looking for franchise partners in other North African countries, such as Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.

“The guests love the overall experience at Cinnabon and they tell us they are enjoying the western flavors and unique hospitality we strive so hard to offer in beautiful surroundings,” Mr. Shattuck said.

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