Industry News | November 16, 2000

AFC Names President of Seattle Coffee Company

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Atlanta-based AFC Enterprises announced today the appointment of Steven Schickler as president of its Seattle Coffee Company (SCC) subsidiary.
As president of Seattle Coffee Company, Schickler will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the company's Seattle's Best Coffee and Torrefazione Italia coffee brands. He will be responsible for the long-term growth strategy and day-to-day operations domestically and internationally, and for the goal of positioning of the company as the number two-specialty coffee company in the world. Additionally, Schickler will lead the team in analyzing the existing business structure to determine how to most effectively position Seattle Coffee's two brands—Seattle's Best and Torrefazione Italia for maximum growth and effectiveness.

"We are extremely pleased to have Steve join our team," says Dick Holbrook, president and COO of AFC Enterprises. "The caliber of his global packaged good expertise will be extremely valuable as we continue to grow both Seattle's Best Coffee and Torrefazione Italia brands. The breadth of Steve's knowledge in retail and foodservice marketing will make positive strides in meeting the profit and growth goals of both premium coffee brands."

Schickler has more than 20 years of experience in premium products, packaged goods, and their respective marketing fields. Prior to joining Seattle Coffee Company, Schickler was CEO and president of FrozFruit brands, where he was credited with the turnaround of the brand through the repositioning of the company, introduction of new products and realignment of the company's sales and operational structure.

Considered a turnaround expert, Schickler was also a chairman and CEO of Guernsey Bel, an ingredient supplier for the dairy and confection industries, where he reversed the company's profit decline and set the stage for the company to experience record profits and growth.

For 10 years, Schickler held several management positions at Dreyer's/Edy's Grand Ice Cream, including serving as vice president of new retail business development and foodservice marketing and sales.

In addition, Schickler held several management positions at H.J. Heinz Company, rising to the grocery and foodservice business unit manager, where he lead a research and development and a marketing effort to increase operating profits by 50 percent and doubling the ROI for his division.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Schickler has a bachelor of science degree from Baruch College in New York, a juris doctorate from Brooklyn Law School, and a MBA in marketing and management from New York University. Schickler is a member of the Bernard Baruch Advisory Council and New York State Bar Association. He and his family will relocated from the Chicago area to Seattle in the new few months.

With revenues of approaching $100 million for 2000, Seattle Coffee Company has experience a 23 percent revenue growth over the last four years. Seattle Coffee Company has 106 Seattle's Best Coffee and 18 Torrefazione Italia company-owned and franchised cafes in eight countries, worldwide. The company has opened 33 new cafes year-to-date and has commitments for 230 cafes for future franchised growth.

Seattle's Best Coffee and Torrefazione Italia have more than 6,000 wholesale customers, including restaurants, foodservices, airlines, and hotels.

Seattle's Best Coffee is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based AFC Enterprises. AFC operates and franchises more than 3,500 restaurant, bakeries, and cafes in 27 countries, including Church's Chicken, Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, and Cinnabon, and in 1999 had systemwide sales over $2 billion.