Industry News | October 11, 2011

Corner Bakery Cafe Keeps Cooking in Texas

Dallas-based Corner Bakery Cafe announced its most recent franchise deal to bring seven new locations to the South Texas region in less than five years. This new deal with restaurateur Bernardo Castillon brings the total number of planned franchise locations up to 45 in a state that already boasts 23 company-owned and franchised Corner Bakery Cafe locations.

Castillon’s first cafe will open in McAllen, Texas, in 2012, with six additional locations planned for Corpus Christi, Laredo, Brownsville, and Harlingen.

“What sold me on Corner Bakery Cafe was a combination of three things: the culinary innovation and ingredient-inspired food; the well-organized operating system; and the top-notch management team,” says Castillon, owner and principal of MX Restaurants and Bakeries, Inc. “Their ability to maintain both food quality and brand image across 121 national locations is quite impressive, and the bakery cafe concept is a perfect fit for my region of Texas, [which] is missing this kind of dining experience. Signing a franchise agreement is like committing to a long-term relationship, and I’m confident this relationship will grow well beyond these first seven cafes.”

“Bernardo is a truly great asset to our brand,” says John LaBarge, vice president of franchise business at Corner Bakery Cafe. “As a very successful franchisor himself, Bernardo did extensive research into the bakery cafe segment and realized the strong potential for Corner Bakery Cafe in South Texas and the brand’s exceptional unit level economics.”

Castillon will open his first location in McAllen in the first half of 2012, with six additional locations planned to open in four and a half years.

Other upcoming franchise openings slated for the state include RKO Bakeries’ new Tyler location Oct. 24, 2011; Whistler Bakeries LLC’s two new San Antonio locations in November 2011 and in January 2012; Fairview Capital Management’s third Houston location in November 2011; and Bakery Ventures' third location in El Paso in 2012. Additionally, Corner Bakery Cafe has plans to open more company-owned locations in Dallas/Ft. Worth and will be introducing the brand to the Austin market in 2012.

From a small bread bakery on a corner in downtown Chicago to a national cornerstone of fast casual dining, Corner Bakery Cafe opened its first location in 1991 and now operates 121 locations across the country.