Industry News | December 20, 2010

Corner Bakery Cafe Set to Be Bigger in Texas

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Texas may have just a single lone star, but it will soon boast more than 70 Corner Bakery Cafe locations. Celebrating a strong year of sales, the Dallas-based restaurant chain announced substantial new growth plans in its home state, with new and existing franchise partners slated to bring more locations to Houston, fuel expansion into San Antonio and East Texas, and add a new cafe in El Paso. And with company-owned locations on the horizon in Austin and greater Central Texas, Corner Bakery Cafe is well on track to more than double its number of locations in Texas, and throughout the U.S., within the next four years.

“We are thrilled by the reception and enthusiasm surrounding the brand in our own home state of Texas,” says John LaBarge, vice president of franchise business development at Corner Bakery Cafe. “We already have 22 thriving franchise and company-owned Corner Bakery locations around the state, and the prospect of adding at least 50 additional cafes in the next eight years is very exciting. As the fast-casual segment continues to increase in popularity, we see tremendous opportunity to introduce Corner Bakery Cafe to guests located throughout Texas and in new states from coast to coast.”

Fairview Capital Management Group LLC, a Houston-based company, purchased the two existing and formerly company-owned Corner Bakery Cafe locations in Houston, and will open an additional 19 locations in the Houston area over the next eight years. Led by investors Dr. Ricky G. Caples, Adam G. Beasley, and Dr. Jesse H. Roberts III, Fairview Capital partnered with Steve Whiddon, who most recently served as regional vice president of operations for Corner Bakery Cafe.

In the next six years, new Corner Bakery Cafe franchisees Chris and Mariah Pheiffer of Whistler Bakery Group LLC will open 11 cafes in the San Antonio area. The Pheiffers are both Culinary Institute of America graduates and have extensive food service backgrounds. Chris’s experience includes working for Marriott International where he helped the company develop innovative menus and opened several of its flagship properties within the Americas.

In October, Corner Bakery Cafe announced its partnership with franchisee RKO Bakeries LLC of Tyler, Texas. President and owner Robert Owens, along with his wife, vice president and co-owner Kandi Owens, plan to open eight locations in East Texas and North Louisiana during the next five years. Their first cafe, located in Tyler, is slated to open in 2011.

Existing Corner Bakery Cafe franchise partner Bakery Ventures I Ltd plans to open its second location in El Paso at 655 Sunland Park Drive in late February. Bakery Ventures I Ltd and Corner Bakery originally partnered in October 2007 and have plans to open six locations in total.

Furthering a strong commitment to its home state of Texas, Corner Bakery Cafe continues to expand development of company cafes with its first entry into the Austin market. Responding to the increasing interest of Austinites who have long sought after Corner Bakery Cafe, the restaurant’s leadership team is exploring company-owned cafe development opportunities in Austin and greater Central Texas.

“Austin is a booming market that has long been on our radar,” says John LaBarge. “The large student population, presence of young business professionals, and strong economy of our state capital make it the perfect place to offer our fast-casual dining experience.”