Industry News | February 1, 2010

Seattle's Best is Aiming to Get Better

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By increasing its focus on creating compelling franchising and distribution opportunities over the last year, Seattle’s Best Coffee announced that it has seen accelerated growth of its franchise base, signing 10 new franchisees. These new franchisees, which plan to open cafes in several states including California, Illinois, Texas, and New York, will help grow its current cafe count from more than 550 as the brand expands across the U.S. Seattle’s Best Coffee also continued to update and expand its franchise program offerings to reflect key components that make the brand more attractive to potential franchisees.

To further drive the growth of the brand, which is within the Starbucks Corporation portfolio, Seattle’s Best Coffee recently expanded its leadership team with the appointments of long-time Starbucks veteran Michelle Gass to president and John Wuycheck to vice president of franchising business development. These investments in the brand demonstrate the ongoing importance that Seattle’s Best Coffee plays in the growth of Starbucks Corporation.

“The rapid expansion of Seattle’s Best Coffee will continue to be driven by opportunities to broaden our overall portfolio of cafes, consumer packaged goods, and foodservice accounts,” Gass says. “We think there is a very big opportunity—much larger than the business today—that is complementary to the Starbucks brand and will be a significant competitor to other brands that currently exist in the market.”

“We’re extremely proud to have been recognized in January by QSR magazine as ranking among the 10 best franchising values,” Wuycheck says. “We believe we made smart and strong investments in our franchising program in 2009 and will work to continue to build upon those strides in the coming year.”

The recently updated Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) outlines several key items that will further strengthen Seattle’s Best Coffee’s position as a franchisor, including Item 19 and VetFran and MinorityFran programming.

“I chose to franchise with Seattle’s Best Coffee because of the people, the product and the brand,” says Melissa Gobinda, general manager of SeattleNY LLC, a newly signed franchisee. “From its training program and retail options to its team of experts and on-going marketing support, Seattle’s Best Coffee offers me an ideal franchising opportunity. I am excited to be one of the first operators to build out the New York City market.”

For more on Seattle’s Best Coffee’s inclusion as one of QSR’s 10 best franchise deals, click here. For an inside look at the 10 best fast-casual deals, click here to purchase the report.