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Seattle-based Seattle's Best Coffee  (SBC) has made the specialty coffee company's first match next to Cinnabon Bakery  in Portland, Oregon, and the alliance appears to be the start of something big. Both units are projects of Portland-based franchisee partner, The Cinnamon Bums, Inc. (TCBI), and are located in the food court of Clackamas Town Center Mall, located at I-205 and Sunnyside Road.
The addition of a SBC cafe next to Cinnabon was a natural, not only because top quality coffee and premium cinnamon rolls are perfect together, but because both companies are part of parent company, AFC Enterprises, Atlanta. TCBI already operates seven Cinnabon bakeries, four in Portland and three in Salt Lake City.
"We're extremely pleased with the success of putting the two units side-by-side. Many AFC Enterprise franchisees have been closely watching to see if the pairing could be as successful as it sounds," said Steve Foltz, joint partner with John Whittaker of TCBI. "Seattle's Best Coffee and Cinnabon is clearly a winning combination."
The SBC cafe and Cinnabon Bakery are two separate units in the food court. Cinnabon only sells SBC in drip form. If a customer prefers a specialty beverage with their cinnamon roll, such as a latte or espresso drink, they walk next door to the SBC cafe. The only common area the two units share is the back room for employee use. The customers do not see the total 680 square feet of space as shared.
"Steve Foltz and John Whittaker are top-notch Cinnabon franchise partners, so it wasn't too difficult to make the connection between great operators and a great brand of specialty coffee," said Joe Genovese, Vice President of Franchising Development for SBC. "It's one of the luxuries we have as members of the same parent company, AFC Enterprises, and we plan to capitalize on this fantastic connection of pairing Seattle's Best Coffee with experienced franchise partners throughout the country and around the world where the opportunity is right."
Seattle Coffee Company has 7,500+ wholesale customers in North America, including restaurants, foodservices and airlines. By the end of 1999, there were 100 North American cafes, including 81 SBC (www.seabest.com ) company-owned and franchised cafes domestically, and 19 Torrefazione Italia (www.titalia.com ) cafes in the U.S. and Canada. Seattle Coffee Company's 1999 revenues reached the $75 million mark.