Mississippi welcomed a new neighbor today as Corner Bakery Cafe announced that it will expand its family of restaurants into the state through a partnership with newly formed Resolute Bakeries, LLC. As part of Corner Bakery Cafe’s continuing aggressive franchise growth strategy, Resolute Bakeries, LLC will develop five units throughout the state over the next four years. The first bakery cafe will open on Lakeland Drive in Flowood, Miss., a suburb of Jackson, in the first quarter of 2009.

“When it comes to dining, more and more Americans are starting to demand upscale environments, a higher quality product and higher levels of service than ever before. There’s no question in my mind that the fast-casual segment is ideally positioned to meet these demands,” says Bridgforth Rutledge, founder, president and managing member of Resolute Bakeries, LLC. “After looking closely at a number of concepts over the past few years, I’ve continually been impressed by Corner Bakery Cafe’s insistence on uncompromising quality and the brand’s amazing sales performance. When Corner Bakery Cafe announced the launch of its franchise program in 2006, I leapt at the chance to bring all the brand had to offer–great value, a comfortable, upscale dining experience and best-in-class catering–to the people of Mississippi. My partners, Ed Ferrell and John Cocke, and I have spent years providing the type of quality and service that customers of this state expect, and we look forward to continuing to meet and exceed these expectations with the addition of this outstanding concept.”

Rutledge made a name for himself in Mississippi as a real estate developer, business attorney and restaurateur. One of Rutledge’s affiliated companies (owned by Rutledge, Ferrell and Cocke) owns and operates seven Back Yard Burgers restaurants throughout the state that consistently rank among the highest in sales for the brand. Both Rutledge and Ed Ferrell, chief operating officer of Resolute Bakeries, LLC, have received the Back Yard Burgers Founder’s Award, widely regarded as the highest honor awarded to any franchisee in the system. In 2005, Rutledge was named one of the Mississippi Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40” in recognition of his broad range of business accomplishments.

“With an unprecedented 23 straight quarters of positive same-store sales growth and the highest average annual sales volume of any national bakery cafe brand, Corner Bakery Cafe is attracting the best of the best franchisees,” says P.J. Evans, vice president of franchise development for Corner Bakery Cafe. “Resolute Bakeries will help us bring our incomparable menu offerings into new Mississippi neighborhoods, increasing our total franchise commitments to date of 79 locations coast-to-coast.”

Corner Bakery Cafe maintains the highest annual sales volume of any national bakery cafe brand at $2.3 million and boasts 23 straight quarters of positive same-store sales.

CBC Restaurant Corp. launched a strategic franchise development program in October 2006. Resolute Bakeries, LLC marks CBC’s seventh franchise partnership and the second in 2008, increasing the brand’s total franchise commitments to 79 locations coast-to-coast.

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