Mountain Mudd Espresso announced that it executed a contract to expand its retail operation into Long Island, New York.

Mountain Mudd Espresso, a drive-thru specialty coffee franchise founded in 1994, is being introduced in Long Island through a strategic partnership with RMT Specialty Coffees, owned by entrepreneur Ralph Tasso. Tasso lives in Ronkonkoma, New York.

“New York coffee drinkers are connoisseurs. We know that our flavors will impress them,” says Jackie Mota, Mountain Mudd’s national sales manager.

“We couldn’t be any more confident in Mr. Tasso’s ability to promote and protect the Mountain Mudd Espresso name,” says Gary Braaten, president of Mountain Mudd. “We are excited to welcome him to our network.”

Tasso and Mountain Mudd executives meet regularly to finalize all necessary preparations for the store openings and review the details for the development and expansion plan. The first phase of development includes two Mountain Mudd kiosks to open early in 2010 in Suffolk County. Gradually over the year, more Mountain Mudd kiosks will be dispatched into other public and private key locations in Nassua, Queens, and Brooklyn. By 2014, 50 stores will be open in Long Island.

The agreement is the beginning of a flurry of activity for the franchise in the east. Additional agreements are being negotiated between Mountain Mudd Espresso and investment groups along the coast.

“Many areas around the world have capitalized on the market of convenience,” Mota says. “Though many have not yet seen drive-thru specialty coffee, the progressive partners we seek are currently working with recognize that it’s on the horizon.”

Though the corporation is headquartered in Billings, Montana, it includes just under 100 retail outlets worldwide today and has a goal of 500 by the year 2014. Mountain Mudd also owns and operates 15 of its own retail stores in Billings.

“This expansion is pushing us to concentrate on our mission: to become the dominant , premier drive thru specialty coffee retailer worldwide,” Braaten says. “We’ve always been true to our mission and have no intentions of changing that. The success of our franchisees is our highest priority.”