Cinnabon Raises More than $56,000 for Troops Overseas

Bakery Franchise Partners with Operation Gratitude to Help Deliver Care Packages

Atlanta, GA (Dec. 19, 2012) – After a month-long campaign to raise money for troops overseas, Cinnabon Inc. raised more than $56,000 through a partnership with Operation Gratitude® as part of its third annual “Hugs from Home” campaign to send care packages to the military.

Throughout the month of October, guests who visited Cinnabon bakeries showed their support for this heart-warming cause by making donations. For every $1 contribution, guests received a $1 Cinnabon® coupon. Cinnabon also made a $1 donation to Operation Gratitude for every foursquare® check-in at a bakery. Since the partnership started in 2010, Cinnabon has raised a total of $160,000 for Operation Gratitude.  

“Operation Gratitude care packages are an expression of enormous respect and appreciation for those who voluntarily put themselves in harm’s way to protect our freedom,” said Carolyn Blashek, founder and president of Operation Gratitude.  “This substantial donation from Cinnabon will enable us to send more than 3,700 care packages this month.”

Cinnabon teamed up with Operation Gratitude to send care packages that included Cinnabon Cream of Wheatfrom B&G Foods®, Cinnabon kettle roasted nuts from Mellace Family Brands® and Johnvince Foods®, and other goodies.

“We’re so proud to work with an organization that supports our troops overseas,” said Cinnabon President Kat Cole. “Our franchise partners, bakery managers and crew members look forward to this fundraiser all year, and we’re proud of the support we received from our guests this October.”

For more information about the Hugs from Home promotion or to learn more about Operation Gratitude, please visit www.facebook.com/Cinnabon or www.OperationGratitude.com.

About Cinnabon, Inc.

Founded in Seattle in 1985 and now based in Atlanta, Cinnabon, Inc. is the market leader among cinnamon roll bakeries. The company serves fresh, aromatic, oven-hot cinnamon rolls, as well as a variety of other baked goods and specialty beverages. Cinnabon currently operates more than 1,000 franchised locations worldwide, primarily in high traffic venues such as shopping malls, airports, train stations, travel plazas, entertainment centers and military establishments. Cinnabon is also a multi-channel licensor, partnering with other companies to provide brand licensed products at foodservice and retail venues. Visit www.cinnabon.com for more information, follow us on Twitter @Cinnabon or become a Facebook fan at http://www.facebook.com/Cinnabon.

About Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude annually sends 100,000+ care packages filled with snacks, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation addressed to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed in harm’s way, to their children left behind, and to Veterans, Emergency First Responders and Wounded Warriors. The organization’s mission is to lift morale, bring a smile to a service member’s face and express to our Military and their families the appreciation and support of the American people. Each package contains donated product valued at $75-100 and costs the organization $15 to assemble and ship. For safety and security, assembling of packages occurs at the Army National Guard armory in Van Nuys, California. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than 900,000 packages to American Military members and their children.  For more information: www.OperationGratitude.com; @OpGratitude on Twitter and http://www.facebook.com/OperationGratitude

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Cinnabon Reaches 1,000th Bakery Milestone

Snack Leader in Bakery-Café Segment Continues Rapid Expansion; 200 New Domestic and International Openings in Development

 

Atlanta, Ga. – December 11, 2012 – Cinnabon is on a roll. The iconic brand is returning to its roots in Washington to celebrate the opening of its 1,000th bakery this week. In 1985, Cinnabon, Inc. opened the doors of its first bakery in the Sea Tac Mall in Federal Way, a suburb of Seattle, Wash. Now, 27 years later, the company’s 1,000th bakery will open in Vancouver, Wash. at Vancouver Mall.

In addition to growing its network of Flagship and Express bakeries to 1,000 in 2012, the Cinnabon® brand has expanded its footprint to cover 48 states and 50 countries this year. Throughout the remainder of 2012 and into 2013, Cinnabon will continue to grow with 200 new domestic and international openings planned.

“This is an exciting time as we celebrate a major milestone for Cinnabon,” said President Kat Cole. “A 27-year reputation for over-the-top sensory experiences and creating oh-so-worth it indulgent moments for global bakery guests and retail consumers is possible only because of our franchisees, employees, licensees and vendor partners who continue to work tirelessly to make this brand what it is today – one of the world’s greatest food brands.”

Cole concluded, “Cinnabon’s growth has also been fueled by having a flexible franchise model. In addition to our famous Flagship Cinnabon Bakery locations that bake and blend from scratch in high-traffic venues, we have gotten good at being small with Cinnabon Express Micro Bakeries in travel and foodservice outlets like airports and Schlotzsky’s® Deli, and we’ve also gotten good at being bigger with full street-side bakery cafés all over the world. Simultaneously, with the expansion of branded products in grocery, retail and restaurant outlets, Cinnabon is approaching 50,000 global points of distribution across all channels between its franchise, consumer packaged goods and foodservice licensing divisions.”

About Cinnabon, Inc.

 

Founded in Seattle in 1985 and now based in Atlanta, Cinnabon, Inc. is the market leader among cinnamon roll bakeries. The company serves fresh, aromatic, oven-hot cinnamon rolls, as well as a variety of other baked goods and specialty beverages. Cinnabon currently operates more than 1,000 franchised locations worldwide, primarily in high traffic venues such as shopping malls, airports, train stations, travel plazas, entertainment centers and military establishments. Cinnabon is also a multi-channel licensor, partnering with other companies to provide brand licensed products at foodservice and retail venues. Visit www.cinnabon.com for more information, follow us on Twitter @Cinnabon or become a Facebook fan at http://www.facebook.com/Cinnabon.

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Cinnabon Franchise Partners Raise $125,000 for Local Charities

Atlanta, GA (Feb. 17, 2011) – For the 16th year in a row and with the help of more than 400 volunteers from numerous organizations, Steve Foltz and John Whittaker of Cinnamon Bums, Inc. raised more than $100,000 to provide hot meals to homebound Portland, Ore. area seniors served by Loaves & Fishes Centers, the city’s Meals-On-Wheels chapter. Greg Komen and Sharron Loe of Modern Food Services, Inc. adopted the Cinnamon Bums’ program a few years ago and have grown their Cinn-A-Gram fundraiser to raise more than $25,000 for the Spokane, Wash. Meals-On-Wheels branch.

The Portland Valentine-A-Grams program allows people to send Cinnabon® gift boxes full of special treats to their special someone on Valentine’s Day. This year, Valentine-A-Grams were delivered from Meals-On-Wheels’ distribution center to approximately 3,445 individuals throughout the Portland area. The gift boxes included two Cinnabon Classic® rolls; one 8 oz. Sun Orchard orange juice; one bag of Seattle’s Best coffee; one Jamba Juice double wall clear tumbler; coupons for one free Jamba juice and one free slice of Shari’s pie; and a personalized note. Because all of the products for the gift boxes were donated, 100 percent of the money raised benefited Loaves & Fishes.

The Spokane Cinn-A-Gram fundraiser raised more than $25,000 for its Meals-On-Wheels branch. More than 100 volunteers participated to bake, assemble and deliver the packages to 1,200 individuals. Each Cinn-A-Gram included two Cinnabon Classic® rolls, a coffee mug, a handmade napkin, a piece of fudge, ready-to-brew coffee, a carnation and a personalized note. The Cinn-A-Gram fundraiser raised enough money to provide 6,250 meals in the Spokane area.

About Cinnabon, Inc.

Founded in Seattle in 1985 and now based in Atlanta, Cinnabon, Inc. is the market leader among cinnamon roll bakeries. The company serves fresh, aromatic, oven-hot cinnamon rolls, as well as a variety of other baked goods and specialty beverages. Cinnabon currently operates more than 770 franchised locations worldwide, primarily in high traffic venues such as shopping malls, airports, train stations, travel plazas, entertainment centers, academic institutions and military establishments. Visit www.cinnabon.com for more information, follow us on Twitter @CinnabonInc or become a Facebook fan at http://www.facebook.com/Cinnabon.

About FOCUS Brands

FOCUS Brands Inc. is the franchisor and operator of more than 3,300 ice cream stores, bakeries, restaurants, and cafes in 47 states and 42 countries under the brand names, Auntie Anne’s®, Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Schlotzsky’s®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, and the franchisor of Seattle’s Best Coffee® on certain military bases and in certain international markets. Based in Atlanta, the primary objective of FOCUS Brands is to “FOCUS on making people happy.” Please visit www.focusbrands.com to learn more.

CINNABON CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER KAT COLE HONORED WITH GRACE AWARD FOR DISTINGUISHED SERVICE

ATLANTA (November 23, 2010) – The Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) recently paid tribute to the stars of the restaurant industry at the 4th Annual Georgia Restaurant Association Crystal of Excellence (GRACE) Awards. The 2010 GRACE Awards Gala took place at the Loews Atlanta Hotel on the evening of Sunday, November 14th.

The GRACE awards are peer-nominated and honor the top finalists in the following categories: Restaurateur of the Year, Industry Partner of the Year, Distinguished Service Award and the Innovator Award.

The GRACE Award for Distinguished Service was awarded to Kat Cole. Cole has built her career on expanding an international brand and mentoring countless women, and now she is the COO for Cinnabon, the market leader among cinnamon roll bakeries that operates more than 770 franchised locations worldwide.

Cole is an avid volunteer with industry organizations, such as Women’s Foodservice Forum, and nonprofits which fight hunger and homelessness and support women and children in need. She also serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the GRA and President of the GRA Political Action Committee.

“My greatest accomplishments are the people I have mentored and developed,” said Cole. “They have taught me so much about myself and life and are the very reasons I am able to do all the volunteer work that I do.  I am also proud of my work with Food Banks across the country and in places like Rwanda to elevate and educate women. This industry has been very good to me, and it’s the least I can do to give back every chance I get.”

GRACE Awards Keynote Speaker Chef Kevin Gillespie, Executive Chef and Partner at Woodfire Grill, highlighted his connection with the local food movement. Suchita Vadlamani, Co-Anchor of Fox5’s “Good Day Atlanta,” served as the Mistress of Ceremonies. Mark & Nancy Oswald, of Ruth’s Chris Steak House, were honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.       

The 2010 GRACE Awards winners were Restaurateur of the Year, Bob Campbell of Tappan Street Restaurant Group, Inc. (Taco Mac). Industry Partner of the Year was Chris Coan of Gas South, LLC. The Distinguished Service Award went to Kat Cole of Cinnabon, Inc. The Innovator Award was presented to Chef Ron Eyester of Rosebud.      

For a full list of finalists, visit www.GRACEawards.org.

About the Georgia Restaurant Association

As the voice of Georgia’s restaurant industry, the GRA’s mission is to serve the needs of Georgia’s restaurant and foodservice industries by providing value for its members in four key cornerstones: political advocacy, professional development, business development and community involvement.  The GRA enjoys an affiliation with the National Restaurant Association (NRA) and is sanctioned by this national organization to operate Georgia’s only not-for-profit entity that represents the interests of the entire food service industry for the state of Georgia.  From large chains to start up restaurants to foodservice contractors and providers, the GRA, with chapters throughout Georgia, provides a unified voice for an industry comprising over 17,000 foodservice and drinking places in the state with total sales in excess of $14 billion and providing more jobs (375,000+) than any other non-government employer in the state.

For Media Inquiries, please contact Kelly Hornbuckle, Director of Marketing, at 404.723.5428 or Kelly@garestaurants.org.

Cinnabon Names Kat Cole as Chief Operating Officer

- Industry Veteran to Join 25-Year-Old Bakery Brand -

ATLANTA, Ga. (October 20, 2010) – Cinnabon, Inc., the market leader among cinnamon roll bakeries with more than 770 locations worldwide, announced today that Kat Cole has been named Chief Operating Officer.  The former Vice President of Training and Development for Hooters of America, Inc. will join Cinnabon to lead the 25-year old franchise organization in achieving maximum Guest satisfaction, efficiency and growth. 

“Kat’s ability to connect with people, both inside and outside the restaurant, makes her the perfect leader to evoke the kind of strategic growth, product and brand innovation that will make Cinnabon’s next 25 years an even sweeter success,” said Cinnabon President Gary Bales.       

Added parent company FOCUS Brands CEO Russ Umphenour, “The first word that came to mind when I met Kat was ‘dynamic’.  She is a leader and a relationship-builder, and her tremendous experience and proven abilities will make her a stellar addition to the Cinnabon and FOCUS Brands teams.” 

A results-oriented executive at Hooters of America, Inc. for 15 years, Kat played a key role in research, strategy and integration for non-traditional brand extensions and profitable revenue building initiatives.  She has opened and supported restaurant operations on several continents, been instrumental in creating business and leadership development opportunities and has led industry-recognized customer service, diversity and philanthropic programs.  In addition, Kat has successfully created highly-disciplined teams and innovative cost-effective training and development programs that contributed to increased sales, profits, retention and growth, leading to over 460 restaurants in 29 countries.

“Cinnabon is a unique and compelling brand that has captured the hearts (and taste buds) of people around the world,” commented Kat.  “I am fortunate to have been given unique leadership and learning opportunities within a globally growing brand, and after getting to know the FOCUS Brands and Cinnabon teams, I knew this was the right place for me to share my knowledge.  I look forward to contributing to the strategic and profitable growth of Cinnabon’s Franchise Partners, and I am honored to work with such a world-class franchise organization.” 

Kat currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA), serves on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) and the Certification Governing Board for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), and has led various committees and projects in the foodservice and hospitality industries.  Recognized repeatedly in the restaurant industry with such awards as the WFF’s Volunteer of the Year and the Elliot Leadership Institute’s Motivator of the Year, Kat is also an avid volunteer with organizations that support women and children in need and fighting hunger and homelessness in the U.S. and various developing nations.

About Cinnabon

Founded in Seattle in 1985 and now based in Atlanta, Cinnabon, Inc. is the market leader among cinnamon roll bakeries.  The company serves fresh, aromatic, oven-hot cinnamon rolls and cupcakes, as well as a variety of other baked goods and specialty beverages.  Cinnabon currently operates more than 770 franchised locations worldwide, primarily in high traffic venues such as shopping malls, airports, train stations, travel plazas, entertainment centers, academic institutions and military establishments.  Visit www.cinnabon.com for more information, follow us on Twitter @CinnabonInc or become a Facebook fan at http://www.facebook.com/Cinnabon.

Portland, Ore. Area Cinnabon Franchise Partners Spread the Valentine’s Day Love

- 2010 fundraiser generates over $100,000 for local
Meals On Wheels chapters –

West Linn, Ore. (Feb. 16, 2010) – In 2010, more than 400 Loaves & Fishes drivers delivered more than 4,000 Valentine-O-Gram (VOG) boxes filled with two Cinnabon Classic® rolls; a jar of Cinnabon’s signature Makara® Cinnamon; a travel mug and bag of ground coffee from Seattle’s Best Coffee®; Sun Orchard® orange juice; a 9-piece box of Candy Basket Chocolates ®; and Cinnabon, Jamba Juice®, and Good Dog Bad Dog gift certificates to individuals and businesses in the Portland area.  Priced at $29.95 each, proceeds totaled over $100,000.

It all started in 1994 with an urgent phone call and a last-minute plea for help.  A Loaves & Fishes Meals On Wheels® center near Portland, Ore. contacted Cinnabon®, Inc. franchise partners Steve Foltz and John Whittaker of West Linn based Cinnamon Bums, Inc. to pinch hit in Valentine-O-Gram (VOG), the center’s annual Valentine’s Day fundraiser allowing people to send baked treats and personalized notes to their special someone, with all proceeds earmarked for providing hot meals to inbound seniors. 

The local baker the Loaves & Fishes center usually worked with wasn’t able to provide cinnamon rolls, so staffers thought the Bums’ world famous Cinnabon Classic® rolls would be a nice substitute.  Undeterred by the quick turnaround, Steve and John readily donated 400 rolls packaged in 200 two-count boxes, which were sold for $5 each.  The fundraiser generated $1,000, and the Bums’ rolls were a hit.

But the buck didn’t stop there; in fact, that’s where it started.  Everyone loved the rolls so much that the next year, another Loaves & Fishes center held their own VOG fundraiser and asked Steve and John to assist them, too.  From there, it snowballed to three, then four of the centers taking part in VOG and requesting the Bums’ aid in selling two-count boxes of Classic rolls for $9.99 each.  On top of that, Loaves & Fishes decided to make VOG a major annual fundraiser for all its Portland-area centers and turned to Steve and John to help lead the effort.

Ever since then, the Bums have worked with Loaves & Fishes to form the VOG committee each November, set fundraising goals and timelines, and divvy out roles and responsibilities.  They also determine how much to charge per box each year.  “When we knew we couldn’t get more than $9.99 for two rolls, we started adding other items,” recalls Steve.  “But since everything in each box is 100 percent donated so all the proceeds can go towards hot meals for seniors, we started soliciting our vendors and business partners to join the effort, especially when Loaves & Fishes began requiring all their major fundraisers to generate at least $100,000 per center each year.                                                                           

Enter a slew of Steve and John’s team members, vendors, and business contacts.  As the saying goes, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.  Luckily for Loaves & Fishes and the seniors they serve, the Bums know plenty of good-hearted people.  Through the years, they’ve recruited suppliers such as General Mills®, Sun Orchards®, Food Services of America®, Brill Frosting®, Paris Packaging®, Kerry Foods®, Seattle’s Best Coffee®, and Jamba Juice®, among many others, to join the effort.  They’ve also enlisted a local art school and printer to design and print the VOG brochures each year, completely free of charge.  And thanks in part to their media savoir faire, they’ve reeled in extensive VOG publicity from local television and radio stations.

Due to their combined years of experience plus the variety of brands they own, such as Seattle’s Best Coffee, Jamba Juice, Good Dog Bad Dog®, and their original concepts Tenemos Tacos and Rainier Roaster, the Bums have plenty of restaurant savoir faire, too.  That’s why they’ve gotten the VOG box preparation down to a science.  “The first few times we did it, it was pretty hectic,” recalls John, “but now it’s like clockwork.” 

Each February 13th, Steve, John, and over 50 volunteers from their teams, Cinnabon, Loaves & Fishes, and various vendors set up shop in a Loaves & Fishes kitchen at 4:30 am to spend the day baking and frosting the rolls and putting all the goodies in the VOG boxes, personalized notes and all.  The fun continues at a Loaves & Fishes distribution center on Valentine’s Day, with volunteers arriving at 7 am to work the drive-through for three hours. 

 As for what happens on February 15th, “We send out stats and photos, and then we go to bed!” jokes Steve.  All kidding aside, the Bums thoroughly enjoy VOG year in and year out.  “We do it for the human element,” says John.  “The way we see it, we’re taking care of people’s parents out here, and they’re taking care of others’ parents all over the country.”  Echoes Steve, “When seniors receive the hot meals the fundraiser pays for, that interaction with the deliverer might be the only person they see or talk to all day.  You can’t do much better than that.”

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