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|Founded||Seattle, Washington (1985)|
|Headquarters||Sandy Springs, Georgia, U.S.|
|Parent||AFC Enterprises (1998–2004)
Focus Brands (2004–present)
Cinnabon is an American chain of baked goods stores and kiosks, normally found in areas with high pedestrian traffic such as malls and airports. The company's signature item is a large cinnamon roll. As of July 2009, over 750 Cinnabon bakeries were operating in more than 30 countries. Its headquarters are in Sandy Springs, Georgia. The company is owned by Focus Brands, an affiliate of private equity firm Roark Capital Group. The President & Chief Operating Officer is currently Kat Cole, who worked her way up from serving as a waitress at a fast casual chain to President & COO of Cinnabon before age 35.
The first Cinnabon opened on December 4, 1985, Federal Way, Washington at SeaTac Mall, now The Commons at Federal Way. Cinnabon was an offshoot of the Seattle Based Restaurants Unlimited restaurant chain Majority owned by Rich Komen with minority partner and CEO Ray Lindstrom at the helm. Mr. Komen and Mr. Lindstrom wanted to create the perfect cinnamon roll, eventually hiring Jerilyn Brusseau to finalize the iconic recipe. The first bakery began by serving only its Cinnabon Classic cinnamon roll. Cinnabon's first franchise-operated store opened in August 1986 in Philadelphia. In 1991, the first Cinnabon store outside a mall was opened in Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. Cinnabon stores today can also be found in military bases, universities, rapid transit stations, casinos, and amusement parks.
Cinnabon was bought by AFC Enterprises, Inc. in 1998 for $65 million. In 2004, AFC Enterprises, Inc., sold Cinnabon for $30.3 million to FOCUS Brands, Inc., which is owned by the Atlanta-based private equity firm Roark Capital Group. The headquarters moved to Greater Atlanta in 1999.
Cinnabon has many international franchise operations:
- Costa Rica
- Egypt (City Stars Center, Cairo)
- Finland (One outlet opened in March 2015, but it was closed in March 2016)
- Israel (Closed in August 2016)
- Libya (This restaurant is noted for being the first U.S franchise to open in after the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.)
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
Carrie Fisher post-death tweet controversy
On December 27, 2016, the day of actress Carrie Fisher's death, Cinnabon uploaded a photo to their Twitter account of a Princess Leia inspired Cinnabon roll from early that year from Star Wars Day, with the caption saying: "RIP Carrie Fisher, you'll always have the best buns in the galaxy." The post sparked outrage from some Twitter users who claimed that Cinnabon was using a death to promote their cinnamon rolls. Cinnabon then took the post down and issued an apology.
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