The company was founded in 1985 by Ted and Joyce Rice. He was a cameraman for KCTV Channel 5 and she was an elementary school teacher. The first T.J. Cinnamons opened in the Ward Parkway Shopping Center in Kansas City, Missouri, in January 1985. At the time, the cinnamon rolls cost $1.25.
The company was bought by Arby's in 1996, and then later in 2011, Wendy's sold Arby's to Roark Capital Group and this chain remained with the Wendy's Company. Many Arby's locations continue to feature T.J. Cinnamons despite Roark (though its subsidiary Focus Brands) owning its more well-known rival, Cinnabon.
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