Jacksonville, we’re getting not one, but three Cinnaholic locations with one opening as early as this summer.
Founders Shannon Michelle and Florian Radke appeared on the ABC television program “Shark Tank” in May 2014 seeking $200,000 for a 20 percent stake in their Berkeley, Calif.,-based vegan cinnamon roll bakery.
Cinnaholic customers create their own cinnamon rolls by choosing from more than 30 different frosting flavors, and 30 different toppings including apples, marshmallows, cookie dough and more.
The cinnamon rolls are 100 percent dairy-free, egg-free and cholesterol-free.
When they appeared before the “Shark Tank” investors, the husband and wife were looking to franchise their bakery and get their cinnamon rolls into retailers such as Whole Foods. In the end, they accepted Robert Herjavec’s offer of $200,000 in exchange for 40 percent of the company with the contingency that they would focus on shipping the cinnamon rolls to customers across the country and not immediately open a second Cinnaholic store.
“Since ‘Shark Tank’, we focused on online sales to make sure as many people as possible were able to try the product,” Florian said. “We shipped out thousands of orders all over the country to make sure people who saw us on the show could connect with the product and get a taste of what it is.”
After Cinnaholic generated additional revenue from online sales, the company was able to shift gears and focus on franchising.
The Radkes turned their flagship location in Berkeley, Calif., into a franchise and as the “Shark Tank” episode continued to air over the years, franchisee applications started to roll in.
“We have 16 locations open now and by the end of the year there will be between 40 and 50 locations,” Florian said.
He said Cinnaholic is working to open three locations in Jacksonville with one opening as early as this summer in addition to two locations in the Fort Lauderdale area.
“Florida is definitely part of our focus and I think we’d do great there,” Florian said.
When it comes to choosing the perfect location, Florian said, shopping malls won’t fit the bill.
“Our competitor sits in the mall and sells a product for a quick bite,” he said. “Our product is pricier and we’re going for the whole experience.”
Florian added, “Our customer is treating themselves to something unique so we’re looking for a unique setting.”
Cinnaholic offers franchisees help with everything from choosing a location to architectural design.
“My wife and I figured this stuff out the hard way so we created a franchise concept that’s easy to follow,” Florian said. “We look for people who are dedicated, and once we have someone who shows passion for the brand and our vision, we invest a lot of time in them.”
For more information on Cinnaholic, visit www.cinnaholic.com.