Monday, January 25, 2016

Cinnaholic Hoping For Sweet Success in Peach State

Gourmet cinnamon roll concept coming to Atlanta.

The first east coast location of Cinnaholic will open at the Edgewood Retail District later this year.  The shop will occupy the former demure women's boutique, a 887 square foot space, next to Willy's Mexicana Grill.  Cinnaholic's Atlanta expansion will be led by franchisee Jake Bryant.  

Plans call for the location, originally slated to open this month, to open "soon." 

When it opens, Cinnaholic will join Atlanta favorite Morelli's Ice Cream in offering the area artisanal, gourmet desserts.

The Cinnaholic menu at their Berkeley location
What makes Cinnaholic unique is that their cinnamon buns are dairy-free, lactose-free, egg-free, cholesterol-free and a 100% vegan.  While there is no "healthy cinnamon bun," Cinnaholic products are less caloric than other similar products from industry leader: Atlanta-based Cinnabon.  According to the Cinnaholic website, a classic bun is 650 calories while a classic Cinnabon is 880 calories.  The two are a little closer when it comes to carbs where Cinnaholic has 101 grams and Cinnabon has 127 grams, according to their respective websites, for single classic buns. 

On the recommendation of my San Francisco transplant brother, I checked out Cinnaholic this past summer in Berkeley, California.  I found my bun tasty, but almost too sweet.  The classic bun is offered but patrons are encouraged to frost and top their buns with some of the shops nearly 30 frostings and over 20 topping choices.  I did this and got one of the shops recommended combos (orange chocolate) but would likely try a classic bun next time.  

My orange and chocolate frosted cinnamon bun
Although I did not have the opportunity to try them, Cinnaholic's Berkeley store also offered cookies, brownies, cookie dough and "Cinnacakes." 

Shannon and Florian Radke opened the first Cinnaholic store in June 2010 on Oxford Street near the campus of UC Berkeley.  Following the success of the store, the couple appeared on the hit ABC show "Shark Tank" in 2014.  While they did secure an investment with "shark" Robert Herjavec, the deal reportedly never came to fruition.  Even still, according to Florian Radke, Herjavec's team has been "more than amazing... helping us out" offering assistance as they work to expand their brand via franchising.   

Despite having announced eight upcoming locations this past April, only one has opened, that in Southlake, Texas, which opened this past September. Previously planned locations including those in Santa Rosa, California, Ocean City, Maryland, Charlotte, North Carolina and 4 other undisclosed locations in Maryland and Delaware are currently not listed in at all on the company's website, coming soon or otherwise.
In September, Cinnaholic announced that "25 locations have been committed to," including the Southlake location as well as sites in Ocean City, MD, Las Vegas, Anaheim and Dallas. The same release mentioned "a large development deal in Atlanta."  

Florian Radke has publicly said he plans to have 100 Cinnaholic locations open in five years across the country.

Interestinly, the Radke's have reportedly sold their interest in the original Cinnaholic location and are focusing their efforts on ecommerce and franchise sales.   

I was curious as to why Atlanta might be such a significant market for the brand and the answer may be that the company handling "all franchise business" for Cinnaholic is Atlanta Franchise Group.  Atlanta Franchise Group's Vice President Spencer Reid was Director of Franchise Sales for Raving Brands for over eight years.  In addition to being both "partner" and "Vice President" for Atlanta Franchise Group, Reid is also Vice President of Franchise Development for Atlanta based Great Wraps (Grill).

(Other concepts represented by AFG include Sublime Donuts, Boneheads, Publik Draft House, American Haircuts and The Original SoupMan.)

Cinnaholic has its work cut out for it as it tries to compete with Cinnabon, a billion dollar brand with hundreds of locations globally. Started in Seattle, Cinnabon is today owned by Atlanta based FOCUS Brands. Cinnabon celebrated its 30th anniversary last year and enjoys over 70 partnership products making their brand available in an increasing number of channels.

Have you been to Cinnaholic?  What is your favorite dessert shop in Atlanta?  Where would you like to see Cinnaholic open next?

Please share your thoughts below.  


Anonymous said...

This sounds like a ridiculous concept. 880 vs 660 calories. I would go for the real thing instead of the fake one.

Anonymous said...

Looks like they're number one goal is to put on display how great they are and get acquired by Cinnabon, or die trying. My prediction is that this will take one of two paths, either 1. getting acquired by Cinnabon or 2. closing up when the lease expires.

Anonymous said...

If any investors find themselves with too much money, this will probably be a good path to permanently dispose of extra cash. Also, 'CinnaBinge' would have been a better name.

Anonymous said...

Damn yall are so negative. You try to think of a new concept and get it launched and then see if you're successful. It's not easy - don't knock people for trying.

ImAndy said...

I'm not sure why you create a "better for you" concept and then put it at Edgewood. I would think if you created a cinnamon roll with 1500 calories and called it something obnoxious like the Fat Hoe Cinnamon roll it would be a roaring success and have locations all over Edgewood Buckhead and Vinings.

Follow the Camicakes business model...

Anonymous said...

"Damn yall are so negative. You try to think of a new concept and get it launched and then see if you're successful. It's not easy - don't knock people for trying."

So, cinnamon rolls are a new concept? Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

This is a ridiculous product...ridiculously good! I've tasted a few when in the Bay Area and they are overwhelmingly better than any roll I've ever tasted! Nothing fake about this product. When it opens, try it!

Sanni said...

Can't wait,I entered a contest on a blog and won. I was so happy when i was shipped a dozen cinnamon buns dairy free. There were super delicious anxiously waiting for them to open