Caribou Coffee to develop over 300 franchise locations

Caribou Coffee to develop over 300 franchise locations

May 2 - 2023

Coffee Geography Magazine

Caribou Coffee®, a national premium coffeehouse and Panera Brands company signed several multi-unit development agreements to franchise more than 300 new locations in the U.S. Caribou Coffee expanded its franchise program in October 2021, marking the first time interested candidates had an opportunity to own and operate traditional franchise locations in the United States. 

In March 2022, Caribou Coffee had announced the signing of its first multi-unit development agreement with Mike Mariola Restaurants to franchise locations in Ohio. Mike Mariola and his team opened their first Caribou Coffee location on November 17, 2022, in Wooster, Ohio. Mariola plans to develop 60 locations in the Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati markets.


The coffee company also executed a multi-unit development agreement with Wake Up 727 to franchise locations in Pinellas County Florida, most known for the cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater. Wake Up 727, under the leadership of Michelle Mathis, recently expanded their agreement to develop 35 locations with Mathis' first location opening this fall. 

Additional agreements have been executed with several Panera Bread franchisees. Caribou Coffee is part of the Panera Brands' portfolio consisting of complementary brands bound by common values, which also includes Panera Bread® and Bagel Brands®. 

Paul Saber and Patrick Rogers will bring the coffeehouse brand back to Michigan as Manna Development Group plans to develop over 50 Caribou Coffee locations across Michigan. Mike Hamra and Hamra Enterprises signed a multi-unit agreement to open 24 Caribou Coffee locations throughout Missouri including St. Louis, Springfield, and Kansas City markets. Most recently, Caribou Coffee entered into multi-unit development agreements with Kevin Ricci and Sam Covelli, the brand's largest domestic franchise agreements to date.

Kevin Ricci, Owner of Covelli Family Limited Partnership, will open 60 Caribou Coffee locations in Florida including Gainesville and along the west coast of the state from Tampa to Naples. 

Sam Covelli, CEO of Covelli Enterprises, and the largest franchisee of Panera Bread, has plans to open 100 Caribou Coffee locations with his three children Albert, Candace, and Danielle across the northern half of Ohio, western Pennsylvania, and Florida, including Orlando, and along the east coast of the state from West Palm Beach to Miami. 

"Over the past 30 years, Caribou Coffee has refined and elevated the guest experience through an unwavering commitment to quality, as well as strategic investments in innovation," said John Butcher, president and CEO of Caribou Coffee. "With a shared vision and commitment to Caribou's core values, we're thrilled to be further expanding our footprint nationwide alongside such experienced and passionate operators, and we look forward to supporting their success." 

Industry-leading innovations in restaurant design have positioned Caribou Coffee for nationwide expansion, including the 2019 roll-out of its trailblazing drive-thru focused Caribou cabin prototype featuring a significantly smaller footprint, designed to offer speed and convenience without sacrificing quality and service. Over the past several years, Caribou has leveraged this momentum to propel its expansion with the 50th company-owned Caribou cabin location opening just last month. The Caribou cabin design coupled with the concept's traditional coffeehouse prototype featuring a larger footprint for sit-down dining offers franchisees flexible real estate offerings that can cater to the unique criteria of their market.

From using premium ingredients like real chocolate chips and real caramel sauce for their handcrafted beverages, to sourcing 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified green coffee, Caribou Coffee has differentiated itself with its commitment to brand purpose, quality, and innovation. Additionally, the Midwest-based brand has successfully elevated its visibility with consumers nationwide through its thriving omnichannel presence with retail products available in all 50 states. 

Founded in 1992, Caribou Coffee provides coffee-forward beverages and craveable food options in more than 750 coffeehouses worldwide. The company serves 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified coffees and espresso. 

As of March 28, 2023, Caribou Coffee has 330 company-owned, 141 non-traditional and 294 traditional franchise locations in 11 countries. The company is also a craft roaster and retailer of specialty bagged coffee, K-Cup® Pods and ready-to-drink products, which can be found online and in grocery stores, mass retailers, club stores, dining venues and office breakrooms across the United States.