Courtesy of Bizjournals.com


Buffalo is high on Gloria Jean’s expansion agenda.

“The demographic make up is very appealing to us,” said Laina Sullivan, Retail Food Group USA director of franchise development. “There is good density there and we like the city’s economic conditions.”

Retail Food Group is Gloria Jean’s USA parent company.

With more than 900 stores worldwide including 58 in the United States, Gloria Jean’s representatives have been scouting areas that they feel might be prime expansion locations. Various factors weighed heavily in Buffalo’s favor including the large influx of Canadians who shop or use Buffalo Niagara International Airport or attend sporting or cultural events.

“Canada matters,” Sullivan said. “Especially since we also want to expand our presence in Canada. Buffalo may help us with that regard.”

Gloria Jean’s retailing options run the gamut from kiosks inside mall’s to full-fledged stores, complete with drive-thru windows.

Buffalo could see a mix, Sullivan said.

Founded in 1979, Gloria Jean’s offers a mix of flavored and traditional coffees, ice-blended chillers, mochas, lattes, cocoa along with baked goods and pastries.

While historically, Gloria Jean’s has been a shopping center tenant, Sullivan said the company is expanding its reach into stand-alone stores.

“It’s time to look to the streets,” Sullivan said.

But, that doesn’t preclude the company from locating in a mall or shopping center.

And, Gloria Jean’s representatives are not concerned about operating in a market dominated by Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop which has more than 230 locations in the Buffalo Niagara region including kiosks and store sites.

“Competition doesn’t preclude us from entering a market,” Sullivan said. “If anything, our market research indicates there is more than enough room for another coffee purveyor in Buffalo.”