Corner Bakery Cafe, a fast casual restaurant concept known for its ingredient-inspired menu and neighborhood cafe atmosphere, announces a five-restaurant deal in Virginia with franchise partner Shahid Ali and operating partner Ibo Pinar. Ali owns three Popeyes Louisiana Kitchens in the Mid-Atlantic region and plans to open five Corner Bakery Cafe neighborhood cafes throughout Richmond and Fredericksburg, joining the company as its 34th franchise partner.

"Ali's franchise expertise and reputation precedes him with his current success in the industry. We are confident he will do the same for our brand in northern Virginia. His leadership skills and commitment to his franchise investments make him the perfect partner to bring Corner Bakery Cafe to the state," explains Gregg Koffler, vice president of franchise sales for Corner Bakery Cafe. "With Shahid and Ibo's experience, coupled with the success of our corporate cafes in the Mid-Atlantic region, our future in Virginia looks very bright."

Amid a growing consumer preference for fresher, more sophisticated dining options, recent research from Technomic finds consumers are visiting bakery cafes in larger numbers and becoming repeat customers. With more than 180 company-owned and franchise cafes currently open, and franchise agreements representing commitments for an additional 340 units, Corner Bakery Cafe continues its substantial market reach.

"After visiting the corporate-owned Corner Bakery Cafes in the Washington Metro region, I knew that the concept was exactly what Richmond and Fredericksburg needed," explains Ali. "Corner Bakery Cafe's decor and atmosphere will be a hit among business men and women and families alike. As someone who has been a franchise operator for nearly 20 years, I can honestly say that the systems and processes that are in place at Corner Bakery Cafe rank among the industry's best."

With a strong expansion strategy in place, Corner Bakery Cafe plans on doubling its national footprint in the next two years. To accomplish this goal, the brand is adding new multi-unit franchise partners to pioneer the concept in growth markets across the country. The most compelling selling points for franchise partners include strong average annual sales, a focused leadership team and best-in-class catering. For more information on available Corner Bakery Cafe franchise territories, visit