Caribou Coffee opens first domestic franchise location


MINNEAPOLIS, MN – NOV. 15, 2022 

Caribou Coffee®, a national premium coffeehouse and Panera Brands company, celebrates the opening of its first-ever domestic franchise location in Wooster, Ohio. The grand opening on Thursday, Nov. 17 marks a significant milestone for Caribou Coffee since announcing its domestic franchise program in October 2021. Earlier this year, Caribou Coffee announced its first multi-unit agreement with franchisee, Mike Mariola who intends to develop locations in the Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati markets.

“We’ve been anticipating the day when we could welcome guests to Caribou’s first U.S.-based franchise location,” said Matthew Walls, Chief Franchise Officer of Caribou Coffee. “We couldn’t be more excited to work with Mike and his team who have built such a strong reputation in the hospitality industry throughout Ohio. They are incredible operators and are dedicated to delivering Caribou’s purpose of creating day-making experiences for our guests,” said Walls, who joined Caribou Coffee in July 2022 as the brand’s first Chief Franchise Officer to lead Caribou’s domestic and international franchise businesses.

Since its inception in 1992, Caribou Coffee has emerged as a leader in the coffeehouse segment, known for innovative handcrafted products and award-winning customer experience with 749 locations systemwide including 325 company-owned primarily across the Midwest. Building on the success of non-traditional (license) and international franchise operations, Caribou Coffee’s domestic franchise announcement marks the first time interested candidates in the U.S. have an opportunity to own and operate coffeehouses within the United States.

Industry-leading innovations in restaurant design have positioned Caribou Coffee for nationwide expansion, including the 2019 roll-out of its trailblazing Caribou cabin prototype featuring a significantly smaller footprint and drive-thru focused model, designed to offer speed and convenience without sacrificing quality and service. Spearheaded by the vision from the brand’s President and CEO John Butcher, the Caribou cabins’ streamlined design and efficient model immediately translated to success. Over the past two years, Caribou has leveraged this momentum to propel its expansion through the Caribou cabin model with the 30th company-owned Caribou cabin location opening 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. 

The new location in Wooster is a Caribou cabin design, located at 1840 Cleveland Road, Wooster, Ohio 44691. The location will be open beginning Thursday, Nov. 17; current operating hours are 5 a.m. – 10 p.m.

About Caribou Coffee® 

Founded in 1992, Caribou Coffee provides innovative, high-quality handcrafted beverages, and an all-day menu including gluten-free, vegetarian and plant-based items. Each menu item is crafted with the purpose to create day-making experiences that go beyond the beans and ingredients. Caribou also offers small-batch roasted coffee beans for purchase as well as seasonal limited-time offerings. The conversations and connections that occur over a cup of coffee or delicious breakfast sandwich bring our team and guests together, reminding us that our collective potential is boundless. Caribou has 325 company-owned and 142 non-traditional locations nationwide, and 282 franchise stores in 9 countries as of Sept. 27, 2022. Known for a commitment to integrating sustainable practices and making a difference, Caribou serves 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified coffees and espresso. This passion for premium is also why Caribou offers 100% clean label beverages with real ingredients including real chocolate chips, no artificial sweeteners, and no artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, or preservatives. Caribou Coffee’s unwavering commitment to providing an unparalleled consumer experience has translated to an industry leading NPS score. Additionally, the Caribou cabin prototype debuted in 2019, features a significantly smaller footprint and drive-thru-focused model and has rapidly expanded throughout the Midwest. Caribou Coffee products can also be found in all 50 states across grocery stores, mass retailers, club stores, food service providers, hotels, entertainment venues and online.

Caribou Coffee is part of a portfolio of complementary brands bound by common values, Panera Brands, comprised of Panera Bread®, Caribou Coffee® and Bagel Brands®. Panera Brands’ brands are independently operated and united in their mission to be force multipliers for good for their guests, communities, the planet and the shareholders they serve.

To learn more about Caribou Coffee, visit and follow the coffeehouse on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok or LinkedIn. Sign up for Caribou Coffee’s loyalty program, Caribou Perks®, at or text “Perks” to 762-CARIBOU.

About Mike Mariola Restaurants

Mike Mariola Restaurants (MMR) is an Ohio-based restaurant group founded in Wooster, Ohio. MMR is dedicated to providing memorable dining experiences for every occasion with a focus on local sourcing. Their flagship restaurant, The City Square Steakhouse, was the first to open in Wooster, OH. MMR now operates multiple restaurants under 2 different concepts and its latest venture, Mariola Italian, is currently in development. MMR is committed to enriching the communities they serve by creating connection, happiness, and opportunity for team members and guests alike. Born and raised in Wooster, Mike Mariola got his culinary start in Northeast Ohio before traveling the world learning from some of the best chefs in the business. After returning to his hometown to start a family, he founded MMR seeking to bring the culinary excellence he had seen in other states and countries back to Ohio, with an unwavering commitment to support his neighbors in the farming community. To learn more about MMR, visit