One of the latest store openings from Cinnabon and Carvel may be in the unlikeliest of places: wartorn Libya.
Nation's Restaurant News tells us the co-branded store opened July 2 in Tripoli after months of delay stemming from the country's civil war, which ousted formed leader Muammar Gaddafi and sparked bloody protests.
Focus Brands, which owns the concepts, says it is the first U.S. company to set up shop in Libya.
Brothers Arief and Ahmed Swaidek opened the Cinnabon–Carvel location as franchisees. Focus president Mike Shattuck commended the pair, stating in a release that the "tenacity and courage of our franchise partners and their team show their ultimate commitment to the Cinnabon brand."
The Swaideks plan to open 10 more Cinnabon locations in Libya over the next five years, with one coming later in 2012. They also plan to open more Carvel units. The Libyan Cinnabons will feature classic menu items as well as "locally created" sandwiches, salads and baked goods. Cakes and pies will be imported from Italy.
Cinnabon currently has 900 bakeries in 51 countries. It recently opened its first stores in Nicaragua, Iraq and Ukraine with plans to create 130 more locations international stores.
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