Sweet success: Cinnabon thinks ‘small’ with Wicked
It’s been just shy of a year since Kat Cole was appointed group president of FOCUS Brands, the parent company of sweet shop Cinnabon, where she served as as president.
Cole, a businesswoman with intense focus and dedication, spends most of her time maximizing FOCUS Brands’ business through global licensing, manufacturing, and e-commerce. But over the last six years or so, as she’s navigated the corporate world, explaining why bake shops like Cinnabon can survive America’s health-food craze (hint: It’s all about letting yourself indulge) and expanding the brand's portfolio to include a range of new partnerships and products, she’s also been working on a new role: Angel investor and business advisor.
“Even though I’ve been in big corporations, I’ve always been in franchising, which builds muscle for supporting small business,” she explained. Cole said her interest in helping small businesses become successful started when a close friend and mentor recommended she reach out to a startup that needed some business advice. At that point, she wasn’t thinking of becoming a board member, or taking a large stake in the company. At first, Cole was just interested in lending an ear to listen, and perhaps a helping hand if it seemed like a good fit.
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