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Good Earth Cafes unveils strategy to move in when Starbucks closes Canadian shops

CALGARY — The founder and CEO of Good Earth Cafes Ltd. says the Calgary-based chain could potentially double its 45 locations across Canada through a program to take over coffee shops being closed down by international chains such as Starbucks.

In January, Seattle-based Starbucks said it would complete its plan to close up to 300 coffee shops across Canada by the end of March as part of a "transformation strategy'' to respond to changes in consumer habits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michael Going of Good Earth says his company is already looking at potential sites to be redeveloped and is recruiting partners for multi-unit franchises as well as single unit owner operators.

Good Earth says it has hired Stan Boniferro of Stabon Enterprises to work with landlords and developers in identifying sites with proven performance, infrastructure and good growth prospects.

The first Good Earth shop opened in Calgary in 1991. The chain says it aims to offer ethically sourced coffee and fresh food while promoting community interaction and environmental responsibility.

Going says franchisees would cover the cost of renovating the former Starbucks to match Good Earth's theme and design. He declined to give a specific target number for Good Earth's program.

"We're not going to take 300. First of all, there's not 300 good locations they're leaving behind," said Going.

"We could double the number of locations we have now in a couple of years time."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 3, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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