Country Style will keep its city shops open

Company president pat Gibbons promised Tuesday that this city’s two coffee and doughnut hangouts here will remain open because “they are going concerns.” However, Gibbons told The Packet that the Country Style outlet on Memorial Avenue “has had great difficulty and will never open.”

Orillia Packet & Times
December 19, 2001

Country Style will keep its city shops open
But Memorial Avenue location will never open its doors
Mike Tenszen

Relax, Country Style patrons in Orillia. Have another cup.

Company president Pat Gibbons promised Tuesday that this city’s two coffee and doughnut hangouts here will remain open because “they are going concerns.”

However, Gibbons told The Packet that the Country Style outlet on Memorial Avenue “has had great difficulty and will never open.”

He said that Country Style there will have to walk away from its lease, and that the coffee shop should never have been located there because the surrounding competition “makes it a poor location.”

Gibbons, hired three months ago to save Country Style Food Services Inc., said he’s had to close down 55 restaurants across Canada that were not producing, leaving about 150 outlets still open “that are very solid and profitable stores.”

He said that some of the stores he has closed in Canada “were having difficulty paying us.” In fact, 24 of those franchises closed were in default on their payments to the parent company.

The two in Orillia, at 150 Atherley Road and West Street South, are leased by one Orillia operator from the 30-year-old company whose headquarters is in Toronto. The Orillia stores buy all products from the company, use all corporate identification, and share profits with the company.

Gibbons, who was previously an executive with Burger King, and was the founder of Blockbuster Video, admitted in a telephone interview from Toronto that Tim Hortons and other competitors has put tremendous pressure on Country Style in recent years.

“We’ve lost our way in the last few years,” Gibbons told The Packet.

Country Style received a “stay order” from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on Dec. 13. The order gives the company some time to restructure its operations and finances. Deloitte & Touche Inc. will serve as the court-appointed monitor.

“Every store was assessed on its ability to generate consumer traffic, present an inviting and consistent Country Style atmosphere and meet sales objectives,” said Gibbons.


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