Tel Aviv…The latest American franchise to come to Israel is the Cinnabon bakery, one of American’s fastest growing companies which is opening its first branch in late July in Tel Aviv. ROK investments, owned by entrepreneur Ronen Sorinov, has invested $6 million dollars in the brand.
Ynet news reports that some 8,000 Cinnabon franchises are operating in 33 countries across the world. The most successful ones are in Egypt and Russia where the franchise owner has 33 successful outlets and having just been in Israel consulting with Sorinov, says he plans to open another 60! Sorinov lived in the US for many years and fell in love with the pastry which is hard to imagine since he is a professional weightlifter and has been named Israel's Mr. Strongman three times. He hopes the Cinnabon pastry has enough muscle to catch on with Israelis who have rejected American chains in the past such as Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks. Katya Sorinov told KT that kashrus was a crucial element in their business decision. She said that even though Cinnabon franchises are open on Shabbat in the US, the ingredients are all certified OU and OUD starting with the cinnamon that is imported from Indonesia. She said that they are currently working with the chief rabbinate in Israel to determine how strict a kashrus certification they will need. "Of course in Jerusalem we would probably want a stricter kashrus certification than in Tel Aviv," she said. The couple hopes to open 10 branches around the country. Sorinov said that she's not worried about Israeli obsession with losing weight keeping them from indulging in a warm, fragrant cinnamon bun fresh from the oven. "The idea is to keep it in proportion. Israelis are willing to buy a pita with falafel or shwarma. That's 800 calories at least and what about bourekas?" she asked.
Cinnabons will come in three sizes; the Cinnabon Classic which is the original 800 calorie cinnamon roll; the 350 calorie mini which Sorinov said is the size of a standard bun and the 5 bites – 200 calories. Sorinov said that one of the most frequent questions being asked on the Cinnabon Israel Facebook page is whether the pastries will be kosher to which she replied that "yes, even the secret ingredient is kosher."