CAO Bakery & Café Plans to Open 35 New Locations By 2024

MiamiCAO Bakery & Café, a South Florida staple known for blending traditional Cuban baking with the inviting atmosphere of American-mainstay cafés, plans to expand its pastelito portfolio through franchise opportunities. This will allow Cuban American Original (CAO) to reach new markets beyond its nine Miami-Dade and three Broward locations.

As the retail bakery market in the Miami metro area grew a robust 13% between 2017 to 2018, nationwide, the bakery-café industry is projected to grow at a 2.3% annual rate over the next 3 years. CAO plans to capitalize on the industry’s resilience — which prospered despite the economic downturn — with the addition of franchise locations in high-traffic retail centers where it will have optimal synergy with co-tenants and the surrounding residential and commercial base.

CAO Bakery Holdings LLC is led by South Florida residents and childhood friends, Antonio Cao and Carlos De Varona, who previously owned and operated six Vicky Bakery locations from 2008 to 2018, before branching off to launch CAO Bakery & Café.

The new CAO Bakery & Cafe locations will address customers’ demand for affordable, satisfying, varied and comforting food for all three daily meals and everything in between, as well as for party platters and baked goods to serve at events. The primary product availability is prepared in CAO’s commissary in a single location by skilled personnel and professional pastry chefs.

“Miami is the stomping ground for Cuban bakeries,” says Cao. “Over the last decade, we have evolved and modernized the neighborhood bakery model into a mainstream, fast-casual concept. As a brand, we would love to see our cafécitos and pastelitos introduced in new cities.”

During the pandemic, all CAO locations remained open and served the community. While in-store foot traffic decreased due to the nationwide shutdown, the bakeries saw an increase in online orders, curbside and third-party deliveries. CAO also continues to offer 25% off to first responders and has served over 6,000 meals to date through food bank distributions.

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SOURCE: CAO Bakery Holdings LLC


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