| Zee Yusri |
AUNTIE Anne’s Pretzels yesterday held a grand opening for its second outlet in Brunei at Times Square Shopping Centre. The event was held to cater to the demand of local consumers.
The event was officiated by Ambassador of United States to Brunei Darussalam, Daniel Shields, who said that franchise businesses are important to the economies of countries as they generate revenue and contribute to the overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“Franchises are also the engines of employment growth, creating private sector jobs not only here in Brunei, but also in the United States, and thanks to the global supply chain that connects our two nations – it’s a wonderful win-win relationship.”
He said that people are seeing more of American food and beverage restaurant chains opening local outlets in Brunei in recent years and Brunei has a young population with sophisticated tastes and a preference for high quality goods.
“As Bruneians increasingly travel outside Brunei, they become more exposed to a wide range of products and international franchises,” he said.
Ambassador Shields encouraged more US firms to explore the opportunities Brunei has to offer. He also encouraged entrepreneurs in Brunei to consider US franchises as a start-up opportunity.
He concluded that the franchises have been quite successful operating in the Brunei market, maintaining their market presence and opening more outlets throughout the country.
In the spirit of giving back to the community, La Vida Berhad, a private non-profit company, was invited to the grand launch yesterday.
The company’s main goal is to serve, support and empower individuals and families including those with special needs within the community through organising educational, public awareness, social and recreational activities that will help strengthen the family unit.
Also present at the ceremony were Lim Hui Ling, the Managing Director of Auntie Anne’s Brunei and Mike Desquitado, Auntie Anne’s International Director of Operations for Asia Region.
From its humble beginning as a market stand selling pretzels and lemonade at a farmers’ market in Downingtown Pennsylvania in 1988, Auntie Anne’s has enjoyed the successes of its entrepreneurship and thanks to its successful franchise business model, the delicious and wholesome pretzels and lemonade of Pennsylvania are now enjoyed in 23 countries around the world.
Just like other responsible corporations, Auntie Anne’s success also has benefited society’s neediest, with nearly $1 million raised since 2011 to support awareness on childhood cancer causes and cures.