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It’s a Grind wants to bring its beans to Riverside

By in Press Enterprise on June 19, 2017

By Fielding Buck

There’s more than 1,000 Starbucks for every It’s A Grind Coffee House, but the Los Angeles County chain is looking to close that gap a little bit.

It’s a Grind is looking to grow in Riverside, or more accurately looking for people to grow it.

The chain is 100 percent franchise, said Brian Balconi, president of Retail Food Group USA.

“We have a director of franchise development that is charged with looking for franchisees and helping them look for sites,” he said in a phone interview.

“We don’t have locations in Riverside, but we have some around Riverside, and that’s why it makes sense to go to Riverside next.”

It’s a Grind specializes in iced or hot blended coffee drinks and “not coffee,” including its current seasonal specialty, Ginger Green Tea Matcha. Stores also sell baked goods.

It has 18 stores (as opposed to Starbucks’ 25,734 as of Jan. 1). A couple are in far-away places such as Abu Dhabi and Brunei, but most are in California, in settings familiar to Inland university students.

“Our coffee houses are neighborhood locations, so it’s a great place to go and relax and have a cup of coffee, maybe take a study break,” said Balconi.

It’s a Grind’s parent company also owns the Gloria Jean chain, which has a presence in mall food courts.

Retail Food Group is based in Australia but has its regional headquarters in Santa Fe Springs, which is good for working with Inland franchisees, Balconi said.

It also has a roasting plant there, which is good for the Santa Fe Springs staff.

“We have the aroma of coffee always coming over here. It doesn’t get fresher than that.”

It’s a Grind

Corona: 3833 Bedford Canyon Road, No. 103, 951-272-2900

Diamond Bar: 1223 S, Diamond Bar Blvd., 909-861-5120

Murrieta: 40444 Murrieta Hot Springs Road, 951-677-6361; 28039 Scott Road, 951-679-3549.

Temecula: 33215 State Highway 79, 951-303-0053

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