Cookie shop in Circle Centre reopens under new franchisee

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A cookie and dessert shop at Circle Centre that closed in February after being sued over late rent payments has reopened under new ownership.

The Nestle Toll House Cafe by Chip on the second floor of the mall near the Artsgarden reopened on Saturday.

The new franchisee is Faham Younus, who also owns Gifts and Convenience, a shop in the Embassy Suites by Hilton hotel in downtown Indianapolis.

Younus told IBJ he has about 20 years of experience in the convenience store industry, both locally and in Florida. When he saw that the Nestle Toll House Cafe had closed several months ago, he saw an opportunity to branch out and try a different type of business, Younus told IBJ.

Nestle Toll House Cafe concept was launched with a single U.S. store in 2000 and now includes about 150 franchised locations, mostly in the United States and Middle East. Richardson, Texas-based Crest Foods Inc. licensed the brand from Nestle and began the cafe business.

The Circle Centre location opened in 2013. The site’s previous franchisee was Camden Services LLC, which signed a franchise agreement with Crest Foods in October 2015.

Landlord Circle Centre Mall LLC filed suit against Camden Services on Dec. 20, alleging the tenant was in breach of its lease agreement for failure to pay rent on the 800-square-foot space. A default notice dated Nov. 15 said the tenant was delinquent in the sum of $10,474. A 10-year lease agreement attached to the suit said the tenant had been expected to pay almost $40,000 in rent in 2017.

Camden Services' decision to shut down the shop was among a flurry of closures at the mall this year. Anchor store Carson’s, which occupied 145,000 square feet at the mall, closed after a long going-out-of-business sale. Godiva Chocolatier closed on Feb. 25.

Food court tenants Walking Waffle Co. and SoupShop closed in February, and Andrews Jewelers shut down in late January. Walking Waffle Co. and SoupShop have since been replaced by Seoul Fresh and Thai Sweet House.

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