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Scooters-Coffee-Elkhart-Ind-Joe-Thornton-CEO.jpg Scooter's Coffee
Scooter's Coffee LLC, which in September opened this 700th unit in Elkhart, Ind., has named Joe Thornton as CEO.

Scooter’s Coffee names Joe Thornton CEO as of Jan. 1

Nebraska-based drive-thru brand said Todd Graeve, CEO since 2016, will retire

Scooter’s Coffee LLC, the drive-thru coffee concept, has named Joe Thornton as CEO, effective Jan. 1, to succeed Todd Graeve, who will retire after nearly two decades with the brand, the company announced Wednesday.

The Omaha, Neb.-based company, which in September opened its 700th location in Elkhart, Ind., said Thornton most recently served as president of the company. The two will spend the remained of 2023 as a transition period, the company said.

“He’s an exceptionally experienced leader in the restaurant, franchise and retail industry, and I know Joe is the right leader for us in our next acceleration of growth,” said Don Eckles, co-founder and chairman of Scooter’s Coffee, in a statement.

Scooters-Coffee-CEO-Joe-Thornton.jpgThornton said, “I am honored to continue the leadership legacy and lead Scooter’s Coffee into the future in support of our franchisees and employees. The family roots, core values and stability of this company are unmatched.”

Thornton has 40 years of leadership experience in large-scale operations, strategy and human resources. He most recently served as chief operating officer HMSHost and, prior to that, chief operating officer at Jamba. Thornton also spent 25 years combined at Starbucks and Blockbuster in executive leadership roles earlier in his career.

Graeve joined Scooter’s Coffee in 2005 as a franchisee and developer in Kansas City, alongside his business partners. In 2008, he joined the leadership team at the company as chief financial officer of Scooter’s Coffee. He served as CFO for eight years, before transitioning to CEO in April 2016.

“Almost 20 years ago, I started on this journey at Scooter’s Coffee as a franchisee, and I’m so excited to circle back to my beginnings and help my family with their Scooter’s Coffee franchise journey,” Graeve said. “I will always treasure my time as CFO, CEO, and a franchisee, and I will be rooting loudly from the sidelines as this company continues to build on its greatness.”

Scooter’s Coffee was founded in in 1998 by Don and Linda Eckles in Bellevue, Neb. Its coffee beans are roasted by its affiliated company, Harvest Roasting, in Omaha, Neb.

 Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

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