First U.S. Franchise to Open in Libya is a Combination Cinnabon and Carvel

After two years of planning and one false start, Georgia-based baked goods chain Cinnabon has officially become the first American franchise to open a store in Libya.

The 7,500-square-foot bakery-cafe in downtown Tripoli was set to open in early 2011, and a shipment of product was already on its way when the Libyan civil war broke out and the launch was scrapped.

"We quickly halted everything because the revolution happened," Mike Shattuck, president of Cinnabon parent company Focus Brands International, told CNN Money. "Fortunately we were able to secure the location and it made it without serious damage."

According to Libya Business News, the franchise will sell signature Cinnabon treats alongside Carvel-brand ice cream and cakes (also owned by Focus) and "locally created" sandwiches.

Cinnabon has over 900 locations in 51 counties, including most Middle East markets. In addition to opening 10 locations in Libya over the next four years, the company plans to expand westward into Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.

[H/T: The Sideshow, photo via @maysumie]