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Scooter’s Coffee President Joe Thornton to assume CEO role in 2024

Thornton, who has held senior roles at Starbucks, Jamba Juice and HMSHost, will succeed Todd Graeve who has served as CEO since 2016

Joe Thornton (pictured) will assume the role of CEO on 1 January 2024 | Photo credit: Scooter’s Coffee


Scooter’s Coffee has appointed Joe Thornton as its next CEO, effective 1 January 2024. 

Thornton, who joined the drive-thru coffee chain in the newly created President role in June 2022, will succeed Todd Graeve, who will retire having served as CEO since April 2016. 

Scooter’s Coffee said ‘continued rapid growth’ will be the business’ primary focus as it transitions to its new leadership. The Nebraska-based coffee chain reached its 700-store milestone last month and plans to reach 1,000 outlets by the end of 2024. 

“Joe has been a blessing for our business since joining as President. 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, Scooter’s Coffee. 

Thornton’s experience includes an 11-year tenure at Starbucks, including as Senior Vice President responsible for stores in the US central and sunbelt divisions – collectively encompassing outlets across more than 30 states. He has also served as Chief Operating Officer at juice bar chain Jamba Juice and global travel concession operator HMSHost.  

Graeve joined Scooter’s Coffee in 2005 as a franchisee in Missouri before joining the coffee chain’s leadership team as Chief Financial Officer in 2008.  

“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,” he said. 

World Coffee Portal research shows that Scooter’s Coffee is the fifth largest coffee chain in the 40,000-store US branded coffee shop market, behind Starbucks, Dunkin’, Panera Bread and Dutch Bros

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