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E.L.-grown coffee shop opens 100th location

July 9, 2008

Biggby Coffee, a coffee store that never originally intended to franchise, is going to celebrate the opening of its 100th store on Tuesday by giving out free drinks.

The new store will be located at 1952 Telegraph Road in West Bloomfield, and there will be an open house from 4-6 p.m. on Monday.

All the drinks at the open house will be free, and because the exterior of the building is not completed, customers that attend will have a chance to sign the walls, said Michael McFall, president of Biggby Coffee.

The company was founded in East Lansing in March 1995, and its franchise operations began in 1999, when just two stores were open. There are currently 22 Biggby Coffee stores in the East Lansing area, and 100 stores in nine states across the United States. It is the largest 100 percent franchised-based coffee retailer in the country.

“We started franchising based on the fair amount of demand from people,” McFall said. “It was as simple as we were getting a lot of phone calls from people asking if we franchised, and that they were interested if we did. We decided to consider it after the calls.”

The Biggby Coffee stores in the East Lansing area will pay for the drink of the 100th customer on Tuesday.

“We’ve (also) been given a camera to take pictures of people throughout the day, and we have little stickers that everyone’s going to be getting,” said Keegan O’Connor, manager of the Biggby Coffee located at 3499 E. Lake Lansing Road. “It’s going to be a fun day for everybody.”

Each store in the company has been given a camera, so they should all be celebrating, she said.

Kinesiology senior Dan Miller, a Biggby Coffee regular, said that he thought it was cool that a company that started in East Lansing could successfully spread out.

“I knew they were getting bigger, I’m from metro Detroit, and I’ve noticed there’s a few stores down there now,” he said.

Biggby Coffee plans to open 73 more stores in the next two years, and to have more than 250 stores by 2010.

“We’re aggressively expanding in the Midwest and the Southeast, and we do have a growth plan to continue to double our units every two years,” McFall said.

As for the East Lansing area, the company is planning to develop another store at the intersection of Jolly and Dunkel roads, he said.

“I think it’s great, the company is still fairly new, and we’re expanding — and it’s (originally) from East Lansing, so it’s awesome,” O’Connor said.

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