BIGGBY launches its 100th outlet

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From the Lansing State Journal

by Kathryn Prater


EAST LANSING – Thirteen years after opening a small coffee shop on East Grand River Avenue, Biggby Coffee has hit a milestone.


The East Lansing-based chain’s 100th store opened Tuesday in Bloomfield Hills. And the company’s already looking past that with plans to have 250 stores serving up coffee, baked goods and other items by 2010.


“The culture is what makes us successful,” said Bob Fish, the chain’s chief executive officer and one its cofounders. “The Biggby way is a way of looking at customers as people, and that kind of engagement we have at our stores, makes it a personal experience.”


“One of their philosophies is every customer must leave the store in a better mood than when they arrived,” said Mohamed Shetiah, a franchisee with 19 locations and two in the works. “We believe we sell more than just a cup of coffee – it’s an experience that we try to sell.”


Biggby franchises all of its stores. The chain operates in nine states in the Midwest and Southeast, with about 1,450 employees nationwide.


It has 21 locations in the Lansing area. About 15 employees work at a typical location that ranges from 1,300 square feet to 1,800 square feet.


Fish said the company, which is privately owned, has more than $40 million in sales annually and typically doubles its number of stores nearly every two years.