Thursday, March 20, 2008

BIGGBY COFFEE -- Grand Rapids (Cascade) -- Feelin' the love

Jeez, first day of spring is almost upon us, and there is talk of snow....I'm beginning to think that HQ should move to South Carolina....with Stu and the gang. Yup we've got stores there too, for those of you who didn't know :) ....but I am just kiddin'...we're not moving anytime soon (it is tempting, but no)



I'm sittin here in GR...at store #209 (the Antaya clan own this one), located just off I 96 (exit40B), hang a right and go a couple more blocks....right hand side. When I drove up the parking lot was full....people comin' and goin'....I began to think (as I do).....reflecting really, on what has gone on in this marketplace. In 2002 we began to break out of the Lansing area in serious way, with our first store opening in GR....it took another two years ('04) before another location opened here.....now in 2008 (I took a count) there are roughly 15 stores in the Grand Rapids and West Michigan area. Wow...when things happen they happen fast. But it's all good! Amazing really when you think about it...and the caliber of franchisees is unparalleled! Steve who owns this store, started with his first store in 2005 in Portland MI, and he is a great example of that excellence...and now he is working on opening his fourth location (in GR too)....anyway he is one of those guys who is just plain smart, and a good retailer t'boot...we've got a lot of that in our system....smart people, gutsy, good hearted...wantin' to do the right thing. The three partners that started this concept did a great job....but there are two things that make BIGGBY COFFEE what it is today....first, the people we serve...I know it's goofy, but when we opened our first location there were already 35 coffee shops in our marketplace....we were just another coffee shop....but the people that came to us, and became our customers....became such loyal enthusiasts, I mean one day we had no business....the next day everybody is talkin' about it....and tellin' everybody that they know....and then...everybody wants one next to them. Yeah...our customers are the best! Second, and I have already said this but, our franchise operators are amazing, people just like Steve...I am dumbfounded at how much they just get it. I have been out on the road for some time now...and it doesn't matter what location I walk into....it's people paying attention to people....Of course our coffee is the best too, but how hard is that? I mean you decide to use quality products and you call it a day....but people talkin' to people, sometimes I think we just forgot how to do it, in our day to day world.....but when you land at a BIGGBY COFFEE all that changes...and it's a big circle....people love us, we love them, they love us some more, we love them some more.....and so on, and so on! You get the idea...you gotta' feel the love!

And oh, to the gang at this store, great service....I mean great! I had a double short hazelnut latte....and a 16 oz of MJ, my favorite drip coffee. I managed to stay undercover my whole time here....it's my favorite way....sit and watch. I looked for it (the unforced errors), but I just couldn't find em'....so my hat is off to you! I didn't bring my camera in this time....so I'll make sure to come back, and grab a photo of all the smiles, k?

I'm outta here for now....I'm off to see Brian.

2 comments:

Steve said...

Bob,

Thanks for your kind words. Glad to see the crew at 209 holding down the fort while we're putting our touch on the Downtown store. Way to show some PERC pride! Good Job Guys!

-Steve

Anonymous said...

Bob, I'm 66, my husband is 72.We're living on S.S. In times past we used to drive 5 miles to a Friendly's Ice Cream store for a mini date. We'd sit in the car, eating our Sundaes, and watch the bats flying around the street lights on a hot summer evening. They closed.Gas went sky high. Now, we drive a mile to Franklin Park, use our dollar coupon from the net to get our iced Grande (which we have to split) That's about all the "entertainment" we can afford now. We bring it home and either sit and watch the sunset outside, or chat in the kitchen drinking your heavenly concoction. No more Tim Hortons - {just about a half cup of liquid} all ice, and too pricey. We have become addicted to your Carmal Marvals. YUM! The kids who work there are so cordial and it's a joy to see them every week.
Do me a favor tho - can you publish your coupons on the net with less color. Takes up too much of my colored ink. I love your place. I love your people.And, I especially love your beverages. How many calories? I always ask and they can't tell me. Keep up the quality. Please! Best wishes.
Bruce and Sandy