Tuesday, April 29, 2008

It's a just survey!

For some of you that've been askin'....I hear the Peanut Butter Big Chill is comin' back late this week.....yahooo!

It is an absolute delight and made me think of suvey'n again (you know we had a survey where a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup beat out Ghirardeli Chocolate, Hershey Kiss, and Lindor Balls)...not surprising,but I digress.

Anyhoo...I been thinkin' about all this stuff, I mean I'm out there...and I always run into people tellin' me that they are 'big time' BIGGBY customers...and I always ask them....what store do you go to?....and inevitably they have many locations that are they call their favorite....but they always have a MOST favorite...and I love to hear that, ya'know?

Now I have this debate all the time....sometimes with myself :), sometimes with others...but I gotta know.....What makes your store, your favorite?!

Is it your Barista?
Is it the place?
Is it your drink?
Is it the fun?

Listen, you can fill out the survey on the right an' let me know....Or drop me a line in the comments below and tell me it's everything or something I missed, either way I'm interested.

Now I have my own thoughts on the deal, and I even have some money on it with the VP of Ops, Tom...so don't let me down! Tom's been right more often than not lately and I need a win!

I'll be out of pocket tommorrow at a board meeting for the Michigan Restaurant Association (I'll be Chairman of the organization next year...so it's a must-do.)


NOW OPEN .... Holt MI

Wow, what a great visit...these guys are great! Will got this store open...it was a long haul, and well worth it. While I was there...they were servin' nonstop...I got a chance to get in there and conduct a few interviews...I met Nick...he was funny, earnest, happy...and had high spirits! He took a stab at the 'BIGGBY WAY' and did an awesome job. Thanks Nick...Two Thumbs Up!

Feelin' the sparkle...

The Sparkle

Mason Michigan -- DYNAMIC!

What a beautiful day! I was out and about and headin' to Will's new store in Holt, when I decided to stop by the Mason MI location under construction. It's pretty amazing...we have 4 new stores opening in the next few weeks. I spoke to Lori DeYoung (franchisee and person in charge of this group), she is pretty amazing. I found her calm (even though there have been buildout challenges), and excited about the prospect of opening on May 13th. Her spirits were high, and she told me that this has been a ten year dream and goal...and she can see the finish line of getting the first store open, course I think these guys want to do more:), she told me that it was better than she could have imagined. She was inspired because the community has already shown such support....many stopping in and wanting coffee already! While I was there, many community leaders stopped in for a visit....it was cool! She also told me that the caliber of employees applying have been way above expectation.

Watch this video and get a glimpse of this store under progress about 3 weeks from launch day....you will see that it is very dynamic (so much so I say "dynamic" 4 times)...duh! I did manage to get in one "splendid" and one "so on and so forth"...but that's me :)

Thanks Lori....this is awesome and Mason has a lot to look forward to...you guys are great!

No Cow Tipping

Ran across this BIGGBY COFFEE tip cup in kazoo....it struck me as cute and funny....take a look!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Zach -- Kalamazoo MI

So it was Tuesday when I recorded this....and it was a great day! It was time for me to visit the West side of the State (again)...and I was quite geeked, 'cause I had it on my mind to visit Judith's store in Kazoo. She is one of those 'top shelf' franchisee's we have....When you go into her store everything is just right....including her staff. The day was sunny...and I couldn't wait to get to the store. I wasn't disappointed...I met Zach there...and he was true, animated, and honest (almost brutally so) ....just the way I like it!

and just so ya' know, the people that work at BIGGBY COFFEE are the best! How do I know? I'll tell ya'...when I am out there and I run into them, this is what I notice....they're happy, they like to have fun, and they love people...ya' just can't beat it!

Sarah -- BIGGBY COFFEE Grand Rapids (Kentwood)

Wow! I had a great visit at one of the many 'Barker family' locations in Grand Rapids (Kentwood) Michigan. I rolled in about 1 pm in the afternoon...coming from Kalamazoo MI....when I walked in the store I was greeted right away...the staff was awesome, upbeat, and energized....but that's the way it is at BIGGBY COFFEE. I was feelin' a little tired when I got there, but by the time I left, I was bouncin' off the walls....I love it!

I had a chance to meet Sarah...and ask her a couple of questions, she had a lot of good things to say...and at the end of this video I ask her 'what is the BIGGBY way?'....'course this is not a question I have asked before...and it's not part of the corporate dogma, ya'know? So, anyway...at first she struggles a little...then she rolls into a few standard lines....but in the end she got it just right....watch and see!

Monday, April 21, 2008


Excellent visit with the gang at BIGGBY COFFEE #121...the dining room was full, but I managed to steal a moment. If you watch closely (the door to the establishment is to their right)...they are watching who is coming and going closely (this is the result of uber-primo franchisee Jane O'Connor)...her people don't miss a beat!

I was drinking an awesome iced late...thanks guys!

President of BIGGBY COFFEE Recognized!

Mike McFall, President of BIGGBY COFFEE, is a 1994 graduate of K-college with a degree in economics, he is being recognized as a 'Prominent Graduate' of Kalamazoo College.

His story, is like many within our Franchise system...He started as a barista and rose up through the ranks. This is one of many competitive advantages that BIGGBY COFFEE is proud of!

Kalamazoo Gazette

Friday, April 18, 2008

Man wearing BIGGBY COFFEE cap -- predicts earthquake before the experts.

It is no surprise to us...that somebody wearing a BIGGBY COFFEE cap would get the jump on this :)


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

BIGGBY COFFEE -- Escanaba...Packed and Full

Wow! It was a 6 hour drive, that started at 3 am....but, boy was it worth it!

These guys are hot....I walked into a packed dinning room....that had so much energy...ya' could've lit the whole U.P.:)

People are really diggin' it....everybody comin' in, is soooo excited! I mean people are really appreciative that this store is here...that the building is beautiful, that there is an investment in the community...the bankers have been here, the real estate people have been here, friends and well wishers, teachers, residents, community leaders....I am stunned at the support this store is getting....it's really reflective of the ownership of this store!

Cyndi is awesome....she knows absolutely everybody!...I mean everybody! She is the epitomy of BIGGBY E-squared (energy and excitement) There is no way you could leave here without a big grin on your face. She is on top of it, and then some!

Congratulations Pat and Cyndi...I am so proud of what you've done!

Escanaba -- getting there, eh?

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Kazoo story or 2

Not everybody will understand this of course...but our store owners have been giving out free Kazoo's. 'Course nobody knew what to do with them at first...(ya' hum, not blow.) Anyway...I've got a few snippets from our barista's about whats goin' on with them and a video...

If anybody else submits a video to youtube tag it with the keywords BIGGBY COFFEE KAZOO....so I can find it....See y'all in Escanaba tommorrow.

Christie from store #128: I had 4 customers participate in a contest. They were in teams and had to play a song. Whatever team played the best song got a free drink. They were really into it and we had the other customers and staff vote on what team won. Everyone had a great time!

Misty from store #182 Grosse Pointe: A teacher at one of our local high schools picked enough up this morning for her whole family to use on a road trip to Lansing today! So if you are along I-96 and hear kazoos, that would be Mrs. D and family. We were promised a full song tribute when they return.

Another lady just stopped in and picked up 20 for her girls' softball game today.

Some addititional free promotion we are getting this weekend is one of our regular customer's is producing a local play. She said they had been using our coffee cups as props, but someone accidentally threw them away. We gladly replaced them and she was ecstatic! You can't buy a more loyal customer :)

Donna from store #174 – Shelby Township - Let me start by saying that there sure are a lot of customers who need kazoo lessons, and we were/are happy to accommodate. People are delighted when they realize they have mastered the art of KazzoB. One customer even noticed that the kazoos are made in the USA. We have since shared that tidbit with other customers and it has met with a happy response.

Andy from store #214 – Grand Ledge - we have had the most fun with the kazoos! ENERGY ENERGY ENERGY! We have been playing songs for customers upon request and they have been playing songs with us it has been great fun!

Barker Group – Store #191 Grand Rapids - as soon as i give it to them, they just hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, laugh!! big smile on their faces! and leave in such a better mood!!!!

Nicole from Store #130 Sylvania, OH - The customers love them at the drive thru we've been humming every time a customers drives up; today is "B HAPPY FRIDAY!" Every customer that left so far has left in a great mood! This was such a fun thing to do! And the customers are so surprised! This was a great experience for me; THANK YOU!!!!

Judith from Store #150 Kalamazoo - Customers are loving them, "made my day!" Last customer said she works in a tax office and ask for extra one since they needed some fun today

Justin and Staff from #159 – Grand Rapids - So let me begin by saying I thought it was a little odd this whole kazoo thing when they first arrived at the store this week. I mean kazoos of all things? However - the looks and most of all the HUGE smiles that have graced the faces of each and every one of my customers this morning is unbelievable. The best one came from my early morning long time regular, who has never been very receptive to outgoing cheery staff. When I gave it to him I thought I should duck first, Just in case he threw it back at me. Let me tell you this man who I never see smile let out a laugh that the entire 15 story building we are in could hear!!! Kudos to who ever thought up this one! Thanks for the laughs!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Video Interview

Crikey! I just found this video on YouTube. Yep, it's of yours truly....this is a result of a student project that I found myself a part of....something I thought was just going to be shown in the classroom. Ney, ney....it turns out that in video world there is no such thing as 'just for the classroom' :)

Well anyway, I thought Laura did a pretty nice job...(one editing bloop), but I thought I was about a B minus...not dressed quite right, a little bit of a fidget, and a few too many "so on and so forths" ...but any of you who know me...that's the way I come :)

All in all it was a lot of fun....thanks Laura!

PS some of you might need to temporarily take off your 'pop-up blocker'

AL/FL -- Photo Journal

Thursday, April 10, 2008


What a treat!

I landed in Pensacola, FL last night (to visit some family)
It was 42 degrees when I left and now I'm walkin' around in short sleeves and it's 72 degrees!

I slept great, but I was excited to get to get up and visit Jeff and Lori today...so I rolled out of bed by 6 am and was on the road by about 6:45.....Mobile is about an hour and a half from where I'm staying.

I didn't have my usual pot of MJ before I left.....but that just made me drive that much quicker....to get my fix. I was just pullin' into Mobile when I got a call from everybody back at the house....asking me to bring (you guessed it) more MJ home, for tommorrow, apparently they had already burned through what we had (wow!)

I was drivin' up Airport Blvd and only a few miles away....when I began to recognize some landmarks from my last visit here....(Jeff reminded me that I drove down the artwork for this store in it's opening week, years ago)....anyway I saw the Hospital on the left and knew to keep my eyes peeled. Bingo, I see it....and hang a left, I see a bright orange shirt out front, I'm guessin' that's Jeff. I still thinkin' I can go in under cover....but, not a chance. I saunter up to the front door....and in his typical laid back fashion Jeff says "How's it goin?" ......that's right, it was that easy....but that's the way it is with Jeff and Lori...it doesn't matter whether you saw them one year ago or yesterday....it always picks up right where you left off....it's kinda nice :)

I go inside (I don't think Jeff tipped them off) and Tracy and Danielle give me the howdy-do's right away....'course you get it with the that little bit of Southern charm, that you just don't get up North...it's nice ya'know?

They talk me into a Cinnamon Roll (it wasn't that hard to do :) ) ....I ordered my usual double short latte.....mmm-mmmm, it was good! They had me do the trivia question for an extra stamp on my card....the question was ‘How many stumps on a cricket wicket?” ….it was too easy for me (I lived in England for 3 years)…so I get my stamps (heh, heh.)

I love watchin these guys work....and Jeff is right in there too....'course Tracy and Danielle are doin' all the heavy liftin' (so to speak)...they were quite the team....takin' orders and kicken them out....while Jeff schmoozed everybody....and I mean everybody, he either knew who they were or he found out....nobody left without feelin' like somebody really cared about the fact that they were there....it's the BIGGBY way, ya'know?

I meet Judy and Ken....they love BIGGBY COFFEE!!!.....Ken starts talking to me right away about why he likes our coffee....he said "it's not burnt, it's rich with lots of body....and you can actually taste the coffee!" I thought for a moment he read our 'playbook' so to speak....but he just recgnized what so many people do....Our coffee is the best.

Well, I'm gonna have to get goin' here in a little bit, but I gotta say this......It has been such a pleasure to be here....and I love what these guys are doing! If you ever get down this way....Mobile, Gulf Shores, Pensacola....you have to stop by....It's BIGGBY COFFEE with a Southern twist :)

I have to be in Escanaba, MI on Tuesday...which is feelin' a little like the North Pole right now (just kiddin' Pat)....but if I don't make it, at least you know where I am :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Vote and play PAC MAN....

Ok...so it's 3 o'clock in the afternoon.....which would you prefer a Blueberry Muffin or a Chocolate Cupcake (with chocolate frosting?)

This is important :) ......So please vote!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

BIGGGY COFFEE -- Escanaba -- April 15th

Yowzaa.....Pat W. is opening his first store in the U.P. ......for those of you novices, that's South of Canada and East of Wisconsin....and for the most part they talk a little like the first, and some up there think they are part of the second :)

But Pat has been workin' on this store for sometime http://biggby.com/bconnected/news.php?id=34 ....and he is ready to pull the trigger and open on the 15th of April same day as Will G. (see below.) But I am fired up about this one....Escanaba is a beautiful city...and famous for much, check it out on the wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escanaba,_Michigan but more recently it received attention 'cause of the movie 'Escanaba in the Moonlight' by Michigan Native Jeff Daniels http://www.escanabathemovie.com/
Hey Pat....I can't wait to get up there....and take some pictures, clearly they are missing from this blog :) ....Does anybody want to join me up there on opening day?
I just mapped it http://maps.google.com/maps?gbv=2&hl=en&q=escanaba+in+the+moonlight&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wl and it only takes 6 hours and 19 minutes to get there....let me know?

BIGGBY COFFEE -- It takes Will, to open a store

Will.....yes, Will G. already owns a store on South Cedar in Lansing....but he is growing....and he is opening a new store in Holt!

Opening day is set for a week from today on April 15th (tax-day...can you believe it?) I mean the last openings were on April Fools Day.....what's next...Mothers Day? (I have to check back at the office to find out what's goin' on here)

Well, it does take 'will' to open a store and a lot of energy, but Will has got plenty of that, ya'know? :) ......I stopped in on the Holt site to check the progress, and snapped a couple of photos...a lot has happened since I stopped in last http://whereisbiggbybob.blogspot.com/2008/02/on-my-way-to-jackson.html it was all dry wall then...here we are 45 days later, and boom...it's gonna open! That's some fast work....congratulations Will!

BIGGBY COFFEE -- smart people, making the right choice

Thank you 'lady di', she made me think of something that is pretty cool....

Our franchisees come from many walks of life....but there is a certain subset of franchisees that I wanted to talk about today. These people come to us from other franchise systems....it's not that they are unhappy (quite the contrary, most have ongoing business)...it's simply that perhaps they have reached the end of their own territory limitations, or maybe they feel that growth in their industry is a little tapped out, or that they simply want to add to their portfolio....the reasons why don't matter as much as the fact that these people are experienced operators, typically with multiple units, and much experience in working in a franchisee/franchisor relationship for years and years.

So, it feels good that they would choose the BIGGBY system....knowing that part of their own approval process is the sum of experience and judgment that they bring from these other places and organizations. We appreciate this endorsement and acknowledgement...and we appreciate the faith and confidence that it takes to make this kind of decision.

So 'lady di' thanks for reminding me about how cool things are!

Monday, April 7, 2008

BIGGBY COFFEE -- Lansing (North Cedar)

Tell me that's not one happy lookin' crew :) !

Left to right....Nick, Jessie, and Josh....

I had to stay in town today...cuz I had one of those important meetings over at the roasting facility....so on my way I decided to visit the North Cedar location right here in Lansing....It's a beautiful day...and ya' can feel things buzzin' in the air.

Now you'd think on such a beautiful day....that nobody would be happy workin' inside...but it wasn't true....I slid into the store only to be greeted right away by Jessie....I was a little undecided on what to have today....but she helped me out right away...she had a couple of questions for me (coffee drink?, sweet?, iced? er chilled? ....it was settled in short order Iced Caramel Marvel....I asked her why I should get it? And Nick piped up and said...." 'cause it's one of a kind" and man was it ever....it hit the spot!!

This crew obviously has been workin' together for a while...they were tight....people were comin' in, but it was really all about the drive thru today.....I sat up by the front window, and kept watching them come.

I gotta to hand it to Patty (she is the franchisee at this location) visiting with this crew was like walkin' into a big family reunion....ya'know....you may not recognize everybody....but you definitely feel like you belong! They were personable, knowledgeable, and friendly.....it was great! Thanks Guys!!!!

Desperate for coffee....

I was coming home late one night from a presentation....and I had forgotten to pick up a pound of MJ for my pot-o-coffee in the morning (I can't live without it!)

Desperate...I began to run through all the scenarios of where I could get some BIGGBY COFFEE at that hour....when all of a sudden I drove by a Felpausch grocery store http://www.felpausch.com/Home/Home_S.las?-token.S=180T9RBBD5709f8P7041634FslmN6L5291615D189870804070909 , and it called out to me....quick as I could, I did a U-eee.

I forget sometimes that BIGGBY COFFEE is in about 250 grocery stores throughout MI....I like to buy it at a BIGGBY cafe the best....but sometimes it's good to know you can find it someplace else too. Havin' our coffee in grocery chains has never been intentional for us....but we started getting some requests back in the early days from small local chains around the Lansing area....and it's just kept growin' from there. Now some of the bigger chains like Meijers carry us too...and it's a good feeling to see the BIGGBY brand hold it's own with all those national coffee brands sittin' on the shelves...it just goes to show, people love us, and they love our coffee!

Swinging Hammers @ BIGGBY COFFEE -- Fenton MI

Just a quick update on Laurin in Fenton MI....I ran into her while workin' the 'B-Heard Hotline' last week.

She told me that the boys have been hanging drywall and painting at her location....and that means that opening day is not far away.

So I took a drive to check it out .... http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=111685698008690511086.00043de780b8b3c8ad9be&ll=35.065973,-86.396484&spn=15.514228,29.619141&z=5&om=1 ...click on store #181...it's coming along beautifully!

Super Couple

Tim Hoffman (he owns owns two BIGBBY COFFEE franchises) and his wife Annette (she owns three Curves Franchises) in Grand Rapids Michigan.

These guys had a nice article in the Grand Rapids Business Journal.

For the full article go to... http://www.grbj.com/GRBJ/Nav/Login.htm?ArticleID={B2E7BCC4-E075-4621-B155-B6510886DED5}

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

BIGGBY COFFEE -- It's amazing....

It was a short drive to get over to Northville..... I'm pretty fired up! I love Opening Days.....they are such a mixture of excitement, anticipation, and general anxiety about how it's all gonna be. I found Kim and Bruce right away.....they were workin', keepin things movin'.....out front and in the back. It's such a big day, 'course the whole time I'm here, there are customers comin' and going. These guys musta really beat the streets, cuz it seems that everybody walking in had one of those coupons.....Way to go! But something else is going on too...people that live nearby have been waiting in anticipation....dropping by, wanting to say how excited they are that we are here. But too, I saw a lot of nearby business owners stop by.....they show support ya'know, that's the way it goes with people that own their own business, they know it takes a lot....and they make sure that everybody they know....knows!

Well we have some of the best trainers that I've ever seen.....that's Caroline there up top....Smilin' (as she always does), but workin' hard...reachin' for the stars! Every time I look up there is a line of people....and today isn't exactly the perfect day either....not cuz' it's April Fools, but the wind is howlin'....and it's wet all over...some how it doesn't seem to matter....people are comin' anyway! Ya' gotta to hand it to Bruce and Kim....they have done everything right....people are trained, store is stocked right up....and I love the location!
I just overheard another customer.....said.."I've been lookin' for your open sign everyday" ....music to my ears!
Congratulations.....you guys are doing great!

BIGGBY COFFEE -- They just kept comin'

Opening Day here at Farmington Hills....I landed here at 9am sharp....and I don't know where these people are coming from or where they were going before....but they are here now!

Jose and Irma own this store....Irma came in to run the early shift....and Jose is supposed to be here in the afternoon....but he couldn't wait....he rolled in at 9:30 am, with a big smile.....

Of course the crew this morning Liz, Crystal, Monica, and Jeremy....were handling it just perfectly....but Jose's eyes were moving everywhere checking everything out.....I think he was pleased!

I'm sittin' right by the pick up area....and I can't tell you how many people keep saying that they are excited that BIGGBY COFFEE has landed here...there seemed to be a particular void in this marketplace....I mean there is all kinds of office space here...and nobody seems to have a place they can call their own. That's the thing about BIGGBY COFFEE....people, for whatever reason seem to get it right away...it's theirs, they own it, it's home....and I gotta tell you people are soooo excited!

This location has a drive thru, and I guess there aren't too many of those around here....so that has been buzzin' the whole time too....there are a lot of people that find this the ultimate in convenience....'Course, I still like comin inside the stores myself, but when you are on the run....it just makes sense, ya'know?

I finally got a shot of Jose....and know that I don't typically have the subject of a photo left of center, but it's the best I can do....he never stops movin'....but that's the way it is with our folks, they usually have enough energy to be considered a source of "alternative fuel" all by themselves.

I am invigorated by the conversations going on at the pick up area....it's all about the customers, 'how's your day?', 'do you work close by?', and customers have questions too....course most everybody seems to have been in one of our stores before....I hear people listing off locations that they have been to in other parts of the Metro Detroit area. One person had already been to our other opening today in Northville....pretty cool! ......speaking of which....I gotta goin'....over there to see the Masons.