Thursday, July 31, 2008

Digby T Monkey and Cuppa

Digby, Nigel and the rest of the gang...I won't be able to make the 2nd anniversary of the Washtenaw Store. My schedule today is locked up with all kinds of goofy stuff that keeps me from the Road. I think Digby and I would make great traveling companions...there are many times I need somebody in the shotgun seat acting as navigator. Map reading is not my specialty (neither is gas gauge reading :) ) ....but I spend a lot of time on the would Digby feel about that?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Something Dorky

So I am on my way to Allendale today and just before I leave I noticed that I was low on gas....well that's the last time I thought about it!

I was on the phone the whole way here (there is a lesson in here somewhere :))...anyway once I got to Allendale I thought I would check out the GVSU campus (wow it is beautiful!), then I started heading to the store, and oops the car started sputtering (I ran outta gas can you believe it!) DORKY!!! Well a nice gentleman from the Quaker Oil change store helped me out and drove me down to the Speedway for some gas (I filled up his tank for the generosity of his time and was such a nice thing he did for me ya'know?) As it turns out he had been to the BIGGBY here and knew Mary Lynn and the gang.

Well I finally got to the store (albeit a little 'hot n sweaty')....the crew is awesome here....a real reflection of the ownership. I felt like I've been comin' here for years...anyway, just to give you an idea they sold me an 'Irish Cream Wild Zebra' not my usual (as you know)....but it was irresistible! I also was talked into a Grande instead of a Tall....but I'm always a sucker for a good sales job :) Well there is no doubt in my mind that this store has got that BIGGBY magic fer's bubbling out of everything they do! I love you guys!

I watched people come n'go...everybody is happy...everybody knows each other...I wouldn't change a thing!

So I filmed Sara (sp?)who was the one who sold me my drink (by the way I met a half dozen other BIGGBY staffers while I was there and every one of them was better than the next...anyway in the middle of this interview an 'old old' guy comes up to the register to buy a paper and I asked him how he liked his coffee...and he said he wouldn't order it he says "not much" so I try to turn the discussion to something else and he interrupts again to say "I wouldn't order that again" (funny as all get out!) I spoke to him later and apparently he ordered an 'iced coffee' which for us is an 'Americano over ice'....but he was used to going to MacDonald's where 'iced coffee' is actually and 'iced latte'....very confusing, so anyway he was still Happy, but the drink didn't meet the expectations that he had in mind!

Oh well it was one of the best visits I've ever had at a and see:

Monday, July 28, 2008


Wow...I was driving from Mackinaw City to Boyne Mountain for my annual Michigan Restaurant Association meeting and so I stopped in Gaylord thinkin' I might run into Lady Di...but alas no. Instead I ran into one of the most engaged BIGGBY crews I have every seen out there....Nice job Nick! Here is a pair you will love....thanks guys, it was a great visit!

Friday, July 25, 2008


I had a great day yesterday...lot's of exercise... and some good BIGGBY visits. The weather was perfect (again), so the driving was easy and joyful. I am trying to catch up on my Harry Potter readings so I have one of those talking book CD's...and I listened to that on the way. I had a coupla phone calls too, Tom called me to tell me that Mary was beating me in fund-raising for Ele's Place...the first time that happened to me :) I think Tom was just trying to distract me from the fact that his fundraising efforts were not quite meeting his own expectations.

So I chose Brighton cuz' it's been a long time since I had been there and it had the honor of being the last sign converted in our system (thank you City of Brighton.)

It didn't take long to get there, and I had about an hour to spend before I had to move on for an appointment in the Detroit area...when I walked in it was almost full of people meeting and workin' on their greeting was a little soft...not the usual 'bowl-over' ya' get at a BIGGBY was a little disappointing, but later the same person that didn't greet me with a 'whiz-bang' hello was also sitting on the counter later in my visit(I caught it on film)...says a lot, ya'know?

Tom the owner of that location (was in the back)...I asked for him so I could let him know what was goin' on, his response wasn't exactly the BIGGBY WAY, either. Ouch!

Anyway, I found the shining star...and had a chance to interview her...she did a great the end of the interview I started to ask her another question...but my camera ran out of battery and it cut her off...oops :)

Trans Continental Bicyclist stop at BIGGBY

Couple traveling across the United States stops in the Big Rapids BIGGBY...and this is what they had to say...

For the next 15 miles or so we rode on the road, which had lots of Amish buggies too. Along the way were lakes, dams, bridges and streams. When we reached Big Rapid, we stopped across the street from the state college at a nice looking coffee shop called Biggby. Sorta like Starbucks, but we liked the coffee far better. The people were friendly and Tammy, the manager was an enthusiastic supporter of Biggby's and interested in our adventure.

To go to their blog click here

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Customer Experience is About Mindshare, not Market Share

I found this article on the web click here for the full article...John I Todor, gets it right, here is a quote from his piece

Starbucks is closing about 600 hundreds of its American stores. This has lead many pundits to say Starbucks had over saturated the marketplace with coffee houses.

However, at the same time Biggby's Coffee Shops announced the opening of their 100th store in the mid-west. Technomic's, a Chicago-based research firm ranked Biggby's number 39 on Restaurant Business magazine's Fast 50 list of the fastest growing chains.

If the coffee house marketplace is over saturated, how can Biggby's be growing so fast?

If you ask Biggby's CEO, Bob Fish, he will tell you it is their focus on customer engagement. As he puts it, "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. People love our coffee, but the reason they come to our stores is it makes them feel good."

It's no secret...everybody like to be treated well :)

We Missed Bob

We Missed Bob
Originally uploaded by A2 Lebowsky
Nigel....I waited and waited in great anticipation....but to no avail.

The trivia question was a good one....I had a chance to talk to a woman about it, she guessed 45, I guessed 35....the answer was 10.

It all makes sense, you are safe when your ten.

I had a great visit...but I'm sorry I missed you.... :)


So yesterday was a day with a few meetings in the morning, I did some fundraising for Ele's Place...but it was such a beautiful day I was ready to hit the road. I have had George and Nigel on my mind....and I got a lot of reports out of AA last week because of the big Art Fair (they have there every year)...So it was decided!

I had been to the Washtenaw it seemed appropriate to go to the Liberty Street store, right next to the State Theatre. The ride was great, sunny and 80, I drove with the windows down...and I got a few phone calls along the way...and I had a good chat with Tony Z, who was on his way to Kazoo.

AA was under a little road construction...but it didn't really slow me down, I parked behind BORDER'S Bookstore (the original I think), and strolled right into the I walked in there were a lot more people there than I expected for a Wednesday afternoon...and it was good to see. I ordered an Iced Caramel Marvel (it hit the spot) and then sat around incognito for a while. I watched this crew continue to hammer drink after drink out...and then Jordan came in. He is one of those Management types (he runs a coupla stores)...let me tell you he didn't miss a beat, there were a some things that were a little outta' wack when I first got there, but he squared them up in about 3's the way he is. He's got the 'retail eye.' :)

Anyway it was hard for me to interview anybody cuz' they were so busy, but once Jordan arrived I asked Lindsey if she would do me the it is!

PS I never did see Nigel or George....but I did some recon :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ele's Place -- Help Lend a Hand !!

Every year we have helped raise money for Ele's Place Click here a healing center for grieving children. Ele's is a spectacular organization and money is raised in a variety of ways....but my favorite is the 5K event...if you would like to make a small donation (anywhere from a $1 to $49) please follow this link.... BIGGBY BOB's donation page

Monday, July 21, 2008

LSJ Article

Some noteable quotes from a recent Lansing State Journal Article.... Click here for the full article

"It's a good start to your day to have someone ask you how you're doing and joke around," he said. "I think it's nice. They're playful, they're entertaining at times."

Biggby's franchise-based model gives it an advantage over other regional coffee chains, Technomic Executive Vice President Darren Tristano said. It lowers the cost for the company to expand and gives each store local connections

Customer engagement is exactly what the folks at Biggby strive for, said Bob Fish, the East Lansing-based chain's chief executive officer and one its co-founders.
And it has helped Biggby get where it is today, he said. The company hit a milestone last week when it opened its 100th store in Bloomfield Hills

Saturday, July 19, 2008

BIGGBY COFFEE --East Lansing Field Day

Wow, what an awesome gig this was....we had five events, all of them highly competitive....perfect for us! My team had John Madden and Mohamed Shetiah...strong in spirit...but not very focused :)

In spite of that we took home a first and a second....but I am quite sure we could have done better, ya'know? Anyway I am goin' ta have'ta change up my team next year....I'm gonna start recruting and training right watch out!

Fun, Happy, Energetic....that's the way:)

BIGGBY COFFEE -- Field Day, East lansing

We had a great time.....from the moment I got there I was captivated by the all the team spirit! I had a chance to video just a few team uniforms...and the creativity and fun...was over the top. It's the BIGGBY WAY...and it doesn't matter whether we're in the store or's just awesome!

BIGGBY COFFEE -- Field Day, East lansing

We had a great time at the East Lansing Field Day. Much spirited Fun...Happy faces, and a lot of competitive spirit!! Field Days has five of which is a 'Coffee Chugging Contest' My team was made up of Mohamed Shetiah, John Madden, and myself and we competed in all five events....generally we were lame, but I was intent on bring home at least one ribbon. Below is a video of the "chuggin" contest, which my team cheated twice, and so we were disqualified....In the end I had to take things into my own hands, and challenged David (the reigning champion) was a dead heat, but if you notice David has to use two hands...a clear competitive advantage :)

Friday, July 18, 2008



Everybody is welcome...and there is no charge to participate. Enter a 3 person team and be a part of the 1st Annual Lansing BIGGBY BBQ & Field Days. Amateurs and professionals welcome!

Remember being a kid and participating in Field Days at your school or within your community? They were held to compete against friends for fun, bragging rights and 1st place blue ribbons!!

We have 5 events to compete in and competition is FIERCE!!

· Coffee Sack Race

· Coffee Bean Relay

· Coffee over ice chug

· 4 Legged Race

· Water Balloon Toss

Kalamazoo Field Day

These events are designed for adults but children are welcome too. We keep track of results for all events for field days everywhere. There are annual winners for each event from all locations & BIGGBY all time records that need to be broken.

Please sign your team up with Jobi Schaeffer at (517) 482-8145 x 115 or email her at or at this point just show up!


I headed down to Livonia yesterday, thinking I might run into Daman A. ....he is a real inspiration (customer service wise)....but I had just missed him. Anyway I rolled up early afternoon and found Ashley running the store instead. Everything was in perfect shape...clean, tidy, organized, friendly....the whole nine yards. They had some fans goin' because they lost their Air Conditioning unit the night before (it was fixed by time I got there), 'course this happens this time of year when you get those 90+ degrees and high humidity days. I had a chance to interview Ashley, and then Steve A. stopped in and we had a great was good to see him. I love this store!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fun for Everybody!! Come one, Come all


Remember being a kid and participating in Field Days at your school or within your community? They were held to compete against friends for fun, bragging rights and 1st place blue ribbons!!

We are going retro and bringing them back on FRIDAY, JULY 18TH FROM 3 - 8 P.M. AT PATRIARCH PARK IN EAST LANSING. This is a FREE event with no charge to join in the fun!

We have 5 events to compete in and competition is FIERCE!!

(The BIGGBY corporate team is 2-0 & taking all challengers)

The competitions are as follows:

· Coffee Sack Race

· Coffee Bean Relay

· Coffee over ice chug

· 4 Legged Race

· Water Balloon Toss

These events are designed for adults but children are welcome too. We keep track of results for all events for field days everywhere. There are annual winners for each event from all locations & BIGGBY all time records that need to be broken.

Everybody is welcome...and there is no charge to participate. Enter a 3 person team and be a part of the 1st Annual Lansing BIGGBY BBQ & Field Days. Amateurs and professionals welcome

Please sign your team up with Jobi Schaeffer at (517) 482-8145 x 115 or email her at

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

BIGGBY COFFEE Bloomfield Hills Opening Day

Rose in her first interview....this family is definitely a BIGGBY Joe, father Peter, and mother Bianca are all in....with absolute full force. I have never met a stronger commitment, and watching them open this 100th store makes me very proud to be a part of it. Rose does a great job in the interview and reveals something everybody had been wondering..."what is her shoe size?" ....double digits (if you can imagine)...anyway as you listen you will want to help the woman to the right of rose....she is having all kinds of trouble with her cup... :) have fun!

BIGGBY COFFEE Bloomfield Hills

Bianca, Mother of Joe and Rose doing her thing....On opening day, impromtu first, but you can see she sees the camera is on :) Ya gotta luv it!She is definately a ham!

A Beautiful Day @ BIGGBY COFFEE

Lon the 100th Store

You can just feel the interview with an almost famous the 100th store Celebration!

100th Store...Celebration, it was Awesome!

I gotta thank the gang at Corporate, and the Franchisees Joe and Rose...they just did the most awesome's the best party I've been to in a long time.

There were people from all over the United States (and Canada, Steve)that came to share the festivities....too many to list and thank individually...but I was overwhelmed in the continued show of support for BIGGBY COFFEE!

This little segment will give you a sense of the Energy, Enthusiasm, and Happiness that was there...Yahoooo!

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Future 50

BIGGBY COFFEE makes the national 'Top 50 List' put out by Restaurant Business and Technomic....

The only Michigan chain to make the list...Wow!

The Future 50

"There’s not a lot of positive buzz out there right now, but percolating under all the doom and gloom is clear evidence that you just can’t keep a good concept down or clip the industry’s entrepreneurial wings. The Future 50, identified by Technomic, Inc. as the fastest growing chains with sales between $25 million and $50 million, includes 32 that defied the odds to grow sales by 20 percent or more in 2007. Of those, a dozen hit 40 percent or higher sales growth. As a group, they’re hot, they’re nimble and they’ve got what many of their large competitors don’t right now—momentum." Click for the full story


C and G news reports:

Girl Power

"Women In Networking remains active, continues to help others...

WIN members invite community members to their Family Fun Day fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 19 at Biggby. One dollar from every beverage sold at the coffee shop during that time will benefit Habitat for Humanity Women Build."
click the full story
Way to GO!

B Happy!

the happy turnip
Originally uploaded by pwabies
Abbey...I'll be there (South Carolina) before ya' know it....I will be to all stores before the end of the year. Nigel I'm glad you have your own blog.... :)

BIGGBY COFFEE Davison reports in!

NBC 25 online reports "At a time in the economy when Starbucks Coffee is closing 600 under-performing stores nationwide, an upcoming chain is brewing more. Biggby Coffee in Davison opened it's doors to coffee lovers Tuesday. It's the 99th store to open in the mid-west; 75% of them are located in Michigan." Click it...for the full story
a great crew!

Sunday, July 13, 2008's good for you :)

Congratulations to Tracey, taking on a triathalon...a perfect personal challenge!

teddy bear

teddy bear
Originally uploaded by pwabies
A teddy bear is Caramel and White Chocolate Sauce latte...yummy!

Cafe Latte art.....beautiful and Happy!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Mason -- 60 days after opening ...

is under road construction! Can you believe it? All their drives are shut down...ya' can't get in to the place, but it doesn't slow down their customers...they park two blocks away, and walk!

Wow, that's impressive! But that's the BIGGBY see, our customers have it too!

100th Store....Sign It!

Remember everybody is invited! (see invite to the right)But wait there's more...

The facade of this building will not be up...and so for 'history', for 'posterity', for 'fun' everybody that comes should bring a bottle of spray paint or a big fat marker cuz' we will be signing the outside of the building. That's right we will all sign it, and then when all is said and done...all those signatures will be encapsulated on that store forever, and ever. I can't wait to see you there :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A 100th Store Article

Just click it! :) The STATE News

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


And so we're open a day in Davison....and across the street is a McDonalds that chose to give away free coffee and such.

Well I appreciate the competitive spirit...but really? I mean you can call it coffee, and a latte, and a cap...but it all ends right there. I tried the stuff, and I appreciate the effort, but it's just not the same. But besides that, they just don't have that 'BIGGBY WAY', no fire, no energy, no chi, no happiness, no can change the lights, you can use different fabric on the furniture...but without our people ya' got nothin'

So, Mickey D
I love yer burgers
You do'em just right!
Coffee though, is not your might
Give it away all day
but ya can't compete...
With the BIGGBY WAY :)

B Button please

B Button please
Originally uploaded by A2 Lebowsky
Nigel....I will pass this on to the corporate marketing team...seems like a no-brainer :)

I understand that the timing of the Pre-View Party may not work....but keep in mind I will be there on Opening Day too on the 15th!

If you can't make the opening, I think the AA stores will be passing out stickers(a temporary button) in celebration of .....

BTW....the 100th customer in any store will get their drink for free :)

FUND RAISER -- 100th store Preview Party!!!

The 100th store is opening on July 15th...yahooo!

The day before (on Monday the 14th)we will be having a Preview Party and Fundraiser at 4pm.....EVERYBODY is invited!

The Fundraiser will go to benefit the Variety Far Conservatory (click-it)

Variety FAR Conservatory of Therapeutic and Performing Arts is a private, nonprofit organization that provides creative arts therapy and recreation services for children and adults with mental, physical and/or emotional impairments. Variety FAR also promotes public understanding of the abilities and potential of persons who are mentally, emotionally or physically challenged. Variety FAR offers a wide range of programs in music, art, dance, ice skating, gardening, cooking, adaptive swimming, bowling, hockey, teen and adult clubs. Private, semi-private and group sessions are available. All ages, from preschool to adult, and all abilities are welcome to enroll.

How to get there? 1952 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI and then click on Store #241

Roseville MI BIGGBY helps HABITAT !

APB--- Roseville BIGGBY is showing a little ROI (return on involvement) here

Join us every Wednesday in July at the Biggy in Roseville (on Gratiot off of 696) from 9am-12pm and purchase any drink. When you do $1 from each drink will be donated to Habitat For Humanity Women Build. In addition, join us on July 19th from 11am-2pm for a family fun day. If you have any questions let me know.



Tuesday, July 8, 2008 Arlington Heights IL BIGGBY!

Zoom, bang, boom....the bouncing balls arrived and we already have our first story straight off the BIGGY feedback page....and it is filled (filled I say!) with fun, energy, excitement....and good ol' fashion happiness :) Read all about it...straight from the lips (I mean finger tips) of real customers :) !!!

I had the best morning today!! I always meet some friends of mine at Biggby after our husbands go to work. We always have a good time and good coffee at your Arlington Heights shop. This morning was different because of the balls you were giving out, all four of us were handed these bouncy balls and as we were having our coffee we joked that we should play dodge ball and how funny that would be to see grown women playing dodge ball. I guess the owner here, Paul over heard us because he challanged us to a dodge ball game and said if any of us could get him out then our next visit would be on him. As soon as we agreed he started to bomb bard us with bouncy balls, when he made the challange he only had one ball in his hand, he must of had 500 under the counter it was like it was raining bouncy balls on us. It turned into an all out war as more customers jumped in on our side and we finally got our man. I will have to say with out the help of the other customers we would have been doomed. He we be paying up tomorrow morning and I am sure it will be the best tasting Biggby Coffee drink we have ever had. Thanks again for a great morning.


Wow! I got a chance to swing over to the store this afternoon and visit with John and Tracey....they had a big day with over 420 cups on their first day! They are located East of Flint on I 69 and when I interviewed them around 1pm they were in the 240 cup range...obviously they rallied in the end! That's the way it is, ya'know? Once the word get's out that a store is open...there is just no stoppin' it :)

Their crew was great, the trainers were awesome...and these guys have the enthusiasm and energy to make it all come true....thanks John and Tracey, you guys are awesome!

Davison BIGGBY opening today!

I will be off to the Davison Opening this afternoon...but before I go I have a few meetings in town to go to. To hold you for a while I wanted to share a letter with you from a customer in talks about the 'BIGGBY WAY' :)

" I'm writing in regards to the Biggby's Coffee store located in Ann Arbor. My wife and I had our first Biggby's experience a couple of months ago. I call it a "Biggby's experience" because it was more than just a visit to a coffee shop. We have never had such pleasant experiences buying coffee as we've had at this Biggby's location. It's more than just the drinks (which are incredible), and it's more than the fact that we get free drinks with the loyalty card. It's the people that work there. They are always happy, upbeat, and geniunely interested in us and how we're doing. They always ask what plans we have for the day and seek to engage us in conversation. It's a very comfortable atmosphere, and they really make you feel like family there. It makes us want to keep coming back for more. We always leave feeling happier than when we left.
I just wanted to say "Thank You" to Biggby's and all the staff at this location. They are truly amazing, and this is (to me and my wife) a revolution in the industry; this is how buying coffee should be. "

Best regards,

Certified Biggby's Addict :)

Way to go GAYLORD!

An awesome article from the Gaylord Herald Times click here for full article ....Nice job Nick!

GAYLORD - What's the buzz at the Otsego County Library? For the first time, adults are invited to “B our Guest” this summer and take part in the Library's Summer Reading Program. Biggby Coffee of Gaylord is teaming up with the library to offer a fun summer activity that encourages reading and library use by Otsego County residents. The program runs to Aug. 2 at the main library and branches in Johannesburg and Vanderbilt.

The program broadly follows the format of the children's summer reading program, a hugely popular event held every summer. “Research has shown how important it is for children to read for pleasure,” says Library Director Maureen Derenzy. “As adults, shouldn't we be setting the example that reading and visiting your library is something that can be enjoyed throughout your lifetime?”

Participating in “B our Guest: Summer Reading for Adults, Too!” is easy. Adults who read or listen to three books and turn in their entry form earn a finisher's prize - a certificate good for a free drink at Biggby Coffee on West Main St. They also are entered into a drawing for a chance to win a “B a Reader” basket of goodies, including coffee, tea, mugs, and a copy of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die by Peter Boxall.

Patrons who wish to do so may also write brief reviews of the books they have read to share with others. If permission is given by the writer, their reviews will be used at library locations to promote community recommendations. Participants will be free to read any books and types of material of their choice.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Buy a Gift Card and get a Free coffee *

B Happy! That's what it's all about! It's much of the BIGGBY way....I hope Nigel can make it to the opening party of our 100th store on Telegraph Rd in Bloomfield Hills MI. It'll be next Monday, then the store will open on Tuesday the 15th. I can't wait, Everybody is invited!!!!


I had a chance to drop by the new location soon to be under constuction outside Pittsburg PA. I thought I was standing in front of the soon to be location, but I was actually off by a block in spite of great directions from Sandy Green. I refer to some construction as a new WAL MART when in fact I think it was a KOHLS...oops! Anyway it's a great location, check it out!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Joe G....Where is Rose? 100th store everbody knows!

I had a chance for a quick interview with Joe (hey where's yer BIGGBY shirt Joe?)...anyway it's a fun time...and were all excited! Can ya' beleive it?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

B Happy

B Happy
Originally uploaded by A2 Lebowsky not just a chimp, he understands summer and embraces it! Ya' gotta relax ya'know?