Thursday, August 28, 2008

Kalamazoo-- YAHOO!

I visited our store in Kazoo located on Westnedge...I met Catlin (sp?), Mike, Megan, and a coupla good suggestions on recycling and a healthier approach to beverages...I also learned that shoe designers only pay attention to people that wear size 6. I had lots of fun...there was lot's of is no surprise that they won the Todd Miles award! They were perfect in their approach towards every customer that came in...including myself! I had a fun interview even though I couldn;t stay long...I loved these guys!

I Love this photo!

Taylor Beard
Originally uploaded by B-Happy Lounge
People are awesome....I love the creativity, the cuteness, the fun, and the carefree nature of all the photos on the B-Happy lounge! Taylor this is great!!

B-Happy here

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

E is for Escanaba -- B is for BIGGBY :)

A nice article from the 51st State (Escanaba, MI) Cindy and Pat are awesome operators but don't take my word for this: or click here to go to the article

Biggby Coffee in Escanaba seeing hundreds of customers daily
By Beth Jones
Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 6:23 p.m.

ESCANABA -- With constantly rising costs and a struggling economy, it's tough to start up a new business.

In April, one Escanaba couple opened up Biggby Coffee in downtown Escanaba and surprisingly says they've had no trouble staying afloat.

What once was a vacant building in downtown Escanaba is now a trendy little coffee shop.

For owner, Cindy Wakefield, business has been better than anticipated.

"Anytime you have a start up, you're not sure exactly how it's going to go, but this community has embraced us and we're thrilled," explained Wakefield.

Wakefield and her husband decided to open up the coffee shop after hearing how much their son enjoyed a Biggby downstate.

"We thought Escanaba would be a great place to have kind of a trendy, fun place that people were familiar with," Wakefield said.

Wakefield says well over 100 customers walk through the doors each day.

Even though they've only been open for four months, she says they have a number of regulars who swing by every morning.

"We have a lady named Laurie, who comes for her Big Chill and we have her recipe placed right on our counter," Wakefield said.

"I actually like the coffee, that's why I come here the most, it's really good, and the people are really nice, that's why I come here," explained customer, James Flath.

This store is the only Biggby Coffee in the U.P.

Although that may be an advantage, Wakefield says some added costs have come with being so far north.

"We did have an impact from the rising fuel costs because of all the deliveries because we're so far north really impacts us," Wakefield explained. "We have fuel surcharges, but we did have to change our prices, minimal, because we couldn't absorb that cost."

This was the 97th Biggby Coffee to open in the U.S.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rant and Rave.... :)

So I'm surfn' the net, and I come across this blog....from an's perfect!
comment on Bens Blog

Facing Forward
The Benny Horror Picture Show

Having Said That
I really enjoy working for Biggby. That said, the other day our drink "menus" came in and I can’t even begin to put into words how awesomely corny the drink descriptions are. Here are some choice excerpts:

Teddy Bear
So sweet it can make even the sourest sourpuss smile. Send us your grump and we’ll turn them giddy with our Teddy Bear. (Guys: Doesn’t sound manly enough for you? Yeah, we know. So here’s the plan: Order a Grizzly Bear and wink twice with your left eye. We’ll know that it’s really a Teddy Bear you want.)

Take Aunt Mabel’s pumpkin pie and put it in a blender. That’s what our Chai tastes like. We can even add whipped cream like Aunt Mabel used to, except we’ll ask for a dime instead of a big fat wet kiss. We just don’t know you well enough for that.

Berry Creme Freeze
A strawberry and a banana walk into a bar. . . A coffee bar, that is. Buh-dum ching! Thank you! We’ll be here all week! Try the veal!

I’m not sure about the other baristas, but if some guy comes up to me asking for a Grizzly Bear and winking, I’m going to be looking at them strangely and feeling a bit weird.

So as you know I often ask baristas..."If you had me job (as CEO and Co-founder of BIGGBY COFFEE) what's the one thing you would change? So I think this 'rant' is exactly what I want to hear out there....having said that here was my comment back...

This coffee is way too silly dammit! Wow, you are right…way too silly!!!

I mean, if I read one more desription for a competitors drink that says (BTW–these are real):

“Rich, full-bodied espresso combined with our proprietary bittersweet mocha syrup and steamed milk. Topped with a cloud of whipped cream.”

“Supreme espresso drink, the Mocha is a decadent mix of espresso and premium cocoa, crowned with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.”

Absolute snoozers…boring, dull, average…..same ol’ thing, ya’know?

Enough is enough….we all know what’s in a mocha….I’d rather poke fun, anyday, than read another drink description that is just like everybody elses….the day that BIGGBY is like everybody else out there…I hope I get fired!

So yes, goofy, silly, fun, happy…it’s not a crime :)

So tell me what do you think?


The culture inside BIGGBY COFFEE shops is influenced by many of those things is the music playlist. I think the concern by many is that something like music in 'any' retail operation can be contrived...and plastic. Our objectives are different, sure BIGGBY has a set of criteria that can veto a choice, but otherwise there are so many choices and so many ideas....that can't be found on a 'top 40 list'...why wouldn't we use them? It's part of the BIGGBY way, ya'know?

.click here to go to Plugged In is an update by Bill Chapin of Plugged In

Help suggest music for a coffee shop playlist
Posted by Bill Chapin August 25, 2008 16:35PM
Categories: What I'm Digging
I doubt I'll be making any suggestions found on this disc.Today's lesson: Be careful what you wish for in your blog, because people who can grant your wish may actually be reading it.
I kind tossed off a blog entry late on a Friday a week and a half ago in which I not-at-all-seriously (OK, maybe half-seriously) suggested that the folks at Biggby Coffee allow me to create daily playlists for them to play in their stores. I'd noticed a new mix of music when I was in the Jackson location earlier that day and been excited to hear some obscure indie folk-pop.

First, the entry got a comment from none other than Biggby Bob himself. Then today a comment appeared from Jeremy DeRuiter, who identified himself as the guy who headed up the committee in charge of Biggby's new music mix. His entire comment is reprinted after the jump.

Hey Bill,
I headed up the committee that piloted BIGGBY through the recent change in music, so I was very happy to read your comments here on the change. You're exactly right about the old music...not worthy of hate, but not really anything that's going to have you tapping your foot while you wait in line. Boo.

We aimed for tracks that were high energy and fun, and a mix that included stuff off the beaten path like the Fruit Bats, not-so-well-known tracks from well-known artists, and a dash of sing-along-worthy hits as well.

As to repeats, yep there's always a threat of that, despite the 19+ hours of music on the current disc, but if baristas are hearing the same song every day, something is fishy. I was very very sensitive to the "threat" of repeats on the playlist, only having recently recovered from a couple years of loop-trauma back in college when I worked at a video store that played a 1 hour promo tape on repeat for a full month...ugh!

A new mix per day isn't in the cards just yet — though there will be a new disc hitting stores later this week — 20 summery songs pulled out, with 70 new tracks added, half of which were song requests submitted by staff members. Once we hit the maximum size for the disc a few mixes down the road, we'll get a bit more aggressive with turning over a larger percentage of tracks so stuff stays fresh.

So, while I can't take you up on your daily playlist offer, I think it would be fun to see what you could bring to the November mix — drop me a line at with 10 tracks you think would go well with our mix, and if they meet our standards for energy and fun (and can clear licensing ... ) I'll add them to the mix!

Phew! A longer post than I planned on — can't help it though — having my finger in the BIGGBY music pie is just too much fun. ;)

Thanks again for the thoughtful comments.

All the best,

First of all, let me just say thanks to Jeremy for shedding a bit more light on how all of this works. I'm always curious about how businesses arrive at the music that plays over their speakers. I may have misunderstood what the barista told me about the repeating song, or she may have been exaggerating for effect, but it's nice to know I won't hear the Fruit Bats every time I go to lunch.

Second of all ... me? You want me to suggest music? Oh boy. You don't know what you've gotten yourself into. (You may want to check today's lesson at the top of the post.)

Because I believe in democracy and I wouldn't want my newfound sense of music-programming power to go to my head too much, I'm going to open this up to you readers. Got an idea for a song you'd like to hear next time you order a latte? Send it my way, either by posting a comment below or shoot me an e-mail. I'll reserve up to five spots on my 10-song list for your suggestions and pass them along to Jeremy. Remember, we're trying to compliment the existing mix as described above. If you suggest something totally ridiculous, I'm going to skip it. As much as I appreciate the technical proficiency it requires, death metal and coffee really don't go together.

Monday, August 25, 2008

My Barber said the Store was open...?

So I'm gettin' my hair cut on Friday, and my Barber tells me that his daughter went to the Owosso location and really liked it. Well, I was feelin' kinda funny, 'cuz someone inside corporate usually sends me an email or somthing to say "hey store so n'so is opening!"....and I was fellin' a little left out....and I didn't want to let on I didn't know. So it's been burnin' a hole in my brain the size of an apple all weekend....and, yeah, I know I could'a just called somebody or the store to find out what the deal was...but instead I just jumped in the car today and got there in a hurry...this is what I found...:) Question is? Where was the Barbers daughter?

Pic of the Moment

Michelle, Dylan, and I were ramblin' around this weekend and had a chance to stop in and see Lori and James...Great visit!BEAN BAG toss in Mason MI

Kary wears the smallest shoesize....Ever!

I had a nice visit to the Fuller St. location in GR last week....when I was there I had a chance to interview Kary (she was off duty at the time), who has the smallest shoe size I have on record (she also thinks Michigan is backwards?) She made the statement..."drink yer coffee and B-Happy" ....doesn't get any better or more staightforward than that!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Captain Kirk discovers Hippies in Grand Rapids

So I go to visit Emily in Grand Rapids...a super fine store there on Fuller. I find Kirk workin' behind the counter...he has some ideas for me 'as the CEO' of the Company. It involves all this short, tall, grande language we use in the coffee shop business (he think we should call it small, medium, and everybody else in America :) ) Anyway watch the video and tell me what you think!


So I've been getting reports out there talkin' about a B-HAPPY van/truck...but I had never seen it. Then I heard it was over on Waverly Road on the West side of Lansing...right next door to a restaurant where I 'cut my teeth' in the restaurant business. Anyway I went over to catch a shot early in the morning...I was sitting out front and I was amazed at the number of people that just kept comin' and goin' from BIGGBY. There must have been ten storefronts in this little strip center and BIGGBY was the only thing happening....I went inside to check it out and all I can say is the BIGGBY Way was oozing over the counter...Nice job!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bruce outs Jordan (sp?)

So I am at the 100th store second Grand Opening, and I run across Bruce who tells me a story about his daughter in Ann Arbor...I thought he captured a peice of the BIGGBY WAY.....way to go Bruce! Jordan....all I can say is it's nice to have your Dad thinking about you! :)

Governor Granholm Gets Mugged at a BIGGBY COFFEE

So I was at the second (but probably not last) Grand Opening of the 100th store....I met Melanie Brown, Deputy Director to the Gov....and she was a real sport and an awesome interview! Goverment sometimes feels like goverment and not real people....Melanie made it real....Thanks Melanie!!!! :)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fruit Bats and BIGGBY COFFEE

We changed our music line-up recently...and it has been met with much is a comment by Bill Chapin om MLive Plugged In...GO TO Plugged In He walked into one of our locations in Jackson that is co-located with a Roly Poly...

Imagine my delight when I walked into Roly Poly for lunch today and heard Fruit Bats. (That's Fruit Bats with a capital F and B, the Seattle-via-Chicago folk rock band, not members of the family Pteropodidae.) It was the song "Legs of Bees" off the band's 2005 Sub Pop release "Spelled In Bones," which is precisely the type of obscure pop music I would play in MY rolled sandwich shop if I had one.

If you aren't familiar with the Fruit Bats, well ... now you are:

I can't for the life of me remember the music that used to play in the Roly Poly and the neighboring Biggby Coffee that shares the building. I'm thinking it was some classy, jazzy instrumental music of some sort. I didn't hate it, but apparently the corporate folks at Biggby headquarters in Lansing decided their in-store music needed some spicing up and commissioned a new music mix.

While waiting for and eating my California Hummer wrap, I also heard "Crocodile Rock" by Elton John, some soul track I couldn't quite place but sounded like Diana Ross, and "Young Folks" by Swedish twee-rock band Peter Bjorn and John.
I spoke briefly with the barista at Biggby while she was making my after-lunch, liquid, espresso-based dessert. She said she appreciated the new music mix, too, although it contains one song she doesn't like and she is guaranteed to hear it at least once a day because the mix repeats. That would drive me nuts. Even if I put together a playlist with eight hours worth of my favorite songs of all time, I could never listen to it on repeat every day.

Why not have someone create a new playlist every day? Someone like, I don't know ... me? Come on. Please?

Mocha Mocha

Mocha Mocha
Originally uploaded by A2 Lebowsky
Digby will be going back on the road with me again tomorrow...we have a gig at our Telegraph Rd location in Bloomfield Hills (It's our 100th store) I got the invite to come at 10 am...apparenty the Lt Gov John D Cherry will be there AND Melanie Brown, Deputy Director of the Southeast Michigan Executive Office to Governor Jennifer Granholm AND Tony Baltimore from Congressman Mike Rogers Office will be attending, along with Bloomfield Hills Township officials and State Representatives, the Oakland County Sheriff Bouchard and so on....whew, I might have to dig out the ol' suit ya'know?

Well anybody is I'd love to see you there, if you can (I'll buy)

Computer Experts found at BIGGBY COFFEE

Barb H...took her computer to BIGGBY...and this is what happened...Go to her BLOG

You can always count on people to come through. I just got a laptop and have been in the process of getting ready for a trip and NEEDING to be able to access e-mail. For my dry run of WiFi I decided to go to Biggby because it's sortof like home for me. I got stuck right away because I had to find my wireless access and had no clue where that would be on this new machine because I've never had to know. I looked around at the 3 people using laptops here and asked one young woman who had me up an running in less than three minutes. What a relief and cool feeling of freedom to be able to sit here and sip my favorite Biggby's Best/Hazelnut combo and write.

On a little business note, the Gift Therapist has put the CADDi in her top- 20 picks for this year.

Ya' never know what can happen at a BIGGBY!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Award Night Celebrations at our Annual Meeting

I didn't get home till mid-night last night....but I have to say the Awards Night was just awesome! Dinner, Awards, and is a series of videos, that shows a little bit of that fun. We had Casino Night, relaxation, and networking late into the night....but today is more serious, with a full day of presentations :) Take a peek....and while you do, I have to get going :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pushing Forward....pretty amazing!

People keep asking me 'how is it you guys keep opening stores while others are pulling back?' is the schedule for the next round of stores coming to find the address of a store click on LOCATIONS and then click on the store #...

258 Detroit 8/24/2008

196 Owosso 9/16/2008

266 Muskegon 9/16/2008

254 Coldwater 9/23/2008

206 Lansing 10/7/2008

260 Waterford 10/14/2008

Well I know everybody is lookin' for the magic pill...but sometimes it can be a little more simple. Ya' have to keep in mind that we have always been "scrappers', the underdog, the company that just had to pull up it's bootstraps and get the job done. We haven't had the luxury of Wall Street money that could be burned, with a few mistakes....and apologies.

We have had to work harder, smarter, leaner, and tougher than anybody else out there. So when things get a difficult (economically speaking)'s not that we don't notice :)'s that were built for this moment, ya'know?

Now with that 'Can do' spirit comes a 'Positive Mental Attitude' that is unparalleled...mix in a little 'Mid-Western work ethic'...what does all that produce?

Fun...that's right Fun. It's weird but when work, is not work, but fun instead....great things happen 'to all of us' and that's the answer to 'how we keep opening stores' .... pretty cool, ya'know?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Anything weird happen to you today?

John Cook
Originally uploaded by B-Happy Lounge
The BIGGBY B-Happy Bouncy Ball....what a fun toy! So many people have ordered them off the B-Happy Lounge the lounge that we ran out! Course it seems irrational but what doesn't today? It's 60 degrees this morning in Michigan and it's August! Gas (the news says this morning) is back down to $3.80....and after it being in the low-$4's, all of a sudden it sounds like a good deal, what?

Course that's the way of life...being unpredictable, so you might as well have fun and B-Happy, ya'know?

I've been getting ready for our annual franchise meeting and have not been on the although I'll be touching base, updates might be a little wanting....but keep checking in...ya'never know! :)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Brian...Geek or Dork?

Originally uploaded by elliott_andrew
FYI this is not an endorsement of the product or concept....just a fun photo! I stumbled across this on flckr....and it jumped out to me right away. The word is Brian is Happy because he used a dollar off coupon....others like the fact that the B-Happy banner is behind him. The larger debate though is whether he is a 'geek' or a 'dork' (I can say this because I have called myself a dork) opinion is (without knowing him personally) that he is a 'ham' .....anyway no matter how ya' cut's just fun!

BIG RED --It's not just a gum

Bloggers unite! Was checking some other blogs out there and found a comment on BIGGBY by Big Red the BLOG

I appreciate everybody spreading the word :)

Michigan started a small coffee shop that in the past 5 years has picked up like a flash flood. My opinion its MUCH MUCH better than Star bucks. It’s also cheaper.

One of the things I like about Biggby is their CEO, Bob. Ya, we’re on a first name basis now…not because I know him, but because he has a blog.

It’s actually a fun blog to read. He tours around some times going from store to store video interviewing people. Of course he does a write up on each place he stops.

Point being…its great to see a local place that is doing well in this crazy economy, and it’s great to see an active owner. If your in Michigan, find a Biggby and enjoy one of your best cups of coffee ever !!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Super Freak -- Jones Soda Guy

So I am holding down the Front Desk this afternoon (for those that don't know what that's all about.... everybody (includin' me) runs the reception area and answers the B-heard Hotline several times a month. It's keeps us all in touch and it's the right thing to do ya'know?) Anyway this dude (Gene) comes in from Jones Soda....and he is all fired up cuz' were addin' it to the lineup (bottles, and in a way ya' can't even imagine yet :) !!!) I never met Gene b4 but he is one of these 'bowl ya over' kinda guys (aka a Super Freak)....but I love'it

He starts talkin' to me about some Amino Acid that does wonders (weird stuff) and I had to get it on I asked to interview him and he was all game. Now, this'll look like an ad cuz' in the middle of it all Stephanie walks through (she can be a little shy sometimes)and I see Gene lookin' at her, so I swing over...and I swear it looks rehearsed (but it's not!!!) decide!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I had an appointment in Chelsea MI the Common Grill. I was meeting some friends in the industry to talk shop...but I was hoping that I would run into Craig too, Chef/Owner of the Common Grill

I decided to take Digby with me...and test his navigation skills. Well, basically I knew where I was going (cuz I love the Common Grill), and so Digby and I just chatted about England (it's where he is from....and I used to live there)

We had fun listening to 'The Clash -- London Calling'....and talking about places we have been. I had a great lunch with D&D...and learned a lot. In the middle of lunch Craig stopped out to say hello....I have known him since my egg flippen' days...and I hadn't seen him since he went to Italy with his family...Lunch was awesome. Thanks Craig!

Here is a little of the drive...

Another Defiant glimpse of the BIGGBY WAY


Tools for Schools: Area groups hammer away at providing school supplies

Some of that worry will be alleviated when United Way of Defiance County kicks off its Tools for School collection later this month. The school supply collection is slated for 7-10 a.m. Aug. 14 at Biggby Coffee, 720 N. Clinton St., Defiance, according to Carrie Wetstein, executive director of United Way of Defiance County. During the three-hour period, area residents are asked to drop off either classroom supplies or monetary donations which will be used to buy school supply kits for grades pre-kindergarten-2, 3-5 and 6-12.

Full Story from the
Crescent News

Go Defiance, OH !!!!!!

Michigan History -- Vernors

Vernors was started by Michigan pharmacist James Vernor in Detroit MI....a real favorite check out the story on The Wiki...

The Detroit News has a little story this morning about a WSU expansion near turns out that expanansion is on the site of an old Vernors plant...

The Woodward Avenue complex features 130 rental units and 26,000-square-feet of retail space. That will include Utrecht Art Supplies, a branch of Fifth Third Bank, Radio Shack and a Biggby Coffee shop. Longtime Detroiters remember the site as the spot where the Vernor's Ginger Ale plant once stood.

click here for the full Detroit News story

Things change, we are proud to be a part of that change with a new Michigan legacy.

Have fun...B-happy!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Crickets in Toledo

And so I shot down to Toledo (with a full tank of gas!) and I was lookin' for Erika....queen of BIGGBY in Toledo. But it was Friday afternoon...and she was makin' the rounds to all the stores...I took a gamble to see if she was at Cricket West. Instead I found Ashely (sp?) and she was working was that store busy for a Friday at 3:30 pm....she made me a Iced Teddy Bear, yuuuumy! Anyway I hung out for a while and it was so steady I couldn't even get up to do an interview....finally I found a break in the action...but even then, I only got a few minutes on tape before I had to say goodbye...Cricket West Rocks!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Please Recycle

A nice shot and a cute picture....made me think this is just another way to recycle your paper cup... :) Speaking of which I recycle at home and go out to my local recycle center on a regular basis....I always look into the recycle containers and never see cups from coffee shops....not ours not anybodies.

Any thoughts on why people do not recycle their paper cups from coffee shops?

Originally uploaded by B-Happy Lounge
Biggby Coffee makes puppies cuter!

Stay Organic

As you all know there is a lot that goes on in Cyberspace...And it happens in a very organic matter. I would like to make a call to anybody that is comfortable with the WWW, to go to wikipedia, find the BIGGBY listing BIGGBY Wiki and give it an update....whatever you think is right :)

It can't and shouldn't be done by us...Have Fun!