Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Biggby Coffee will open this spring in former Portofino space on West
Jeannine Mickeleit will transform the former Portofino coffee shop located at 2550 W. Stadium Blvd. into her second Biggby Coffee franchise in Ann Arbor.
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
Ann Arbor will get another Biggby Coffee location by March, this time on the west side of Ann Arbor in the space formerly occupied by Portofino Coffee.
“We will be taking over that space,” said Jeannine Mickeleit, who also owns the Biggby franchise on Plymouth Road in the Upland Green complex.
Mickeleit signed a lease in December for the former Portofino space, 2550 W. Stadium Blvd., just southeast of the Jackson Road intersection (see map).
The building is perfect for a new coffee shop, said Susan Moore of Colliers International, who worked with Mickeleit and listing agent Jim Chaconas on the deal. Since the space was formerly used for a similar function until Portofino closed last spring, the configuration suits the coffee shop layout, Moore said.
The transformation of the shop started in December. In addition to cosmetic changes, it also needs new equipment that fits the Biggby formats. The coffee shop has at least 100 outlets in six states.
The West Stadium store will eventually employ about 15, Mickeleit said.
She’ll also split her time between her two franchises.
“I’m here pretty much every day,” she said from her Plymouth Road shop, which opened in fall 2009. “It’s a hands-on operation.”
She also hopes to open a third store in Ann Arbor. Another franchise group operates stores on East Liberty and Washenaw Avenue.
Coffee shops have been closing across the U.S., including hundreds of Starbucks stores in 2009. Local changes in the past year include the closing of Portofino, Primo Coffee on East Liberty and an Espresso Royale on Carpenter Road.
And while the independent coffee shop didn’t last in the space, the Biggby brand - growing in several states amid aggressive marketing support from the East Lansing-based corporate office - should made the difference for Mickeleit, Moore said.
Mickeleit agreed. While there are several eateries in the West Stadium corridor, she pointed out the lack of a traditional coffee shop on the corridor.
“It’ll be a great addition to that side of town,” she said. “I think it lacks a coffee place.”
Paula Gardner is Business Director of AnnArbor.com. She can be reached by e-mail or by calling 734-623-2586. Follow her on Twitter.
Friday, January 15, 2010
This just in...thanks for sharing Alyssa!
I was always a "Starbucks girl," but recently in an attempt to save money I've switched from my normal latte's to brewed coffee. I must admit, Biggby's brewed coffees are phenomenal. They are far superior to Starbucks not only in taste, but because I have so many options!
I've made my way around the Biggby's in East Lansing and Okemos, and I must say the store on Marsh Road is the best! They are quick, knowledgeable and SO friendly! Every morning I go there, I leave with a smile! This staff is superb! I can not give them enough accolades.
Thank you, what you do may seem simple, but it has definitely converted me to a "Biggby girl."
I met an elderly woman yesterday in the Gull Rd location during SPOT BOB. She was frail and her husband was with her and really doting on her...it was nice to see. She made a special point to come over and thank me for buying her Super Caramel Marvel, as many people do, and we started talking....
Her spirit was exceptionally strong, and her smile was contagious...I asked her if she always gets a Super (24oz) Caramel Marvel? Her husband jumped in and said "oh yeah...usually two or three a day!" My eyebrow went up a bit because she looked slight, like a good stiff wind might blow her over, and three just seemed like a lot. And then with the biggest smile she said "I have to get chemo almost everyday," her husband just smiled and nodded, and that's when I noticed she was wearing something that looked like a black bathing cap.
Needless to say I was stunned, and then even more so when he said "you're keepin' her alive." For those of you that know me, I am not usually at a loss for words, but I was then. And in one millisecond I felt warmth, and spirit, and strength, and smallness...and all I could do was smile. She waved and said goodbye.
There is much we do at BIGGBY that we are proud of...but this was a moment of perspective. I do not know her name...but I will never forget her face. Thank You.
B-happy, Have fun, Make friends, Love people....drink great coffee -- it works :)
Sunday, January 10, 2010
This note was sent to @T_C_B ...
I wanted to let you know that I have just returned from meeting a couple of other MK ladies at the Biggby store on S. Cedar St. in Lansing. I had ordered a hot drink and when walking back to my/our table (next to the wall/walkway that leads to the back of the store) I slipped on the ceramic tile flooring and, whoops, spilled my drink. Actually, only spilled about 1/4 inch out of the top of the drink and the slip was totally my fault. I only slipped, I did not 'hit bottom' or land on the floor. What I want to tell you is that before I could even walk the last 6 feet to my table, the two young people working this afternoon (don't know their names, sorry, but I know you can find out) had a towel for me to wipe the drink off my hand and arm AND a 2nd cup of what I had ordered!!!
Thank you, thank you. That type of customer service, sometimes these days, is remarkable. I applaud your company for either choosing to employ people who have those 'people' traits, or teaching them how important 'good' customer service is.
I thank you and, although I thanked both of these young people at the time, please thank them again for me.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Somebody sent a bootleg version of a Weight Watchers calculator and sent me this!
I have not fact-checked this to see whether it is accurate or not, just passing it along :)
Skinny Skinny Mocha Mocha w/ No Whip (aka Reduced Calorie)
Skinny Skinny Vanilla Bean, Nutty Buddy, or Irish Cream Latte (aka Reduced Calorie)
Reduced Calorie Caramel Marvel, Mint Mocha, Mocha Caramel, White Lightning:
Go to the blog that produced this review The Lansing (MI) Blog or click on video and read below :)
OUR REVIEW: Biggby’s “Skinny, skinny, mocha, mocha” for two Weight Watchers points
by Wes Thorp on January 7, 2010
PLEASE NOTE: For a video review, click in the multi-media box on the top right.
I forgot the $1 off coupon before we went to Biggby’s to satisfy our taste for a sweet, chocolate coffee drink. We’ve always gotten just coffee before, but Bob Fish, Biggby’s co-founder, convinced me to step-out by trying their “skinny, skinny, mocha, mocha” drink with reduced calories.
Decadent chocolate drink at Biggby's in Lansing.
As Weight Watchers Online people, we count points. We can eat and drink regular people stuff, but we have to do it within limits. Does it work? You bet. I am peeling off a risk factor-being overweight- which could be my bane as an older baby-boomer. But, there’s always the desire to eat or drink something sweet. And living in Lansing, going to Biggby’s is always a plus experience.
Without our coupon, super-wife and I ordered and split a short “skinny, skinny, mocha, mocha” and we were surprised by what we tasted. Co-founder Fish is right. It has a decadent chocolate taste. Let it be noted that even without the whipped cream, we felt guilty drinking it. That’s the feeling we wanted. It didn’t taste healthy.
But, the short version had only two Weight Watchers points. The barista very kindly show be the calories and other info I needed. The price tag was not immodest though at $3.65 for the small cup.
Would we recommend it? Definitely.