Friday, April 30, 2010

Biggby Coffee (South Lyon) ready to celebrate one-year anniversary

April 29, 2010
By Kary Feick
Go to the original Article

Five-star beverages, fast and friendly service, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere are just a few of the qualities that make South Lyon Biggby customers leave the store in a better mood.

On May 5, the South Lyon Biggby Coffee will celebrate one year of hard work, successful sales,and faithful customers. “South Lyon has had a great first year and continues to grow and prosper,” said Bob Fish, CEO and co-founder of the company.

In honor of the anniversary, Biggby, located at
22729 Pontiac Trail, plans to celebrate the day by
giving away free brewed coffee, and employees will
be decorating the store.

“We hope to gain new customers, and show the
community our appreciation for their business,”
said Nishant Khetarpal, owner of the South Lyon

Khetarpal feels the store has come a long way since
the grand opening last May.

“Before we moved in, two other coffee shops already
closed, and people did not seem to think Biggby w
as different, but I am proud that our store made it.
Over the last year, we have increased our daily cup
sales by 100 cups, and in the last month, we have
seen a 35 percent increase in sales. I believe we are
still improving, becoming busier, and meeting a lot
of nice people in the area,” added Khetarpal. “I value
my customers and believe that it does make a
difference having the owner in the store on a
regular basis. I am here over 60 hours a week.
Spending time in the store creates a connection. I
am able to learn people's names, drinks, and

Some customers agreed that without Khetarpal, the
business would not be successful.

“I feel that it makes a difference for Nishant to be in
the store because he helps make Biggby a friendlier
place, and everyone loves him,” said regular
customer Sharon Morabito.

Customers feel the staff at Biggby continues to
brighten the day and deliver tasty beverages.

“My favorite thing about the South Lyon Biggby is
the baristas, they are extremely outgoing. The
atmosphere is welcoming and the location is easy to
get to. It is like my second home and office,” said
Pam Sinagra, a daily customer at Biggby. “I enjoy the
fresh bagels, they are a wonderful addition to my
favorite cup of Biggby Best every morning,” said
Frank Morabito, a true Biggby fanatic.

According to Khetarpal, it is a Biggby tradition to
remember a customer's favorite drink, and in South
Lyon many love Biggby's brewed coffee or anything
with caramel.

“Our customers love the caramel marvel, mocha
caramel, caramel apple cider, and the butter bear.
We are currently promoting the butter bear, which is
a caramel and butterscotch latte. The blended
Advertisement version is one of my personal favorites; the taste is
mouth-watering and delicious,” joked Khetarpal.

In the future, Khetarpal plans on opening five more
Biggby Coffee shops. Before the end of this year,
consumers can expect to see another Biggby
opening in Alma. Khetarpal also plans to extend the
success and build an additional business on the
land he owns next door to Biggby.

Khetarpal believes his team at South Lyon is strong,
experienced, and willing to improve.

“Most of our employees have been here since the
store opened and we have added new employees
that play an important part on our team. Both the
team and store have grown, and I enjoy the idea of
becoming the biggest thing in South Lyon in the
future. I want our Biggby to become a cornerstone
in South Lyon. I want it to be where everybody
comes to get coffee. We already enjoy donating
coffee and helping the community out in whatever
they need,” said Khetarpal.

“It feels good to see that my hard work has paid off.
South Lyon is my new home and I love the people

Kary Feick is a journalism student at Madonna
University and an employee at Biggby. She can be
reached at

Go to the original Article

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lima Ohio, Peggy Rector -- Finalist, Emerging Business of the Year!

It just keeps happening!

BIGGBY COFFEE franchisees winning business awards...ya'gotta love it! :)

The BIGGBY way .... Again !! :) Toledo, OH

I have not found a coffee shop coffee that I just love, in the past I have found others to be either extremely strong, or poor in flavor. Leaving for a road trip with family my sister insisted we stop at Biggby or she would make the ride unpleasent, so we stopped! I went in with her and witnessed the best customer service I have seen in a long time. Greeted by name, and loved the coffee! I love your Teddy Bear!!!

Biggby Coffee Birmingham #mbachat from Hajj Flemings on Vimeo.

I have an MBA and I own a Biggby Coffee am I wasting my degree?

I have an MBA which field should I go into? Have you ever thought about owning a coffee shop after completing your degree?

Let’s look at Joseph Glendinning co-owner of Biggby Coffee locations in Birmingham and Bloomfield Township in Michigan. In 2008 Joseph opened his first Biggby Coffee with his sister Rose Glendinning.

Joseph Glendinning Profile

Joseph Glendinning was an associate attorney in business, real estate and tax law in Chicago for Amari and Locallo law firm and River North Law Group. He has a Bachelors from Albion College, a law degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and an MBA from DePaul University in Chicago.

Joe said that while practicing as an attorney he helped others achieve their goals, but he desired to achieve his own. “I wasn’t super excited to go to work every day,” he said. “I enjoyed my work, but I never felt satisfied with my career choice.”

“I invested a lot of time, money and effort into my career as a lawyer,” Joseph said. “It wasn’t easy to leave it behind for something that was not guaranteed to be a success.”

Work Life Balance

When getting an MBA what is most important? Is it having the bragging rights of working for a prestigious firm/corporation? Or is it more important to do something that you love? The average person spends over 50% of their waking life working, so why not do something that you love?

So is the right thing to do to own a Coffee shop after completing your MBA? What is the right decision post MBA in-terms of jobs and career placement? That is a question that you have to personally answer for yourself nobody can tell you what is right for you. Food for thought some traditional choices are more risky today so non-traditional MBA career path should be considered.

Joseph was able to apply the skills acquired from obtaining his MBA to the day-to-day operations of running his own business. His MBA also expanded his perspective on business, work life, and career path. MBAs have value for traditional corporate positions and entrepreneurial career options.

Advice for others: “I think the best advice is something that my father told me as a boy,” Joseph Glendinning said. “He always told me to find a job that isn’t a job, but a passion - something that I could wake up to every morning and couldn’t wait to start doing.”

Next MBA Chat: April 26th 7:30pm-8:30pm EST. Follow the hashtag: #mbachat

Posted by Hajj Flemings who is the Tech MBA Online Program Ambassador. You can follow him on twitter @hajjflemings
Go To Michigan Tech Blog

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bill Spencer and BIGGBY COFFEE :)

Check out today's trivia question at the Brighton Biggby Store.

The Answer: WXYZ Detroit Channel 7 (and Brighton local) Award Winning Reporter, Bill Spencer!!!!


P.S. Bill and his wife, Veronica, got quite a kick out of today's trivia ...

Friday, April 23, 2010


2010 Business Persons of the Year

Brothers brew up coffee, personal service at Biggby
By LeAnne Rogers • OBSERVER STAFF WRITER • April 22, 2010

Westland Biggby Coffee owners Mo and Al Elfakir pride themselves on providing customers with more than a great cup of coffee.

“We try to take it to another level. What makes us different is the atmosphere and the service,” said Mo Elfakir, who opened the business with his brother, Al, in October 2007. “We want you to have fun and drink a great cup of coffee.”
The brothers, who have a third partner in brother-in-law Basem Almasri, are being honored as the 2010 Business Persons of the Year at the Westland Chamber of Commerce's Spring Awards Celebration at Joy Manor this evening.
“It's like Cheers where everyone knows your name. I come here in the morning, Mo lets me take a nap,” said regular customer Dan Stoner, a Garden City resident. “Even though it's a franchise, I hear people call it Mo's coffee shop. These two guys do a helluva job.”
“I'm not even a coffee drink — I'm a tea drinker — but I love the caramel mellows with a shot of espresso,” said Kim Taylor. “I've had Starbucks but it's not as good. This is personal service, they know my name.”
That emphasis on personal service — both Mo and Al Elfakir pride themselves on knowing not just customer names but also about their jobs, families or maybe hobbies — was an attractive part of the Biggby franchise.
“I worked in sales for AT&T for three years and I was looking for a different concept. I was getting bored with phones,” said Mo Elfakir. “Coffee was the No. 1 growing food business. I decided to look at Biggby. I liked how they laid it out. It was all about interaction and making it more personable.”
The Westland store has been recognized for those efforts by Biggby Coffee. Last fall at the Biggby franchisees meeting, the Elfakirs were presented with the Todd Miles Award, corporate recognition of exceptional skills and service from among 125 stores.
Originally from Sterling Heights, the brothers decided to locate their business in Westland. They not only work together but also live together in Westland.
“I liked the demographics and this was a new shopping center — it was one of the nicest plazas and the location,” Elfakir said. “Also it was the city officials I met and the chamber of commerce. They were willing to help us. I spoke to the mayor (William Wild) and he seemed like a business person. He was willing to help us get the doors open.”
The Elfakirs are also active supporters of local fund-raisers through donations of coffee, special fund-raising mugs and other donations. Among the programs the store has supported are Painting the Town Pink, Westland's H2O Zone water park, the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk and the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.
“We have mugs for Relay for Life. We're on Team Hope and we've raised close to $800 so far,” said Elfakir. | (313) 222-5428

Go TO the Original Observer and Eccentric Hometown Article

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Days like this...You need Hot, Iced, or frozen!

Lansing Community College Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award for 2010 will be awarded to Mary Roszel

Go to LCC Press Release

LANSING - The Lansing Community College Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award for 2010 will be awarded to Mary Roszel, co-founder of Biggby Coffee, a Michigan-based franchise company of coffee cafes. The award will be presented at the 2010 LCC Distinguished Alumni Award Ceremony, 6:00 pm-7:00 pm, Friday, May 7, at the Paula D. Cunningham Administration Building Boardroom on Main Campus in downtown Lansing.
Roszel is co-owner of Biggby’s Coffee which she and partner Bob Fish established in East Lansing in 1995. They opened a second café in 1997 in downtown Lansing, and, in1999, in response to high demand, they sold their first franchise store. Today there are four partners and more than 100 cafes in the Midwest. Roszel provides corporate leadership, participates in the design and build-out of new stores, and works with franchisees to help them realize their dreams.
Roszel grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan and in 1974 moved to East Lansing with her two children. She received a paralegal degree from Lansing Community College in 1976 and worked for the Michigan Supreme Court for 13 years. She returned to college in 1987 after her children had finished school, graduating from Michigan State University in 1988 with a Hospitality degree.
Roszel sits on several boards including: Dine America Advisory Board, Michigan Small Business Technical Development Center Board, Entrepreneurship Advisory Council for the MSU School of Business, and Ele’s Place, a local organization that helps grieving children and their families. Roszel also established an LCC Foundation scholarship that annually assists two single parent students to attend LCC. She enjoys travel, art, wine, and walking.
The Alumni Association chooses its Award recipient from nominees based on distinction in the nominee’s field and service to the community. For information call the LCC Alumni Association
Lansing Community College
P.O. Box 40010 Lansing, MI 48901-7210
at 517-483-1988. For an interview with Mary Roszel or to inquire about press attendance from 5:30 pm-6:00 pm on May 7 call Andrew J. Lathrop at 483-1988.
# # #
About Lansing Community College
Lansing Community College is Michigan’s third largest community college with more than 32,000 students attending each year. The College has more than 240 degree and certificate programs. LCC offers courses in general education for those interested in transferring to a four-year institution, career and workforce development, developmental education and personal enrichment. To meet the professional development and training needs of regional employees, the college offers customized programs for credit, non-credit and continuing education. The University Center at LCC offers students the opportunity to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees from six partner universities on the downtown LCC campus. For more information, visit

Go to LCC Press Release

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The BIGGBY way .... Again !! :) Mason, MI

Thanks for the comment Amanda!

I absolutely love the staff of this location. They have their act together and have some of the best attitudes I have ever seen in retail! I love coming here in the morning....i look forward to the staff more than the coffee sometimes. The store is always clean...staff is always smiling or joking...but always working! Keep up the great work and Thank you for making my day better each and everyday

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Leaders On Leadership - Wayne State University - Detroit Public Televison

Episode 609 - Bob Fish ,
Co-Founder and CEO of Biggby Coffee

How many CEO’s DON’T have an office at their own corporate headquarters? You’ll meet one today.

Air Date: 4/18/10 Go to Detroit Public TV

Go to Detroit Public TV

The 50 Fastest Growing Chain Restaurant Operators for 2010


Chain Store Guide has just released its report of the top 50 fastest growing chain restaurant operators in the U.S. and Canada. Chain Store Guide is a market research company that focuses on the retail and restaurant industries. The company is a division of Lebhar-Friedman,Inc., publisher of such industry standards as Nation’s Restaurant News, Chain Store Age and Retailing Today. Chain Store Guide based the rankings on the five-year growth by units among companies operating at least 20 locations.

With a few exceptions, the CSG ranking is comprised primarily of small but rapidly growing companies. Most have been in existence for not much more than a decade, but mostly through franchising, they’ve weathered the economic downturn of recent years and have continued to thrive. Suppliers and service providers looking for new opportunities would be well served to focus on this vibrant group of companies.

#28 /BIGGBY COFFEE / East Lansing, MI / 110(lcoations) 175.0%(5 Yr Location Growth)


Friday, April 16, 2010

Terri and Jordan of Eight West enjoying morning by sharing coffee from BIGGBY.

Racheal is back...and she was a Guest Barista at the Downtown BIGGBY!!

This just in: A New BIGGBY Fanatic happens every day!

I have hated coffee my whole 38 years of life...never drank a cup...not even through college. So I saw an ad for your butterbear..."Hmmmm", I thought, "that looks tasty...but I bet I'm going to hate it" So I stopped an bought a 10 oz cup because if nothing else I'll like the whip cream on top. Well ~ YUM! Definitely not the coffee I tried in my youth, not the overpriced junk that you find on every corner, and definitely not that stuff in the red can we make at the office. Something about the actual "coffee" part was really good...and then you throw in caramel and butterscotch!!! So the next day I upgraded to 16 oz, then to 24oz. Then I found your coffee in my local store and started brewing at home. Needless to say, I have been hooked on Biggby coffee for almost two weeks. It is wonderful. You shouldn't even call it coffee - that name is too bland - it should be something like "biggby's gourmet flavor-burstin' concoctions!" Thank you for helping me find out what coffee really is supposed to be.


Biggby Coffee fundraiser and TV coverage to boot.

Biggby Coffee fundraiser and TV coverage to boot.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Secret of the Success of Biggby Coffee by Mary Jo Asmus

The Secret of the Success of Biggby Coffee
April 14th, 2010 | Author: Mary Jo Asmus
Go to the Aspire Blog

Biggby Coffee just celebrated its 15th year in business and is the fastest growing coffee franchise in the Midwest. There are two Biggby cafés nearby my office, and I love going there – for the coffee and (more importantly), for the conversations the employees engage me (and all the customers)in. I can’t think of another retail restaurant where the interaction is so positive.

I met the Biggby CEO Bob Fish, aka “Biggby Bob” (@BiggbyBob) through Twitter recently when he “retweeted” (re-sent) a complaint he’d received from a customer. What this means is that his retweet had the potential to be viewed by a lot more people (including me) than it might have if Bob hadn’t re-sent it.

I was fascinated – why would he let more people know about a customer complaint? With what I already knew about how Biggby employees interacted with customers in the stores, I figured there must be a story that connected the “Biggby Way” and the success of the company. So I asked Bob if he would be willing to be interviewed for my blog. He agreed and this post is the result.

P.S. interestingly, the first thing Bob asked was about me and my business, even though our call was set up to interview him. Hmm….he caught me off guard (in a good way) and this added to my thought that he is a leader who models the behaviors he wants to be demonstrated in Biggby cafés.

What would I experience at Biggby Coffee that I wouldn’t experience at one of your competitor’s places?
When we opened in 1995, we wanted to make it more of a positive experience than the other café’s. We see coffee houses as the “fence we lean over” at a time when many of us don’t know the people who live next door. Even our coffee drink names take some of snobbery away from the way most people view “coffee houses” – names like Caramel Marvel and Butter Bear have a sense of fun to them.

Our stores are highly socially engaged with customers and we invest in training our people about how to engage customers in conversations. We teach them the things that they can’t learn anywhere else, like the importance of maintaining eye contact and asking open ended questions.

I noticed on Twitter that you retweeted a customer complaint so that even more people could see the complaint. Most CEO’s wouldn’t do that. What were you thinking?

I was thinking it was the right thing to do. Social media is without filters – if I just retweet the stuff that is complimentary, I’d get called out on it. If we fail for a customer in some way, it’s okay – it shows we’re human.

Relationships, whether on Twitter, through other social media sites, or in person, are paramount. And I’ve found that if you “get naked” and let your guard down, you can accomplish almost anything because it makes you believable and fallible like any human being.

What is your biggest challenge as the leader of Biggby Coffee?

My challenge has been learning how to herd chickens – my description of the difficulty of communicating in a way to get all franchises moving in the same direction. Since our franchises are all individually owned, this is a unique challenge. I’ve learned that communication is a huge thing, and that even when the message is consistent, recipients will hear it in their own ways. So it means that we have to be ever cognizant of how we frame the message and how it’s received.

Your blog chronicles your travels to all 100+ franchises. What are you learning on these visits?

Spending time in the stores allows me to get close to the customers. It’s like a focus group on steroids; when I am there in person, they tell me what they like and what they don’t like. It allows me to undo the “Ivory Tower Syndrome” and watch how The Biggby Way and our cultural values play out.

MJA note: Bob told me that “The Biggby Way” isn’t explicitly articulated but it always comes down to the experience of fun. The cultural values, communicated within the organization, are:

Be Happy

Have Fun

Make Friends

Love people

Drink Great Coffee

Doesn’t Biggby sound like a great place to visit? Oh, and the coffee is good, too!

Go to the Aspire Blog

Monday, April 12, 2010

What a great Truck !! Love the Passion... Go Grand Rapids, Go BIGGBY!!

The BIGGBY way .... by Jason, in Grand Rapids!

I work and live very closely to the Biggby on Plainfield. I am so impressed with Biggby coffee! Part of my job is meeting people in various restaurants and coffee shops. This past week I went to 2 other coffee houses and I missed Biggby. The service at the Plainfield location is phenomenal. Not only this, but the owner truly cares for the people in his community. It's a lifestyle to him. I admire that. He has helped me fundraise for the youth of the community to go to summer camp too. I just wanted you to know that I love having a Biggby in my neighborhood.

Thank you,


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Success Brewing In Metro Detroit ...Go BIGGBY !

11 Apr 2010
by David Go To The Hub

Much has been made lately of the things that Detroit allegedly lacks. Some feel they cannot move here because there just is not enough culture. Others assert that there are no coffee shops within the limits of our city. Although we have both, we’ll focus today on some coffee shop owners who are insistent on the opportunities in Metro Detroit.

Tucked between Wayne State University, the Museum of Contemporary Art – Detroit, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Jose Cayao is confident his Biggby Coffee franchise is in a great location. He had personally seen the success of Biggby in university settings, so he only needed to look at the site for his Detroit location once. The location is on the first floor of the Studio One apartment complex, with the University Towers residence hall behind it, giving him a large source of potential customers within easy walking distance.

Although the store has been open for over a year, there are still plenty of people who are walking into a Biggby for the first time. While the students give them a steady base, many people attending events in the area are attracted by a strong monthly marketing plan within the Cultural Center. With all of the new faces, sincerity is key for the thriving coffee shop.

“When you are sincere in what you say and do, you had better deliver because people expect that from you,” says Cayao.

What customers expect might just be a cup of coffee. What they get is a friendly, sincere customer service experience with coffee as a medium to gather around. He credits that to the five-day training he and his wife Irma insist their employees attend to keep their standards high.

Cayao is optimistic enough about Metro Detroit to own five other Biggby franchises and remains open to owning more. For him, the opportunity is great.

“Even with our economic climate, this is the biggest market in the state and there are only 27 Biggby stores,” he says.

When Rose Glendinning was working in Boston for an investment bank, her brother Joe tried convincing the East Lansing native to come back to Michigan to open a coffee shop. He had written a business plan for the ideal coffee shop to fulfill the requirements for a class and decided they needed to act on the idea.

After some research, they found Biggby was a close match for what Joe had envisioned and decided to open a store in the upscale suburb of Bloomfield Hills. Just three weeks ago, they opened their second location in nearby Birmingham.

Glendinning noted that the appeal of Biggby was the strong business system they already had in place that allowed for some self-expression. When you walk into the Birmingham location, you will notice a bin of dog treats by the front door. They promote a different non-profit organization each month, allowing for “Guest Barista Nights” as fundraisers. You might even see her Dad delivering coffee to neighboring businesses. That family atmosphere is one they work hard at developing.

“Sometimes, it can be hard to find good employees,” Glendinning noted. “So when you find them, you want to keep them. They almost become family too.”

It is that family atmosphere that made it an easier decision to leave behind a big promotion in Boston. While the number of hours she works is probably the same, she enjoys working with her brother. Their mom, a Curves franchise owner in the Lansing area, is active in helping them get featured in local media. Dad enjoys running the Facebook page.

The community has embraced their Birmingham location quickly, even with three national coffee chains and an independent coffee house on the same block.

Two franchise owners. Seven different communities in metro Detroit. Both determined for business success in metro Detroit.

Go To The Hub

Friday, April 9, 2010

Way to Go Andy and the rest of the BIGGBY TEAM, Store 270 at Jolly and Dunckel Road

The Tri-County Waste Reduction Awards Program was held on Wednesday, April 7th. Our store received an award for its recycling efforts! This would not have been possible without everyone doing their part... :-)

Go to their Facebook Page for more pictures :)

Jordan Carson - The Face of Four, finds out what kind of BIGGBY BEAR she is :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

@BIGGBYBOB (me) -- 15 years ago, Original Location -- Go BIGGBY!

B-happy, Have fun, Make friends, Love people ...'s made all the difference :)

Face to face with Dan Ayotte @ BIGGBY COFFEE -- Go Gaylord!

By Ann Rowland

Special to the Herald TimesFriday, April 2, 2010 10:00 AM EDT

Dan Ayotte, second from right, with his Biggby Coffee friends (l-r) MB Monshor, Hannah Listvan, Nick Spavadore and Diane Duff.

Welcome to your neighborhood! Have you noticed all the interesting people? Do you ever wonder who they are, what they do, where they came from and how they live? Get to know them better, one at a time, right here in Market Place.

This week, Market Place (MP) loitered at Biggby Coffee with a cup of joe, hoping for an interesting encounter, and was not disappointed. A gentleman walked in, ordered iced tea and began chatting up the baristas (B) as they frothed milk and filled cups..... READ THE REST OF THE STORY :)

Richard St. John's 8 secrets of success | Video on

Richard St. John's 8 secrets of success | Video on

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Another BIGGBY COFFEE Opens.... breaking the cycle !

Birmingham MI

Local finds opportunity with Biggby

When Mohamed Shetiah moved to East Lansing from his home in Egypt 21 years ago, he didn’t know English, the American culture, or exactly what to expect in the United States.

The only thing Shetiah really knew, he said, was that he was coming to the U.S. for opportunities he couldn’t find at home.

“I came here for a better life, to go to a good school and start a new life and career,” Shetiah said. “Now, here I am.”

On Tuesday, Shetiah opened his 20th Biggby Coffee shop at 4480 Hagadorn Road, in Okemos, giving him more than twice as many stores as any other Biggby franchise owner — which he said was another step in his journey to fulfill his dreams.

Coming to the U.S. in 1989, Shetiah moved in with his uncle, who already had lived in the country for 20 years. Shetiah said his first few years in his new homeland, when he worked various odd jobs at fast food restaurants and golf courses..... Read More....Local finds opportunity with Biggby

Malcolm Gladwell on spaghetti sauce | Video on

Malcolm Gladwell on spaghetti sauce | Video on