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Michigan Based Gourmet Coffee Retailer Experiencing Success Despite Wavering Economy


EAST LANSING, MICH., July 1, 2011 – The cost to open a BIGGBY COFFEE franchise is now the lowest in the company’s history following the recent development of a new store footprint; cutting store build-out and start-up by nearly 40 percent.


The East Lansing, Michigan based gourmet coffee company began franchising in 1999 and currently has 133 locations open, or under contract to open, in seven states including, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, South Carolina and Texas. Prior to 2011, costs for franchisees to open a café totaled more than $290,000. Since re-designing the store footprint however, costs have now dropped to approximately $210,000.


“Working to improve our system was the top priority when we sat down to reexamine the process and the cost to start an individual location,” Michael McFall, President of BIGGBY COFFEE said. “By streamlining our utilization of resources, including simplifying the contractor process, material sourcing and delivery, we were able to reduce overall costs by $70,000 -$80,000 per location. The overall look and feel of the new stores remains the same as stores open prior to the redesign.”


In 2010 BIGGBY COFFEE recorded revenue of $37.1 million, an 18.1% increase from 2009 and is currently witnessing 18 straight months of same store sales growth franchise wide. In fact, in 2010 a majority of open BIGGBY COFFEE stores open experienced their most profitable year ever.


For many this may come as a surprise as the state of Michigan, (where 90% of their stores are located,) was one of the hardest hit by the nation’s economic recession and still has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.


“Despite the economic slow-down, our company has continued to grow and with the new store footprint, there are even more opportunities for success. It allows our potential franchisees the opportunity to experience both a faster and higher return on capital and can expand our current franchisees’ ability to open additional stores,” McFall said. “Of the last 16 stores opened, 60% of them were opened by existing BIGGBY COFFEE franchise owners.”


Franchise-wide BIGGBY COFFEE currently employees more than 1,500 people and as a corporation, celebrated their 16th anniversary in March of 2011. BIGGBY COFFEE’s home office is located in East Lansing, MI.


East Lansing, Mich.-based BIGGBY® COFFEE opened a single store in March of 1995 based on the founding principle that coffee-lovers and the coffee-curious alike would benefit from a less pretentious approach to the standard gourmet café paradigm. BIGGBY COFFEE introduced connoisseur-worthy drinks with pronounceable names like Teddy Bear and Caramel Marvel, and barista staff surprised guests with simple gestures like free kazoos and bouncy balls for no other reason than to brighten their day. The “Big ‘B’” on the orange background caught on, and today BIGGBY COFFEE has 135 cafes open or under contract across seven states including Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, South Carolina, Wisconsin and Texas.  For more information, visit