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WAUSAU, WI, 3/20/2015 – Tom Belongia of Wausau, Wisconsin has been a BIGGBY COFFEE Franchisee since 2009. He now owns four BIGGBY franchises in Wisconsin, two in Wausau, one in Rib Mountain, and one in Marshfield. In February of this year Tom received a Department of Defense award from the Employer Support of The Guard and Reserve (EGSR) office. The EGSR was established in 1972 to promote understanding and cooperation between members of the Reserve and their civilian employers. The EGSR says “Recognizing supportive employers is vital to ESGR’s mission. ESGR’s 54 State Committees actively promote awards as a key element in furthering employer support, while strengthening relationships between service members and employers. DoD awards honor the sacrifices made by so many employers year after year.”


Tom was presented the “Patriotic Employer” award on February 27, 2015. According to the EGSR the Patriot Award reflects the efforts made to support Citizen Warriors through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence if needed. “It was a huge honor to be called a Patriotic Employer. It’s not something we were looking at being we were just trying to do the right thing by those that serve this great country.” Tom said. The award is on display at the Bridge St store in Wausau, WI, but all of his stores have posted a pledge to maintain that level of support to all employees who serve in the Guard or the Reserves.


About BIGGBY® COFFEE East Lansing, Mich.-based BIGGBY® COFFEE was started with a single store on March 15, 1995. One year later, and on the cusp of opening a second location, Bob Fish and his business partner Michael McFall, on a handshake and $3,000, decided to franchise the concept. BIGGBY® COFFEE’s core values of B happy, have fun, make friends, love people and drink great coffee help coffee-lovers and the coffee-curious alike benefit from a less pretentious and fun approach to the standard gourmet café paradigm. Besides connoisseur-worthy drinks with pronounceable names like Teddy Bear and Caramel Marvel, BIGGBY® baristas provide a unique experience focused on brightening their customer’s day. The “Big ‘B’” on the orange background caught on, and today BIGGBY® COFFEE has 243 cafes open or under contract across nine states including: Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Florida and Texas.