BIGGBY COFFEE to open Dec. 16 locally


CHARLOTTE — Gail Atkins doesn’t open her first business until Dec. 16 when she and son Trent introduce Biggby Coffee to Charlotte.

 

Regardless, Atkins is already an insider, a pro when it comes to food service, with 45 years of experience under her belt. She’s waitressed, managed and help plan events as the convention manager at the Holiday Inn South. Now she’s ready to call the shots.

 

“I don’t have to account to anybody but me,” she said. Meanwhile, Trent plans to leave the day-to-day business in his mother’s hands, keeping his full-time job with the Lansing Fire Department.

 

A part of the community

 

Trent said the family has been interested in opening a Biggby franchise for at least a year. Charlotte seemed primed for the business. “We see a lot of great things happening here and I wanted to be a part of that,” he said. “We want to be a part of the community.”

 

For her part, Gail wants to develop an understanding and relationship with loyal customers — something she witnessed first hand during her training at Biggby’s headquarters.

 

“When I trained people were still in their car and the servers were already making their drink because they knew what they wanted,” she said. “It’s very much like when I was planning conferences and things like that. I knew people by name.”

 

The operation already has a local staff. Everyone working at the new business lives in Eaton County.

 

So far, Trent said the local response has been overwhelmingly positive. “People seem really excited about it,” he said.

 

Biggby Coffee will open at 6 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 16.

 

Rachel S. Greco can be reached at (517) 541-2531 or via e-mail at rgreco@gannett.com .

 

Original article: http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20081214/CHAR08/812140373/1004/NEWS03