2017 Store of the Year Winners: Meet the Dehem Family
Did you ever meet someone and you felt like you had known them for years? For us, that was Jim, Kathy, Nick and Emily Dehem! It started with the desire for a sense of community and turned into the exact opportunity the Dehem’s were waiting for to provide just that for the people of New Baltimore, MI. Jim and Kathy, along with their two children Nick and Emily, wake up every day with the goal of finding ways to constantly support their community and bring everyone together. It was the strong bond that this people-loving family has, and their need for something BIGGer, that helped them come to the decision to open the doors to their BIGGBY® COFFEE shop in 2012. Since then, they’ve impacted countless lives in their community and won BIGGBY® COFFEE Store of the Year in 2017!
The Dehem family moved to New Baltimore in 2004 and were a part of the community for about a year when a local organization was formed with the goal to increase the feeling of community and family. A survey was sent out asking every resident of New Baltimore a multitude of questions, one of the questions being what residents would like to see added to achieve this feeling of closeness. Can you guess the top answer? It was a coffee shop!
Flash forward to 2007, Jim was managing a night club, working crazy hours, and Kathy was a teacher in the Detroit area with job stability concerns. With Jim’s late work hours and Kathy and the kids finding things to do outside of the house so Jim could sleep with his work schedule, she knew something needed to change. That year Kathy had found herself reading an article how, in spite of the downturn in the economy, BIGGBY® COFFEE was continuing to grow. It made her think about the community survey and it was at that moment she turned to Jim and said, “This is what we should do with the rest of our lives!”
There are a few things a lot of people don’t know about the Dehem family, one of which is that Jim had a lot of experience running a business prior to opening their BIGGBY® COFFEE. When Jim was 17 years old, his parents bought a bar and he worked there as a cook. It was there that he met his wife Kathy. When it comes to Kathy, prior to BIGGBY®, she mainly taught fourth grade in the Detroit area and believe it or not, Kathy is still in the teaching game as a reading coach! One of the biggest and most important things about the Dehem family and their journey as BIGGBY® COFFEE owners is that it’s not about the money. It is about being that place in the community where you can walk in and know you’re supported and loved. “We wanted to be business owners in New Baltimore. We live here, we know what it’s like and we knew we wouldn’t have the same feeling of community if we opened someplace else,” said Kathy.
Today, it is nearly impossible to see anything in the city of New Baltimore that BIGGBY® COFFEE doesn’t have ties with. From little league teams to big town events like parades, the Dehem’s are involved and they wouldn’t have it any other way. The Dehem family is committed to loving and supporting members of their community in any way they possibly can and that is the main reason their customers voted for them to win Store of the Year. From their next-door neighbor to the mayor, they were determined to give the Dehem’s the recognition they deserved, proving that when you love the world, the world loves you back! “New Baltimore is a great little town with a small town feel. You can go down the street and see people you know all the time,” said Jim. When we asked the Dehem’s where they see themselves in 10 years, their daughter Emily summed it up pretty well. “I couldn’t see us doing anything else!” We can say with absolute certainty that the community of New Baltimore would agree.