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Biggby Coffee

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Biggby Coffee

The story of Biggby coffee is one of two separate friendships. If you read the company history page, they begin with the second relationship, but there’s a prequel. If you want to know how it all started you have to go back to 1995 when Robert (Bob) Fish met Mary Roszel in the restaurant business in East Lansing.  After working for the Michigan Supreme Court for 13 years and raising two children, Mary went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in hospitality from Michigan State. It was then that she met Bob in the restaurant business and the two hit it off. They combined their desire to open a coffeehouse that wasn’t as pretentious as other significant coffeehouses creating drink names like Caramel Marvel and Teddy Bear. The concept was a hit which leads to the desire to open a second location and the story you’ll find on the Biggby company history page. When looking for someone to run the second location, Bob turned to the best barista the store had, Mike McFall. The plan was for the two guys to have a meeting but since it was such a beautiful day, they decided to go for a walk instead. A few hours later they returned with a business concept, and a partnership solidified with a handshake. The rest is history.

General Restaurant Information

Food Type: Coffeehouse

Restaurant Type: Fast food

U.S. Locations: 260

States: 6 states, Biggby Coffee Locations

Company Slogan: We exist to love people

 

Contact Information

Website: biggby.com

Questions: Contact Information

Phone number: 866.444.3909

Email: [email protected]

Blog: Biggby Coffee Blog

FAQ Page: No

 

Ownership

Who Owns Biggby Coffee? Biggby Coffee

Headquartered: East Lansing, MI

Contact Information: 

Website: biggby.com

Email/contact pageContact Biggby

Phone: 517-482-8145

Address: 2501 Coolidge Rd #302, East Lansing, MI 48823

Do They Franchise? Franchise Information

 

What Is It Like To Work At Biggby Coffee?

Biggby Employment Page (biggby.com)

3.8/5 or 76%; 221 Reviews (indeed.com)

3.4/5, or 68%; 173 Reviews (glassdoor.com)

A great read on the culture of working there – How Biggby Coffee Found Its Purpose (consciouscompanymedia.com)

 

 

The original Biggby Coffee was located at 270 W. Grand River Ave, East Lansing, Michigan and opened in 1995 (pc-Pinterest)

The History of Biggby Coffee

Original Location: 270 W. Grand River Ave, East Lansing, Michigan

Founded: March 15, 1995

Founded By: Robert (Bob) Fish and Mary Roszel

Founder Obituary: Still Living

Name Origin: There is more to this story but, “Fish said they chose Biggby because it’s a “fun, easy-to-remember name” and is the vocalization of the logo, a big “B.” (source). 

Biggby Coffee History Page: Company History Page

Current View of Original Location: 270 W. Grand River Ave as it is today (link may not work on mobile devices without Google Maps)

Historical Articles: 

The Biggby Coffee Brand Story (biggby.com)

Beaner’s Coffee To Rebrand As Biggby Coffee (biggby.com)

Biggby Coffee (entrepreneur.com)

Biggby Bob Fish and Biggby Coffee (awesomemitten.com)

Changing coffee house’s name was ‘right thing to do,’ says Biggby CEO (blog.mlive.com)

What’s in a name? Here are the stories behind Biggby, Zingerman’s, Founders, Faygo, Domino’s (mlive.com)

 

Social Awareness

Charity Focus: Supports misc approved charities

Green | Eco-Friendly: No resources found

Animal Cruelty: No resources found

 

If you look at a typical foodservice establishment, somebody goes to it maybe once a week. Our average number of visits is 3.5 per week. Because of that, we’re seeing our customers enough that we know their names and kids’ names. When we’re in a marketplace, that BIGGBY franchisee is highly embedded in that community. There is a tendency of those stores to have a high degree of community investment in schools, churches, and chambers of commerce. ~ Bob Fish (source)

 

Discounts At Biggby Coffee

Rewards Program: Biggby Coffee Reward Program

Do Kids Eat Free at Biggby Coffee?

Summary: Biggby doesn’t offer a kids eat free discount program

Does Biggby Coffee Offer Military Discounts?

Summary: No resources found

What About My Birthday at Biggby Coffee?

Summary: Under the Biggby Nation program, the Biggby site currently states – 

Each year on your birthday, you will receive a free drink (anything up to 24oz!) on us. If you choose to have your free drink loaded on to your BIGGBY card, it will be good for 1 month starting on your birthday. If you choose to have your free drink coupon arrive via snail mail, you will receive it at the beginning of your birthday month.

Does Biggby Coffee Offer First Responder Discounts?

Summary: No resources found

Does Biggby Coffee Offer Senior Citizen | AARP Discounts?

Summary: No resources found

Are There Any Other Discounts or Benefits at Biggby Coffee?

Summary: Once you join their rewards program, they have a variety of benefits you can be eligible for. Check out the page to see what that currently gives you.

 

Biggby Coffee (pc-yelp.com)

Menu Items at Biggby Coffee (pc-yelp.com)

 

Amenities

Order Online: No

WiFi Available: Yes

Use Apple Pay: No  

Reservations: No 

Catering: No

Drive-Thru: Some locations  

Open 24 Hours: No  

 

Customer Reviews of Biggby Coffee

Yelp: 4.1/5 or 82%, 342 reviews sampled

Tripadvisor: 4.2/5 or 83%, 187 reviews sampled

Overall (weighted) Average: 4.12/5 or 82%, 529 reviews sampled

 

Another way in which Biggby Coffee stands apart from other coffee concepts is in the atmosphere it creates within its stores. Other coffee concepts try to give off a high-end vibe that can come off as pretentious or intimidating to people who just want to grab a cup of coffee on their commute or hang out with friends. McFall says Biggby Coffee, on the other hand, keeps things light and fun within its stores to create a more relaxed, welcoming environment. “I think that the biggest difference between our concept and a lot of the others is that when you walk into one of our stores, you feel like you’re walking into your best friend’s kitchen,” he says. (franchising-today.com)

 

Biggby Coffee & Related Products on Amazon

AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Electric Kettle – 1-Liter
AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Electric Kettle – 1-Liter
SAN FRANCISCO BAY OneCup, French Roast, 80 Count
SAN FRANCISCO BAY OneCup, French Roast, 80 Count
The Original Donut Shop,Regular Medium Roast Coffee, 72
The Original Donut Shop,Regular Medium Roast Coffee, 72
Chemex Classic Series, Pour-over Glass Coffeemaker, 8-Cup
Chemex Classic Series, Pour-over Glass Coffeemaker, 8-Cup
Death Wish Ground Coffee, The World’s Strongest Coffee
Death Wish Ground Coffee, The World’s Strongest Coffee
Bialetti 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker
Bialetti 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine
French Press Coffee Maker w/ 4 Level Filtration System
French Press Coffee Maker w/ 4 Level Filtration System
Hamilton Beach Single Serve and Coffee Pot, Programmable
Hamilton Beach Single Serve and Coffee Pot, Programmable
Secura Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker
Secura Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker
Cuisinart 14-Cup Glass Carafe w/ Stainless Steel Handle
Cuisinart 14-Cup Glass Carafe w/ Stainless Steel Handle
Keurig Classic Coffee Maker, Single Serve, Programmable
Keurig Classic Coffee Maker, Single Serve, Programmable
Biggby Coffee Black Tan 12 oz Whole Bean
Biggby Coffee Black Tan 12 oz Whole Bean
Biggby Coffee PODS BIGGBY Best (12 pods)
Biggby Coffee PODS BIGGBY Best (12 pods)
Biggby Coffee French Roast – Organic 1 box (12 pods)
Biggby Coffee French Roast – Organic 1 box (12 pods)
Biggbys Biggby Best 32 Oz Bag, Whole Bean, Smooth Mellow Blend
Biggbys Biggby Best 32 Oz Bag, Whole Bean, Smooth Mellow Blend
Biggbys Biggby Best 32 Oz Bag, Whole Bean, Smooth Mellow Blend
Biggbys Biggby Best 32 Oz Bag, Whole Bean, Smooth Mellow Blend

 

Food & Nutrition

Menu:  Biggby Coffee Menu

Kids Menu: No

Secret Menu: No

Most Popular Menu Item: Carmel Marble No Pop Their number two drink is the “Teddy Bear” which some men have a hard time ordering so they ask for a Grizzly Bear instead knowing they still get the same drink. The most popular food item they have is the Bragel which is “a bagel, cream cheese, lunchmeat and a slice of cheese.” (source)

Coke or Pepsi: Neither

Does Biggby Serve Alcohol: No

Biggby Nutritional Information: No resources found

Vegetarian | Vegan Options: 

Celebrate ‘Give a Dairy-Free Latte’ Day With New Vegan Coffee Options (peta.org)

Farm to Table | Organic Options | Clean | Non-GMO: No resources found

Miscellaneous Nutrition Resources: 

20 Easy Ways to Stay Slim at Any Coffee Shop (eatthis.com)

Biggby Coffee Nutrition Facts (menuwithprice.com)

 

Allergy Information

Biggby Coffee Allergen Information: No resources found

Gluten Free Options: No resources found

Dairy Free Options: No resources found, but the following may be helpful to you.

Restaurant Guide For Dairy-Free Dining (godairyfree.org)

Peanut Free Options: No resources found, but the following may be helpful to you.

Food Allergy Guides For Many Chain Restaurants (verywellhealth.com)

Ways to Eliminate Risks of Peanut Allergy When Dining Out (healthguidance.org)

 

Interior Biggby Coffee

Biggby Coffee (pc-franchisesouq.com)

Does Biggby Coffee Have Any Secret Recipes?

Biggby Coffee Secret Recipes:  

Biggby Iced Coffee (youtube.com)

Biggby Drinks at Home (youtube.com)

Making High-Quality Coffee At Home (readyseteat.com)

5 Things You Need to Make Gourmet Coffee at Home (cheatsheet.com)

How to make coffee, starting with gourmet coffee beans (coffeedetective.com)

 

Did You Know?

Fun Facts: 

The first location was just outside the campus of Michigan State University.

Mike McFall, co-CEO of Biggby was originally hired as a barista for the coffeehouse Bob Fish created. When Bob decided to expand to a second location, he heard Mike would be an excellent candidate to run the store.  The two men had a meeting to discuss plans on a beautiful spring day and decided to go for a walk rather than sit inside. Two hours later they came back partners of a new company and a handshake sealed the agreement. (source)

Along with their laid-back corporate atmosphere (full of video games, bean bags, and coffee, of course), Biggby’s also has a sabbatical program for employees. For every five years of service, the company gives three paid months off for the employee to do whatever they like. (source)

The (toxic) culture and future of the company drastically changed one night in October 2014 while Mike was on a camping trip with his brother and son. You can read the full article here. (So many companies could learn a lot to the benefit of the company and employees by merely doing the same.)

The name Biggby comes from a description of the logo – big “B.” This changed occurred in 2007 and was related to the racial connotation that the former name, Beaner’s Coffee had.

The company culture focuses on five values: “B happy, have fun, make friends, love people and drink great coffee.” (source)

Even though the music played in the stores is continually changing, it must always meet two requirements: fun and happy. (source)

The company has the policy to introduce a new drink item every 60 days. (source)

Biggby offers a drink of the day every day which they pull from their menu book under the counter.

They are 100% franchised. (source)

Customers on average visit their Biggby store 3.5 times per week. (source)

There’s a secret club lounge, the B Happy Lounge.

 

Interesting Articles:

How Biggby Coffee Found Its Purpose (consciouscompanymedia.com)

Inside Biggby Coffee Headquarters (wkar.org)

Biggby Coffee (fooddrink-magazine.com)

Happy birthday, Biggby: East Lansing coffee chain turns 20 (freep.com)

Biggby Bob Fish and Biggby Coffee (awesomemitten.com)

B Happy Lounge (bhappylounge.com)

Biggby Coffee (franchising-today.com)

 

Biggby Coffee & Related Products on Amazon

AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Electric Kettle – 1-Liter
AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Electric Kettle – 1-Liter
SAN FRANCISCO BAY OneCup, French Roast, 80 Count
SAN FRANCISCO BAY OneCup, French Roast, 80 Count
The Original Donut Shop,Regular Medium Roast Coffee, 72
The Original Donut Shop,Regular Medium Roast Coffee, 72
Chemex Classic Series, Pour-over Glass Coffeemaker, 8-Cup
Chemex Classic Series, Pour-over Glass Coffeemaker, 8-Cup
Death Wish Ground Coffee, The World’s Strongest Coffee
Death Wish Ground Coffee, The World’s Strongest Coffee
Bialetti 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker
Bialetti 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine
French Press Coffee Maker w/ 4 Level Filtration System
French Press Coffee Maker w/ 4 Level Filtration System
Hamilton Beach Single Serve and Coffee Pot, Programmable
Hamilton Beach Single Serve and Coffee Pot, Programmable
Secura Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker
Secura Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker
Cuisinart 14-Cup Glass Carafe w/ Stainless Steel Handle
Cuisinart 14-Cup Glass Carafe w/ Stainless Steel Handle
Keurig Classic Coffee Maker, Single Serve, Programmable
Keurig Classic Coffee Maker, Single Serve, Programmable
Biggby Coffee Black Tan 12 oz Whole Bean
Biggby Coffee Black Tan 12 oz Whole Bean
Biggby Coffee PODS BIGGBY Best (12 pods)
Biggby Coffee PODS BIGGBY Best (12 pods)
Biggby Coffee French Roast – Organic 1 box (12 pods)
Biggby Coffee French Roast – Organic 1 box (12 pods)
Biggbys Biggby Best 32 Oz Bag, Whole Bean, Smooth Mellow Blend
Biggbys Biggby Best 32 Oz Bag, Whole Bean, Smooth Mellow Blend
Biggbys Biggby Best 32 Oz Bag, Whole Bean, Smooth Mellow Blend
Biggbys Biggby Best 32 Oz Bag, Whole Bean, Smooth Mellow Blend

 

Social Media

Followers (as of August 2018) –  

Facebook: 59,013

Twitter: 9,295

Instagram: 283

Mobile Apps

Alternatives

Better Options: Coming Soon

Similar Restaurants: Dunkin’ Donuts

 

In Summary

I love the research of these restaurants but Biggby Coffee brought back my love for the story, every restaurant has one, some are just much more interesting. Having never heard of Biggby Coffee before beginning my research, I thought of it as just a chain coffee shop. In the end, I found myself saying, I have to stop researching them and move on to the next restaurant.  A gentle reminder of why I took this site in the direction that I did.

My wife and I went out to dinner the other night to a quaint Italian restaurant in town to celebrate our anniversary. I decided on what I wanted and turned to the back of their menu to read their story.  There wasn’t one to be found. If I really wanted to know, I could have asked the waitress who may or may not have known. We left after a great meal and conversation but the restaurant lost something that evening, a connection, a personal connection. We’ll return one day for good Italian, but it stops there.  

Back to Biggby… I’ve never even passed by a store, never had a Teddy Bear (or a Grizzly Bear) and wouldn’t know Bob Fish if I saw him in a Biggby store. But. I want to go, I want to have the Carmel Marvel. I would love to have coffee with my wife there and create memories. The reason is simple, I feel connected to Biggby and love their story and their desire to serve coffee that would allow my 12-year-old to feel as comfortable ordering as his coffee snob dad. Restaurants miss out on such a simple marketing concept, make a personal connection with a story. It works. Maybe one day I can have coffee with Bob and have a campfire conversation.

 

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