Biggby Coffee: Dearborn's Newest Cup of Joe
Last August, a franchise of the the Lansing-based corporation landed in Dearborn and on Feb. 17, Biggby Bob is coming for a visit.
It’s late afternoon, and rays of sun are piercing the windows and landing inside the rectangular, bright-colored store. Students are consulting their laptops, doing schoolwork and sipping coffee or lattes. They’re perched in Dearborn’s newest coffee spot—Biggby Coffee—open since August 2010.
It's located on Michigan Avenue at Military, in the southeast corner of the Aco Hardware shopping center.
Biggby is a 15-year-old Lansing-based company, now with 100-plus stores. The stores feature 12 types of coffee–seven brewed daily–and the medium roast, Biggby’s Best, is the most popular.
There are hot or iced lattes galore, with cute names like Caramel Marvel and Butter Bear; smoothies, cappuccinos, espressos and many chocolate-based drinks. If you need a snack, there are baked goods, yogurt and bagel sandwiches.
And for coffee junkies, Monday is always Dollar-A-Cup Day for any size coffee.
The Dearborn’s franchise owner is Steve Swinney– people person, quick to smile, and eminently courteous to customers as he engages in conversation with as many as he can.
“Between the staff and I, we know everybody who walks in here," Swinney said. "It’s like the 'Cheers' of coffee."
He was originally a successful pharmaceutical salesman–and a gourmet coffee lover–as he traveled the state. He began studying new business concepts and was ultimately invited to tour the Biggby corporation and roasting facility in Lansing.
Swinney liked the potential of the coffee industry, and Biggby in particular.
“There are definitely different flavor profiles here at Biggby," Swinney said. "It’s slow-roasted and expensive.”
He was hooked when he met “his kind of people” in Lansing. The decision was made.
"(I want an) expressive environment here, not one that’s too serious," Swinney said. "I want to be part of the revitalization of Dearborn."
Swinney and his wife live only a few blocks from the store, and he makes all his consumer purchases with Dearborn merchants–from the barber to the gas station. Fifty percent of Biggby’s supplies are also bought in Dearborn.
Last summer, Steve also was swinging a hammer and painting for 60-plus hours per week during the construction of the store. His all-encompassing efforts are making some impact.
“I like the coffee," Dearborn resident Richard Grabowski said of Biggby. "(It has a) nice feel, friendly atmosphere. People are really friendly.”
“The help is exceptionally friendly and warm," added Roy Webster, who has visited the store nearly every day since it opened. "It’s a relaxed atmosphere. The customers are nice. I have a scone with my coffee. I’d sure love to see a decaf for Michigan Cherry, too. It’s a great coffee.”
The Dearborn store's workers are known not only for their friendliness, but also for the unique designs they put in their drinks–everything from hearts to swirls to the Biggby "B." Check them out on the store's Facebook page.
For an added bonus, Bob "Biggby Bob" Fish–the chain's founder–will be in the Dearborn store from 8-10 a.m. Feb. 17. Say hi, and grab a free drink on him.