Biggby Coffee

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Biggby Coffee
Founded1995, East Lansing, Michigan
HeadquartersLansing, Michigan
Number of locations
235 (April 2019)[1]
Key people
Robert Fish, CEO, Michael McFall, President and Mary Roszel, Co-Founder
tea and Herbal teas
Made-to-order beverages
Assorted food
Bottled beverages

Biggby Coffee (pronounced Big-Bee) is a privately owned coffee franchise business based in East Lansing, Michigan. There are roughly 230 locations across 8 states, each locally owned and operated. Bob Fish and Michael McFall are the co-CEOs of Biggby Coffee. The headquarters location in East Lansing, Michigan, is referred to as the Home Office and houses around 60 employees.



The first Beaner's Coffee opened in March 1995 in a converted Arby's restaurant on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing, Michigan.

Fish, Roszel and Michael McFall (who was originally hired by Roszel as a barista in the first store) decided to franchise the company and founded Global Orange Development, LLC in June 1998. In August 1999 the first franchise location was opened in Okemos, Michigan and in October of the same year, another location was opened in East Lansing. In the following four years, nine more locations were opened throughout Michigan and Ohio. [2]

The decision to franchise[edit]

Franchising was not the chosen business model when GO Dev was formed. It didn't take long for franchising to become the preferred model as more and more people were inquiring about the opportunity to purchase a franchise. After much deliberation and discussion Bob and Mike (BaM!) made the decision to franchise in the summer of 1998. The first franchised location opened in Okemos, Michigan, in August 1999.[3] The second store opened in September of that same year.

From Beaner's Coffee to Biggby Coffee[edit]

In late 2007, Beaner's Coffee changed to Biggby Coffee. Since “beaner” is often used as an ethnic slur for Mexicans, BaM! agreed that they wanted to voluntarily change their name. Founded on the principal of being the friendly coffee community and loving everyone, the pair wanted people to know that the organization was open and accepting of all nationalities and people. The name “Biggby” was chosen as it was the vocalization of the black and orange “big B” logo that already existed. Biggby became a fun name, and the first store opened under the name Biggby Coffee on October 29, 2007, in Westand, Michigan.[3] The name change was completed in all stores by January 31, 2008.

The successful name change is attributed to BaM! making the decision to shoulder the entire cost of the name change. From exterior building signs, PR, and a myriad of other expenses, Bob and Mike felt it was only right to cover the costs for franchise owners. The cost is estimated to be between $700k and $800k in total.

In December 2007, Biggby Coffee was awarded MBC Global's 3rd Quarter Multicultural Achievement Award for completing the name change on a completely voluntary basis.[4]

Mary Roszel retirement[edit]

In August 2012, Mary retired from the company after 17 years. “Words cannot express the gratitude that I, along with the rest of the company, hold for Mary,” Bob said. “She has spent countless hours getting us where we are today, and is one of the most driven and talented people I have ever had the pleasure of working with.”[5]

In November 2012, Roszel was inducted by her Alma mater into Michigan State University's School of Hospitality Business Hall of Fame for her success with Biggby Coffee and the inspiration she brings to students at the university.[6]

Today she is living in Pourtsmouth, Maine, enjoying her family and living in a bustling community near the ocean.

Awards and recognition[edit]

In December 2007, Biggby Coffee was ranked 289 out of the 500 companies on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Annual Franchise 500 List. In 2008, the organization moved up 34 spots to number 255, the second among coffee retailers on the list!

In September 2011, Biggby Coffee was named the fastest-growing coffee chain in America by CNBC, which ranked the company number one based on their growth percentage from the previous year. Biggby Coffee was ranked above popular brands like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts.[7]

In 2011 and 2012, Biggby Coffee was named a Top 40 Food and Franchise in the United States by Franchise Business Review. Biggby Coffee was honored to be ranked at the top of more than 75 brands and 20,500 franchised businesses![8]

Also in 2012, Biggby Coffee was ranked as a Top 500 Franchise by Franchise Times Magazine.[9]

In 2013, Biggby Coffee moved up to number 201 on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Annual Franchise List.[10]

In 2018, Biggby Coffee was voted the number 4 coffee concept on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Annual Franchise 500 List. That same year, they were also voted Best of the Best Concept in the Top 200 Franchises, and voted in the Top 100 Franchises to Own for Veterans by Franchise Business Review.

Also in 2018, Bob and Mike were featured on the cover of Conscious Company Magazine, highlighting the changes they were and continue to make in workplace culture throughout their Home Office and coffee shop locations, and one day hope to make across the globe.

In 2019, Biggby Coffee was voted in the Top 50 for North America for all large franchise companies (130-300 unites) and all categories by Franchise Business Review. This was voted on by owner/operators, Home Office staff, vendors, and store staff.

In March 2019, the Michigan Senate declared March 15 Official Biggby Coffee Day in the State of Michigan. Known for their local partnerships, 100+ Michigan-based owner/operators, and employing thousands of store employees throughout the state, Senator Hertel and his District enacted a resolution on March 13, 2019, to pass this annual day of celebration.


Biggby coffee shop, downtown Ann Arbor, MI

Biggby Coffee has 234 stores open across 8 states: Michigan, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin.

In July 2011, the company officially released a "new store footprint" that reduced the cost of opening a franchise location by approximately 40 percent. Mike said that despite the economic slow down that limited growth in Michigan and beyond, the new store footprint allows potential franchisees the opportunity to experience both a faster and higher return on capital and can expand current franchisees’ ability to open additional stores.[11]

“By streamlining our utilization of resources, including simplifying the contractor process, material sourcing, and delivery, we were able to reduce overall costs by $70,000–­$80,000 per location. The overall look and feel of the new stores remains the same as stores open prior to the redesign,” Mike said in July 2011.[11]

In 2018, Lisa Oak joined the Biggby Coffee home office as chief development officer. Oak comes to Biggby Coffee as a former vice president of Subway, where she helped the franchise grow from 700 restaurants to 43,000. Her goal is to help Biggby Coffee open 50 stores by the end of 2019.

Area representative program[edit]

In 2018, Biggby Coffee announced their area representative program. This program allows multi-unit owner/operators to grow the Biggby Coffee brand by focusing on sales in their designated market. The ARs receive half the initial franchise fee and a portion of the store royalties for those stores they sign in their market. The area representatives act as a source of information and expertise to new store owner/operators and help these stores in their first year(s) as they build their business.

Veterans program[edit]

In April 2019, Biggby Coffee announced a Veteran's Program. With this initiative, Biggby Coffee hopes to gain more veteran owner/operators by reducing the initial franchise fee by 50% and creating extra support materials for these new veterans, led by current owner/operators who have seen great success both in their military careers as well as within Biggby Coffee.

Purpose, belief, values, and promise[edit]

Biggby Coffee is dedicated to brewing change within their communities, the nation, and the globe. To do this, they are making concerted efforts to be a people-focused company where people and the planet are just as important as profit.


The Biggby Coffee purpose reads: “We exist to support people in building a life they love.”

The brand does this by first assisting and supporting franchise owners in building profitable stores, and its efforts to improve workplace culture, through donation and fundraising efforts they make at a store- and Home Office-level, and through a determined effort to care for their employees and customers. The brand has held numerous donation events system-wide and has raised money for various charities that support local, nationwide, and global efforts. Most notably is the partnership they held in 2019 with This Bar Saves Lives, an organization that provides lifesaving nutrient packets to children in Haiti and parts of Africa, which was founded by actors Kristen Bell, Ryan Devlin, Todd Grinnell, and Ravi Patel.


Biggby Coffee has the beliefs that:

“When you love the world, the world loves you back,” “Everyone deserves to feel special,” and “Coffee brings people together.”

Biggby Coffee tries to display this through their unintimidating and approachable coffee shops. With bright, inviting, and comfortable coffee shops, Biggby Coffee is a place where customers can sit and stay, or grab it to go. Biggby Coffee is a place where everyone is accepted just the way they are.

Core values[edit]

Biggby Coffee's core values are “Make friends,” Have fun,” Be yourself,” and “Share great coffee.”

In all they do, Biggby Coffee tries to emphasize these four values, both at a store-level and from the home office. Biggby Coffee promises to greet customers quickly and with a smile, provide standard setting quality and service, and aim to have each customer bring someone back with them on their next visit! With numerous flavor combinations and nearly every drink available hot, iced, or frozen, customers can enjoy a drink as unique as them!


The Biggby Coffee promise is simple. Biggby Coffee's promise is to be “the friendly coffee community.” Between their purpose, belief, and core values, Biggby Coffee works each and every day to provide a fun, fresh, and unintimidating environment where every person feels safe, special, and wanted. With drink names like the Teddy Bear latte and Caramel Marvel latte, Biggby Coffee strives to create an environment where coffee newbies and coffee novices each feel welcome and can find something of their liking.

Workplace culture[edit]

Biggby Coffee strives to change workplace culture across the nation and world, beginning right at their Home Office in East Lansing to their coffee shop community.

As an example, the company offers incredible perks and advantages to Home Office employees including a free pound of coffee each week, the use of a fully stocked Biggby Coffee store for them and their family and friends at no charge, work-from-home opportunities, flex hours, competitive benefits like a 3-month paid sabbatical for every 5 years of service with the company, a dog-friendly environment, and more.

The Home Office location went under a remodel in 2018 to create an open office concept where the employees are encouraged to collaborate and be creative together. Notably, BaM! hired a Home Office employee to lead the design and direction of this remodel.

This commitment to each employee's development is not focused on becoming a better employee, it is focused on supporting each employee in pursuing a life that they love. The company genuinely wants people to pursue their passions. If this means they leave the company after a few years to pursue interests outside the company they will get a high five and a whole bunch of encouragement supporting them in their decision. Others will pursue their passions within the company. “Passionate people are a heck of a lot more fun to work with and to be around!” Mike explained.


  1. ^ Anders, Melissa (April 28, 2013). "What's in a name? Here are the stories behind Biggby, Zingerman's, Founders, Faygo, Domino's". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Biggby Coffee franchise history and growth". Retrieved August 24, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Beaner's Coffee to Open Its First 'Biggby' Location". Biggby Coffee. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2019-04-16.
  4. ^ "Biggby Coffee wins MBC Global's 3rd Quarter Multicultural Achievement Award". Biggby Coffee. 2007-12-07. Retrieved 2019-04-16.
  5. ^ "Mary Roszel, Biggby Coffee Co-Founder, to Retire". Biggby Coffee. 2012-09-17. Retrieved 2019-04-16.
  6. ^ "The School of Hospitality Business Alumni Association at Michigan State University Inducts Members in Hall of Fame". Eli Broad College of Business | Michigan State University. Retrieved 2019-04-16.
  7. ^ CNBC (2011-09-22). "America's Fastest Growing Coffee Chains". Retrieved 2019-04-16.
  8. ^ "Biggby Coffee Named to Top 40 Food Franchise List Again". Biggby Coffee. 2012-10-01. Retrieved 2019-04-16.
  9. ^ "Biggby Coffee Earns Spot on Top Franchise Lists". Biggby Coffee. 2012-10-29. Retrieved 2019-04-16.
  10. ^ "Entrepreneur Magazine Ranks Biggby on Top Franchise List Again". Biggby Coffee. 2013-01-08. Retrieved 2019-04-16.
  11. ^ a b "Biggby Coffee Cuts Franchise Start-Up Costs 40%". Biggby Coffee. 2011-07-01. Retrieved 2019-04-16.

External links[edit]