Jeannine Mickeleit cheerfully admits that she and her employees are maybe a little too happy. “We are probably over the top a little bit,” she laughs. “But that’s how I want my store to be. I want you to come in, and I want you to remember, and I want you to say, ‘this was fun.'”
She’s talking about her second local Biggby Coffee franchise, on Stadium across from Westgate shopping center. Making the customer feel at home is a big part of the Biggby philosophy, and that’s what got Mickeleit, thirty-four, interested in the company in the first place.
A cheerful blond who always seems to be in motion, Mickeleit was born and raised in Germany and moved to the United States when she was twenty-two. She graduated from EMU in 2004 with a BA in German and taught at Michigan State while working on her PhD, with other teaching stints at Okemos High School and Lansing Community College. But after a couple of years teaching, she missed the business world–her family had a business in Germany–so she went back to school and got her MBA in 2008.
When she decided she wanted to buy a franchise, Biggby was the only one she even considered. “Being at MSU, I was very familiar with Biggby. In East Lansing, there’s Biggby everywhere.” Founded and still based in Lansing, Biggby now has more than 100 locations, making it the third-largest retail coffee chain in the Midwest.
Though the previous tenant in the Stadium spot was also a coffee shop, it wasn’t a turnkey situation–she rebuilt the interior from the ground up. Along with its signature coffee–which you serve yourself from large insulated air pots–Biggby makes a variety of coffee drinks, from lattes to espresso. It also sells baked goods like cookies and donuts. The new location seats around thirty-six, with more seating outside on a shaded patio. And Mickeleit’s already looking to open a third location within the next six months
Biggby Coffee, 2550 W. Stadium. 418-7030. Mon.-Sat. 6 a.m-9 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m.-9 p.m. www.biggby.com
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