Defiance, OH BIGGBY Celebrates First Anniversary
RACHEL WINTERS-BOYD – FRN Correspondent
|Sue Strausbaugh, owner of Biggby, hands a cup of coffee to customer, Michelle Tabit. (FRN photo by Rachel Winters-Boyd)
This has been a year of many firsts for a Defiance entrepreneur.
Biggby Coffee, formerly Beaner’s Coffee, is celebrating their first anniversary and a year to the day from welcoming her first customer owner and operator, Sue Strausbaugh, and her husband, Jeff, welcomed their first grandbaby.
“We opened this coffee shop on February 5, 2007, and our first grandbaby was born on February 5, 2008,” Strausbaugh laughed.
The store, which is located at 720 N. Clinton St., was the 63rd store to open under the Biggby Coffee franchise. According to a recent press release, 154 Biggby stores were under contract at the end of 2007. Strausbaugh is excited to be a part of this growing chain.
“Biggby is a wonderful company to work with,” she said. “Someone is always there at headquarters to answer questions.
“They really are supportive, like a big family. They are really a nice bunch of people.”
One of the biggest changes that have been made in the last year is the company’s name. In 1995, the first store was opened under the name Beaner’s in East Lansing, Mich. Just recently, the founders, Bob Fish and Mary Roszel, changed the company’s name to Biggby Coffee. It was done over a period of eight months and they wanted to keep the famous B logo intact. Nothing else about the franchise was changed.
“We are still the same friendly coffee shop with great coffee and friendly staff,” Strausbaugh certified.
Even though this store has only been open a year, the journey to the grand opening accumulated over seven years. Strausbaugh talked of opening up a coffee shop after her daughter, Erica, finished culinary school. It was a dream of theirs, which was almost destroyed when Erica was killed in a tragic accident.
“It was something that we had talked about doing,” she said. “This store is a tribute to her.”
After deciding that she didn’t want to open up a mom & pop store, Strausbaugh visited web-sites of different franchises and really liked Biggby. She tasted Biggby’s Caramel Marvel and realized that the company was consistent across the board in regards to flavor and products after visiting several different Biggby stores. She was hooked and a new coffee shop was born.
The first year went really well according to Strausbaugh.
“I would like to thank the community of Defiance area for such a great year,” she said.
Strausbaugh is continually amazed at the number of people who comes in every day, especially the regulars. She calls her customers, her friends.
“Everyone’s life is so different and it makes it so interesting to come here every day,” Strausbaugh said.
“What drives me to come to work are the people and the fun, friendly atmosphere here.”
Being across the street from Defiance College doesn’t hurt either.
“I love being across the street from the college,” she said. “The kids are so neat.
“The professors and the staff come in here and everyone is just really nice.”
One of the fun things the shop offers to the community is a radio show each month. They also offer B involved program where they sell a special line of tumblers. For each tumbler sold, the company will donate a dollar to a worthy cause. And there is the E rewards program, where you can go online or stop in the store, sign up for the E rewards and every week Biggby headquarters will send you an email with coupons for great savings on drink purchases. The company will not sell your name or email address to another company.
“It is a way for us to give back to the community,” Strausbaugh revealed.
As she reflects on the past year, Strausbaugh said that if it weren’t for her family and staff, this dream may not have come true.
“I would like to thank my staff as I would not have done this without them,” she said. “I would also like to thank my family for their support because it has been a new and very challenging time.
“I spend a lot of time here, lots of long hours and I really appreciate them. They understand why I am doing this. It has also helped with the healing process of losing Erica.”
When asked if there were other future developments in the work, she laughed.
“Eventually, we would like to open up more stores, but that remains to be seen,” she said.
Strausbaugh says her schedule between family and Biggby’s is full. Daughter, Erin has just given birth to their first grandson, James Calvin, her other daughter, Emily, is expecting their second grandchild in four weeks, son, Stan, is attending Defiance College and is also working with her at Biggby, and daughter, Sarah, is a senior at Tinora High School and is planning to go to Ohio State University in the fall.
“Even my husband Jeff is very supportive and is one of my best customers,” Strausbaugh said.
In celebration of the one-year anniversary, the store will be offering specials starting today and ending on the February 17. One of the specials will be a dollar off coupon for any grande specialty beverage.
In addition to specialty coffees with the Biggby line of syrups, the store sells gourmet coffee beans, teas, some sandwiches, candy, cards and tumblers.
Recently, in an area contest, the Defiance Biggby store was voted Number One/Best in the Region for coffee.
For more information call (419) 784-0266 or go to www.biggby.com.