Lexington, SC 10/13/2022 (Paul Kirby) – A new boutique drive-thru coffee experience is coming to Red Bank and a short time later to the Lexington area of the county. Biggby Coffee is an all drive-thru experience that serves high-quality coffees, smoothies, and other specialty drinks, as well as some food items. These will include foods that will pair with a good cup of coffee. Things like bagels, cookies, breakfast sandwiches, and muffins are just a few of the foods that will be on the menu.
Well known Lexington businessman Jeremy Addy is the driving force that’s bringing this small and immensely community and family friendly business to the Midlands. He’s the grandson of the late Kermit Addy and son of John and Teresa Addy. His family-owned and operated Addy Dodge on Columbia Avenue in Lexington for decades. All the Addy’s are known as fervent believers in giving back to Lexington County and its citizens. Jeremy has followed in those family footsteps as he’s led his core business Craig Reagin Clothiers on Main Street to great success.
In a recent interview with The Ledger, Jeremy said that he is always looking for ways to bring other good, high-quality businesses to Lexington County. In the case of Biggby Coffee, after he did some research on the family-owned business based out of Michigan, he found what he feels is a perfect fit to fill some gaps in the boutique coffee business in particular areas of the county. Partnering with a small, family-owned corporation like Biggby that shares his own high standard of morals and a likeminded approach toward how a business should interact with the community and its customers were important to Jeremy. In fact, these attributes were as important to him as the taste of Biggby’s delicious coffees and treats.
Jeremy was not a coffee drinker himself until several years ago. He’s engaged to be married now and his fiancé is a longtime lover of coffee. On a trip to Charleston, they both shared the experience of a Biggby Coffee together. In Charleston, there are four locations there. Even Jeremy, now a coffee convert, loved its deep, complex flavors of its roast, and the fast, friendly service of the Biggbys. “Its flavor is delicious,” Jeremy said. “There is no bitterness at all,” he continued. “It’s just a wonderful experience.”
It didn’t take Jeremy long to realize that a few Biggby locations in Lexington County and the later, elsewhere in the Midlands, would be perfect for a market market that’s not already oversaturated with the all drive-thru experience that Biggby Coffee provides.
While looking for property that would house Jeremy’s first Biggby location in Lexington, he met Joe and Cari Schlager of Red Bank through the Charleston Biggby franchisee. The Schlagers had moved to Lexington County from Las Vegas several years ago and found it to be a perfect fit for their family. Joe enjoyed the city lights and life of Vegas and Cari, who grew up on a farm in upstate New York, was looking for something less complicated and of a slower pace. Cari said during an interview that, “This is a perfect community that fits all our family’s needs. It’s a much slower pace and everyone is so friendly. It’s just been great getting to know the people of this wonderful new community. For Joe, there’s enough to see and do here to keep him busy and entertained when he’s not working. For me, the slower pace, and the more rural feel I grew up with made me fall in love instantly.”
The Schlagers had some money put aside to invest in a business they could call their own. Sadly, the remainder of what they needed was wrapped up in a finance deal in Nevada that fell threw at the last minute. Once Jeremy got to know the Schlagers for who they really are, he stepped up and offered to buy some property and put a Biggby Coffee in the Red Bank commmunity. Then he would lease that location to Joe and Cari for them to run.
That will be the first Biggby you’ll be able to see and enjoy in Lexington County. The property is across the street from Lexington County’s Annex on South Lake Drive at Two Notch Road. It will sit between existing Wendy’s and the CVS. Although there’s an large self service ice machine there right now, by the end of this year or certainly by mid-January of 2023, a neat little Biggby Coffee will be there for you to enjoy!
How in the world you might ask, can they build a building and business that quickly. The answer is simple, Biggby Coffees are small, offer only drive-thru service, and they are built by a company based in Michigan. Then, they’re trucked in, offloaded with a crane, and set on a concrete pad that already has the plumbing and any electrical infrastructure in place. It only takes a few short days to anchor the building, connect the plumbing and electrical, and start making coffee.
The Schlagers store will be the first Biggbys to open. Lexington County is in the final stages of the plan review process right now. Once that’s completed, the sitework can begin and the building pad can be poured. Jeremy said that all he needs is the final approval to get started.
Once the Red Bank store receives its certificate of occupancy, Cari will run that location herself every day. “It will be so nice to have a business we can call our own,” Cari said. “I’m ready to get to know our neighbors by their first names, what their favorites drinks and foods are, and get involved in all different ways.” Cari said they plan to be supportive of the community and give back by sponsoring youth sports, area school yearbooks, and civic groups and churches. “Joe and I think that God had a great deal to do with us meeting Jeremy and we plan to openly acknowledge that. Without that first introduction, our dreams of building a legacy that we can pass on to our children and grandchildren simply wouldn’t have happened,” she stated.
Cari had much the same to say about the Biggby Corporation that Jeremy did. “When we met people who had dealt with the corporation for years, they all had the same feeling about Biggby that Joe, Jeremy, and I did. To them, a business is more about community and people than just the bottom line. Customer service, friendly attitudes, and owner involvement are all key to running a Biggby. They want us to put people first and feel that if we are doing that, the customer base will be strong and loyal. I am so excited for the opportunity to get up every day and go to work for me,” she we went on to say. “Joe will keep his full-time job during the workweek, but the fun thing is, on the weekend he’ll be working for me!” she joked.
Once the Red Bank store is open, Jeremy is looking at two parcels of land closer into Lexington for a store that he’ll run with a small group of employees. One parcel is on North Lake Drive across from the movie theater. The other is just west of Lexington on Highway 378 near Charter Oak Road and the Publix shopping center. Once he sees which of the two spots are available and priced competitively, he says he’ll be able to use much of the site plans and legwork done for the Red Bank store to expedite the next location. He believes that the second store should be open sometime in the spring of 2023.
“I want to get a feel for running this new business before I go any further than that,” Jeremy said during our interview. “After that, I can expand further in Lexington County or maybe somewhere else in the Midlands. Once people get to know how friendly the customer service is at Biggby Coffee and how great their offerings are, I see foresee a large, loyal customer base that will drive past other coffee businesses to stop at Biggby,” he stated.
According to Jeremy, Biggby Coffee franchisees doesn’t have corporate pressures to take any political stand on the issues of the day like some other larger chain stores. “They also don’t pressure us with mandates that might work in Michigan but wouldn’t fly here. They just want franchisees to sell a great product and be involved in the community that supports the businesses. I have a great deal of business experience already and I vetted this company as well as I am sure they vetted me. Every franchisee, every corporate partner, everyone I met and spoke with had the same things about the corporation to say. Every franchise I spoke with said that Biggby was a great company to do business with,” Jeremy concluded.
According to Joe and Cari, the hours for the Red Bank store will be Monday through Saturday from 6:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. on Sundays. You can get updates about the progress of the Red Bank store including the date of the building’s arrival and placement by crane on Facebook at Biggby on South Lake, Lexington or by simply pressing this LINK.
Here is a short video of a Biggby loaded on a truck for shipping. VIDEO
PHOTO CAPTIONS: All pictures are of Biggby Coffee locayions in other areas of the United States.