SAWYER — A big coffee chain is coming to a small spot in Sawyer.
Michael Martinez said he and his business partner’s Biggby franchise will open Oct. 19 at 12874 Super Drive in Sawyer.
The location is right off the Sawyer exit on I-94 and has no indoor dining, only drive-thru and walk-up capabilities, with patio seating available in the summer.
Biggby has referred to this kind of a building as “B Cubed.” The coffee company introduced the concept in 2018, which comes with plumbing and wiring built in. When Martinez saw the one in Stevensville, he was hooked on the concept.
The structure, Martinez said, is only three parts; all of which arrived about two weeks ago. A 60-ton crane picked the parts off a truck bed and aligned them on concrete pillars. The parts then just had to be soldered together.
“It’s great because it cuts down on the cost,” Martinez, a Michigan City, Ind., resident said. “It cuts down on the time of production.”
Despite the smaller size, Martinez said it will still offer the full Biggby menu.
Martinez and his business partner already own a franchise in Chersterton, Ind. During the pandemic, they realized their operations had been streamlined.
“We realized we were running a more lean type of environment,” he said.
The B Cubed layout has this lean environment built in: no public restrooms to clean, no table tops to wipe down and fewer trash cans to empty.
Only three to four people will work at a time, Martinez said.
During a hiring shortage, this kind of franchise is all the more attractive. Martinez said at a franchisee conference last week, the vast majority of the attendees were interested in this type of building, versus a traditional sit-down space.
Additionally, Martinez said it made it more attractive for potential employees to work there; several in the hiring process have expressed the set-up made them feel safer.
The chain is currently hiring. Martinez said he’s visited job fairs, put out fliers and visited every high school within 15 miles to recruit workers.
Martinez said Sawyer officials and residents have been helpful and excited about the new business.
“It was surprising in a good way to see the support we had,” Martinez said.
The co-owner said he hopes to partner with the community through fundraisers, live music and other events in the future.