After three Caramel Marvel-less months, the Biggby Coffee on Van Dyke is ready to offer its signature brews once again.
Closed in September 2012, the store will reopen under new ownership on Tuesday, Jan. 15 – a date new owner Al Elfakir has been anticipating for the past six years.
“This is my first official ownership of a store, although it’ll be six years this October that I’ve been in the Biggby family,” the 28-year-old said.
A Sterling Heights native, Elfakir joined Biggby in 2007, working at the company’s home office while helping his brother to open a Biggby franchise of his own in Westland, MI.
Although he admits to being a lover of all things espresso, he said his commitment to the company is rooted in its product and philosophy.
“I strongly stand behind my belief that we have the best product around,” Elfakir said. “And there is the atmosphere we build in our stores. We get to know our customers on an individual basis. We get to know their names, their drinks, their family – the whole nine yards – so we have more of that personal touch versus our competitors where you’re just a cup of coffee.”
And while he promises customers a great cup of coffee, Elfakir said getting involved in the community is his No. 1 priority.
“We want to get our name out there and also to get people in the doors, but I want (the community) to know that I’m going to be giving back,” he said, adding that he has already hired 22 local employees. “I want to get involved in any way possible – donations, events, fundraisers – everything we can do to give back.”
He plans to start these efforts on day one, delivering 300 mugs and drink coupons to local teachers and offering freebies for customers from Tuesday, Jan. 15, through Sunday, Jan. 20.
“I will give a customer a free mug and drink coupon just to try us out,” Elfakir said. “The Biggby philosophy is to have fun, make friends, love people, drink great coffee and always be happy.”
And whether it’s hosting open mic nights, or sponsoring local events, Elfakir said he’s open to anything to keep his customers happy.
Patrons can enjoy free brewed coffee and 99 cent tall specialty drinks during the grand reopening week, with free short hot chocolate specials for the kids on Saturday and Sunday. Biggby Bob is also scheduled to make an appearance on Tuesday.
Like most Biggby locations, the Van Dyke store will also offer free Wi-Fi and a drive-thru for customer convenience.
Located at 51185 Van Dyke Ave., north of 23 Mile Road, store hours will be Monday-Friday, 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Nearby Macomb Township claims a Biggby Coffee on Hall Road near Romeo Plank while a location recently opened on Green Street near Washington Street in New Baltimore.