Biggby Coffee to open Niles location June 29

NILES – A line of cars began to reach toward the street Thursday morning as the newest area Biggby Coffee ran trial days. Trucks blew their horns as they passed by the location where staff members held signs to coax passers-by in for a free coffee treat.

Biggby Coffee, 2518 S. 11th St., Niles, is set to officially open for business Tuesday, June 29. Owners Joshua and Sarah Docekal were on-site Thursday with their children to oversee how operations ran during what Sarah called a “relay.”

“We have been training [staff] all week,” she said. “What we do for the last two days is open for a two-hour window once in the morning and once in the afternoon. That’s extra training for the baristas.”

During those training sessions, coffee on the menu is free for visitors. The wait can be longer, as the entire staff is learning the menu in the real-world environment.

The location features a walk-up window and a drive-thru that customers can place their order through. The small structure was a prefabricated building brought in from Alpena, Michigan.

“It took four hours to set the building,” Joshua said.
Joshua works in construction, so he was able to do much of the on-site work for the business.

“With COVID-19, it just changed everything. We were going to do a buildout with the sit-down [area] and everything,” Sarah said. “COVID hit and that changed our whole idea of it.”
Both felt customers would want the convenience of the drive-thru and walk-up structure more than a dine-in experience.

For the Docekals, this is their first step into franchising and the restaurant industry.

Joshua started looking into franchise businesses two years ago.

“Every time you go by a Biggby, they’re busy,” Sarah said. “We love the coffee. We love the customer service. We thought, ‘why not do it?’”

The couple met with the Michigan-based Biggby Coffee’s corporate office and started planning their own location.

“It’s been exciting and fun,” Sarah said. “We get to drink coffee. Who is not happy about that?”

She hopes to keep the café’s environment positive and high energy, with music playing for the staff inside.

Tuesday, June 29, Biggby Coffee of Niles will open officially for business from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The location will be donating $1 of each drink to Brandywine Community Schools. The Docekals plan on choosing local nonprofits to support throughout the year.

Updates can be found at the Biggby Coffee of Niles Facebook page.

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