EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) – BIGGBY COFFEE co-CEO and co-founder Mike McFall absolutely loves coffee. But more than anything, coffee is a part of his purpose and his GRIND.
Mike starts his morning with his favorite specialty drink at BIGGBY- the Americano.
While conversing on the phone, he says in an upbeat tone that “today will be a 60-shot day”. That’s just how Mike McFall rolls. He’s always going, always moving, and always willing to hustle. It’s in his nature.
In 1995, McFall started his journey with BIGGBY as a student working as a barista at the company’s first East Lansing location. One day, he and CEO Bob Fish met and shook on what would become a long-term business partnership.
Fast forward to today, BIGGBY is one of the top-leading franchises in the nation. They are quickly expanding into other markets such as Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida and even Idaho. However, the heartbeat of BIGGBY is in Michigan.
BIGGBY’s continued growth and success rests solely upon their thriving workplace culture, which is centered around staff socials and sabbatical programs-and of course, a culture of love.
“I think there’s the quantifiable stuff. We still work hard, and it’s never been busier. A couple of things that have changed is that the level of trust has gone up. It allows for the team to function at a higher level. Big part of culture is having a basis of trust,” McFall said.
BIGGBY was one of the few chains that were able to stay afloat during the pandemic. McFall says that “a lot of new customers found [them] in that moment.”
“Our response to COVID was extraordinary. We worked hard to take care of staff in stores and to stay open,” he said. “And then, people were able to spin through the drive-through and have a sense of normalcy.”
That familiar sense of community is what customers love and it’s what pushes the BIGGBY team to remain as grounded and passionate as they were when BIGGBY was just a local coffee shop.
McFall remembers the earlier years fondly, but also recalls the hard lessons learned. That’s why he sees this time of uncertainty as an advantage for those who may want to launch businesses or their own brands.
“Instability leads to growth. When there’s instability, whether economically or COVID-19 related, people want to have control over their lives. They long for business ownership,” he said.
And just like sugar and cream are great ingredients to add to coffee, McFall feels a great attitude is the number one ingredient to success. McFall advises local entrepreneurs to approach business from a healthy, positive perspective.
With BIGGBY’s The Life You Love Laboratory program and their goal to be 50-percent direct-to-farmer by 2021, it is no doubt that BIGGBY will continue to grow and grow. But, their mission of inspiring people to love their lives, their communities, and to enjoy a good cup of coffee will stay the same.
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