Effort to open drive-thru Biggby Coffee in Sanford

A Biggby Coffee franchise owner told the Sanford Village Council Monday of his preliminary plans to bring a drive-thru to the municipality.

Biggby Coffee franchise owner Landon Palmer, and his family, own seven of the business, including one in Mt. Pleasant. Palmer gave an informal presentation to the council during their regular meeting. Palmer said the next step is to return with an official proposal and site plan that the council can vote on. He hopes to put the business it in the Sanford Food Center parking lot at Saginaw and North Meridian roads.

Palmer doesn’t have a lease agreement but hopes to continue talks with Sanford Food Center owners Rob Meyette and Rob Lowell about it.

“We’re excited about the possibility of bringing it to the food center,” Lowell said Wednesday.

Palmer said nothing is set in stone and he doesn’t even have official plans in place, yet. He wanted to see how the concept was received and let council know he would be proposing the business in the future.

He said the project is trending toward happening and he doesn’t see any red flags.

“It would be a great place to put a coffee shop,” Palmer said of the location, a small town with a high-traffic area.

Palmer said the drive-thru stores need a quarter-acre of space. They are cube stores and are a permanent structures. Such stores are a newer concept for the coffee giant. While drive-true only, sometimes there are seats outside on a patio in warmer months.

Each store employees between 19 and 30 people with two to seven people working each shift. Palmer said, and often times the cube stores “outrank” the brick-and-mortar stores in sales.

“It’s kind of the future of coffee, in my opinion,” Palmer said of the drive-thru stores.

In addition to Mt. Pleasant, the family owns stores in Marquette, Lowell, Houghton and Gaylord.

Resident Cindi Siegert said she loves the idea of getting coffee without having to go inside.

“There’s no undoing the seatbelt, ordering, waiting for the barista to call your name and getting back in your car,” Siegert said. “A drive-thru is just more convenient.”

She said a drive-thru coffee is also easier to justify when you are running late.

Palmer likes the idea of putting an established business in the town, saying he is pro helping Sanford.

Once the official proposal is made and approved by council, the business could be opened by the end of 2022. He said it took 14 months to open the Mt. Pleasant location.

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