Rich Barnes

Biggby Coffee third career for new owners

November 11, 2009 // 0 Comments

Store opens with week of free brewed coffee Bob Sorum and Rich Barnes have been looking forward to their own coffee shop for over a decade. Their new Biggby Coffee shop will open at 2745 Ten Mile Road—the former location of a discount bread store—on Tuesday, November 17. Sorum and Barnes used to be neighbors to the founders of the coffee franchise, Bob Fish and Mary Roszel. They recall being served by the two at the first Biggby Coffee in Lansing in 1995. Now the Michigan company has over 100 stores, up from five in 2000. The coffee shop has hired its staff of 22 and began training on Monday, November 9. With a location visible from US-131 and in front of the Rockford Meijer, Sorum and Barnes don’t believe they will be taking any business from the existing coffee shops in downtown Rockford. In fact, they have already taken the time to become acquainted with many of Rockford’s other businesses and plan to be very involved with the community. “We have already been to Genesis. We have been having dinner at Sam’s Joint and love the ribs. Grill One Eleven is our favorite restaurant,” said Barnes. “We don’t think we are going to compete with downtown. We won’t get the shoppers or the riverwalk people. I think we’ll get along.” The shop’s location, on the west end of a new strip mall with frontage to US-131, is an ideal one, Sorum believes. He said the two had planned on opening up a Biggby after closing their travel agency. They scouted out different towns in the area and fell in love with Rockford. A different coffee tenant had committed to the location but opted out, and Barnes and Sorum were quick to snap up the space. “We waited almost a year and a half for this location,” Barnes said. “We spotted the potential right away.” With a fireplace, 47-inch television and WiFi, the Biggby will offer a place to grab a quick cup of something hot or cold or an opportunity to take a break from driving. “We encourage people to come in and get some work done—or to just take a break,” Barnes said. The store is 1,500 square feet with seating for 20 […]