Biggby Coffee – Frandor

22 05 2009
  • 1429 W. Saginaw St. #100
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 324-7007
  • Website
  • Menu
Biggby Coffee in East Lansing near the Frandor Shopping Center.

Biggby Coffee in East Lansing near the Frandor Shopping Center.

After my last trip to Starbucks, I’m sure you all know how I feel about the place.  If you missed that review, I’m not a fan.  I don’t like coffee anyway, so my opinion on the subject doesn’t really matter.  J’s not the kind of person that can’t function without coffee, but she does enjoy the occasional after meal mocha.  Since we ate dinner at Lou & Harry’s Grill & Bakery and there was a Biggby around the corner, she wanted to stop and get a drink.

You all know the Beaner’s/Biggby story better than I do, so I won’t even get into it.  There are several East Lansing locations.  This location is right on the Lansing/East Lansing line in a strip mall between Saginaw and Grand River. The Biggby faces Saginaw Street, but it’s accessible from both roads.

The store isn’t huge, but it is typical of the franchise.  The thing I absolutely love about Biggby is how they adapt to their surroundings.  They don’t tear buildings down and put up the same pretentious building on every street corner.  I like that they use the available space and, in some cases, blend right into the fabric of the community.  This store is in a strip mall, so it’s not anything super unique, but it’s still a Biggby.  Read the rest of this entry »


GrandRiver Coffee Cafe

12 04 2009
  • 515 W. Grand River Aveninue
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (866) 356-5301
  • Website
  • Menu
GrandRiver Coffee Cafe in East Lansing.

GrandRiver Coffee Cafe in East Lansing.

I hate it when I have to work on four hours sleep.  Hell, I was lucky if I got that Friday night.  I worked in Ann Arbor and got home around 12:30 AM.  Saturday morning, I had to be at MSU at 6:00 AM.  By the time I had a quick meal and showered, it was closer to 1:30.  That leaves just about four hours until I had to get up and get going.  It was rough.  Really rough, but at least everyone I worked with was in the same boat.  We were all a little cranky Saturday morning.  By the time lunch (actually breakfast) came around, I was really needing a Pepsi.  I knew I didn’t want to go sit down somewhere and have a huge breakfast since that would just add to my sluggishness.

I’m not much of a coffeehouse person, but I thought I would be able to get something light.  I was just going to go to  Biggby but on my way, I remembered a local coffeehouse just down the street.  I drove by the Biggby and found my destination.

GrandRiver Coffee Cafe is on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing a few blocks from downtown.  It’s a rather large building for a local coffee house.  There were a few cars in the parking lot when I pulled in and when I made it inside, it looked like most of those people were taking advantage of the free wi-fi.  Read the rest of this entry »

Starbucks Coffee – Downtown East Lansing

29 01 2009
  • 401 E. Grand River Avenue
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 332-0398
  • Website
  • Menu
Starbucks Coffee on Grand River Avenue in downtown East Lansing

Starbucks Coffee on Grand River Avenue in downtown East Lansing

When we were hanging out in Chicago Thanksgiving weekend, we tried four or five times to stop in a Starbucks so J could try their Salted Caramel Signature Hot Chocolate.  None of the Starbucks we passed had any tables and the lines were out the door, so we ended up settling on a Dunkin Donuts and just got some regular hot chocolate.  It didn’t hurt my feelings.  I loathe Starbucks and everything it stands for.  Back in Peoria, I had a co-worker who stopped every morning and if we happened to be in a car together, I knew she was going to wine until I stopped so she could get an overpriced coffee.

After dinner at Brother’s Grill, I was standing outside taking a picture for the blog.  When I turned around, J was gone.  I thought maybe she started walking back towards the car.  Fortunately for me, she wears a bright colored coat.  I happened to catch a glimpse of that coat out of the corner of my eye in line at the Starbucks that sits right next door. Read the rest of this entry »

Press Release – New Coffee Line at Panera Bread

22 01 2009

I’ve been told all three Lansing area Panera Bread will be participating in this and the funds they raise will go to the Mid-Michigan Chapter of the American Red Cross…..

Panera Bread® to Celebrate Breakfast
With Free Cups of its New Coffee and Samples of New Products
Panera Bread to Support Local Communities by Raising Funds for Operation Dough-Nation® Recipients

Richmond Heights, MO, January 22, 2009 – Something big is brewing at Panera Bread and everyone’s invited. On Wednesday, January 28, Panera Bread bakery-cafes throughout the country are inviting customers to celebrate Panera’s new breakfast experience by sharing free cups of its new Light and Dark Roast coffees, as well as samples of its three grilled breakfast sandwiches and new Strawberry Granola Parfait.

To Share the Warmth with the local community, Panera Bread will also be inviting customers to donate a dollar on January 28 to help support its Operation Dough-Nation Community BreadboxTM program. Participating bakery-cafes will join the celebration by matching customer donations made on that day. Donations to Panera’s Community Breadboxes support local programs that address community needs. Through its Operation Dough-Nation effort, Panera Bread bakery-cafes collectively donated a retail value of more than $40 million worth of bread and baked goods in 2007 to charitable organizations helping to address the need for food distribution in its local communities.
“We are very proud of what we have achieved at breakfast at Panera,” said Ronald Shaich, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Panera Bread. “We’re looking forward to celebrating breakfast with our customers and joining them in supporting our local communities.”

Panera Bread has been working for more than two years to perfect its two unique new coffee blends — a Light Roast and a Dark Roast. The Light Roast Coffee is a new blend of some of the finest South and Central American beans, roasted lighter for a smooth, classic taste. The Dark Roast Coffee is a new blend of top Costa Rican beans, created for customers who prefer a robust, balanced, full-bodied coffee. All Panera Bread bakery-cafes will continue to carry its current Hazelnut and Decaffeinated coffee blends, as well as a selection of specialty Espresso and Espresso-based drinks expertly prepared by trained baristas.
Read the rest of this entry »

Dunkin Donuts – Downtown Chicago

30 11 2008
  • 6 N. Wabash
  • Chicago, IL 60611
  • (312) 828-9120
  • Website
  • Menu
Dunkin Donuts on Wabash Street in downton Chicago

Dunkin Donuts on Wabash Street in downton Chicago

The end of December in Chicago can get a little chilly.  Luckily, it was a nice day for November 29th, but after three plus hours of walking around, we started to get a chill.  There are Starbucks on every corner and J had been wanting to try their Salted Carmel Hot Chocolate.  We went by half a dozen Starbucks, but every one of them was packed.  On top of that, none of them had any seating, so we couldn’t sit and warm up.  We would have had to take our drinks back out into the cold.

As we were walking through the Jewelery District on Wabash, we went by a Dunkin Donuts.  They had some seating inside and their drinks are cheaper than Starbucks.  Still, we kept going to see if we could find a Starbucks.  We got to the corner and J said if we can’t see a Starbucks from the corner we were standing on, we’d just go to Dunkin.  Well, we could see a Starbucks, but it was just like all the others, so back to Dunkin we went. Read the rest of this entry »

Tim Hortons – Holt

15 10 2008
  • 2350 Cedar St.
  • Holt, MI 48842
  • (517) 694-0129
  • Website
  • Menu
Tim Hortons on Cedar Street in Holt

Tim Hortons on Cedar Street in Holt

I never really think of Tim Hortons as a place to get a quick after dinner snack, but Monday night I was watching my favorite CBS show, How I Met Your Mother, and one of the characters actually threw out a Tim Hortons reference.  The character, Robin, is from Canada which is where Tim Hortons was founded.  She said something to the effect of ‘at least I didn’t say let’s go to Tim Hortons.’  Six months ago, I wouldn’t have had the slightest idea what she was talking about becuase there were no Tim Hortons in Illinois.  We found them for the first time when we moved to Lansing.

Around the time we moved here, I reviewed the Tim Hortons on South Cedar (review HERE) in Lansing after we stopped for lunch.  The Tim Hortons in Holt is a new store even since that review.  It sits in front of L & L Food Center on Cedar Street near Aurelius Road.  It’s not a very big building.  It’s about the perfect size for a coffee shop.  This trip was just for an after dinner snack.  I was still hungry, but we didn’t have anything to snack on, so I suggested we go get a cookie or something.  Read the rest of this entry »

Press Release – New Biggby Store

15 10 2008

From a press release….

Growing Hometown Brand Thriving Despite Economic Downturn

LANSING, Mich., October 15, 2008 – East-Lansing based BIGGBY COFFEE will open a new location in its hometown of Lansing on Tuesday, Oct 21st, across from Eastwood Town Center. The new store, located at 2250 Lake Lansing Road, marks the 24th greater Lansing location for the increasingly popular coffee retailer.

Long-time franchisee, Jane O’Connor, is the catalyst behind the new store, which is her fourth BIGGBY COFFEE location. O’Connor owns successful franchises in Okemos, Marshall and East Lansing.

“I’ve been with the Big ‘B’ a long time now, so I’m an oldie but a goodie,” said O’Connor, in reference to her first store opening in Okemos more than seven years ago, when just a few stores existed in the region. “The truth is, the brand has become a local legend before my very eyes, and that’s extremely fulfilling on a professional level. Of course, I’m a huge fan myself so I can’t wait to bring the experience to the residents of Groesbeck and the shoppers across the street at Eastwood.”

The store is open 6 a.m. – 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Sundays. Soft seating and free wireless access will be paired with a fun, inviting atmosphere—all standard options at BIGGBY COFFEE.

The new location marks the 104th for the rapidly expanding coffee retailer. BIGGBY COFFEE currently operates in eight states, and has another 66 locations under contract to open over the next 24 months.

The new Lansing store will bring nearly 20 new full-and part-time jobs to the area.

Zingerman’s Next Door

13 09 2008
  • 422 Detroit St.
  • Ann Arbor, MI 48104
  • (734) 663-5282
  • Website
  • Menu
eZingermans Next Door which is literally next door to the famous Deli of the same name in Ann Arbor

Zingerman's Next Door which is literally next door to the famous Deli of the same name in Ann Arbor

If you’ve been to Zingerman’s Deli, Zingerman’s Next Door shouldn’t be hard to find.  It’s right next door.  The shop has two purposes.  First, it’s seating for Zingerman’s Deli.  As I mentioned in my REVIEW of the deli, after you place your order, you go next door and have a seat.  A server will bring your sandwiches and you can sit down and enjoy the biggest deli sandwich you’ll probably ever eat. 

The second purpose of Zingerman’s Next Door is to offer things you can’t get at the deli.  The main focus is coffee, but they offer chocolates and even gellato. 

The tables are kind of cramped in to the space, but with as many people as Zingerman’s gets, the more tables the better.  We found one along the wall near the cash register.  Our wait was only about 15 minutes which was pretty good for the volume orders the kitchen was filling.  We ate our meal and didn’t feel rushed or cramped which happens at some of the other hot spots in Ann Arbor. Read the rest of this entry »

Great Lakes Chocolate & Coffee Co. – Lansing

26 08 2008
  • 500 E. Michigan Ave.
  • Suite 190
  • Lansing, MI 48912
  • (517) 999-3405
  • Website
  • Menu
Great Lakes Chocolate & Coffee Company in the Stadium District near Downtown Lansing

Great Lakes Chocolate & Coffee Company in the Stadium District near Downtown Lansing

If you’ve ever looked at my sidebar, you’ve noticed I have RSS feeds from the local media outlets here in town.  This story on really jumped out at me today.

About a dozen mid-Michigan workers are employed today with the help of the Great Lakes Chocolate and Coffee Company.

YAY!  Chocolate!  When my girlfriend came home for dinner tonight, I suggested making a run downtown to get a couple pieces of gourmet chocolate for dessert before I took she had to go back. 

The Great Lakes Chocolate & Coffee Co. opened up shop on the corner of Michigan Ave. and Larch St. on the first floor of the Stadium District building across from Oldsmobile Park.  Parking is limited out front to a few meters, but behind the building is a massive parking lot for the businesses and the residents of the Stadium District.  We were going the wrong way down Michigan to get a spot at a meter, so we went around to the back parking lot.  For those coffee lovers in a hurry, there’s also a drive-thru behind the building.  The main entrance is off Michigan Ave, but there is a back entrance from the back lot and an entrance on the Larch St. side.  Since we parked in back, we entered from the back.  There an open sign and there are hours on the door, but when we walked in, we second guessed ourselves.  The only two doors you see are for the men’s room and an employee entrance to the kitchen.  There is a hallway that leads back into the shop, but it took us a second to get our bearings and realize that. Read the rest of this entry »

New Coffeehouse Coming to Downtown Lansing

27 07 2008
The Great Lakes Coffee and Chocolate Company building in Ann Arbor.

The Great Lakes Coffee and Chocolate Company building in Ann Arbor.

I noticed this a while ago while walking in front of the Stadium District building on Michigan Ave., but it didn’t click until I saw a job posting on craigslist this afternoon.  Next month, the Great Lakes Chocolate and Coffee Company will open their third store in downtown Lansing.  The shop got it’s start in Sturgis, MI and they’ve expanded to Ann Arbor and now Lansing.

They do three things.  Coffee, Chocolate, and Teas.  It’s nice to see some businesses starting to move into the Stadium District.  Even better that it’s a small, Michigan-based company…and it’s not a Starbucks.