After searching for possible locations for his second Biggby Coffee franchise, he found an empty storefront at 3593 S. Dixie Highway at the corner of Ohio 122, formerly occupied by OrthoSport Physical Therapy Center.
Bunch, who said the location has “huge potential,” plans to add a drive-through.
On Tuesday night, City Council approved a $15,000 small business grant for Scott and Molli Bunch, owners of S&M Global Investments.
The couple owns a Biggby Coffee shop on Ohio 741 in Springboro. At the Middletown location, they plan to invest more than $425,000 into the interior build-out, addition of a drive through, and equipment procurement, according to the city.
The franchisee has a “proven track record of business acumen,” and has expressed “a deep interest” to staff in community involvement, according to the staff report.
Bunch plans to hire about 20 employees with an annual payroll of $220,000 that will generate $4,400 in taxes, according to Lisha Morlan, assistant director of economic development.
Some City Council members expressed traffic concerns the coffee shop may create in the area. There is one entrance/exit on Dixie Highway and another at the traffic light by Sonic.
Bunch said he spent several hours watching traffic flow in the shopping center that includes Rapid Fired Pizza, Hot Head Burritos and Planet Caravan Smoke Shop. He has “zero concerns” about traffic and after investing his life savings, he wants his customers to have “a great experience.”
One Middletown resident, Bob Nolan, spoke against awarding the coffee shop a grant during the citizen comment portion of the City Council meeting. He said the money should benefit Middletown business owners and not an out-of-town franchisee.
“Those who truly need it,” he said.
Also, Nolan said, the city would be better off using the $15,000 to improve traffic in the area.
According to the contract, the renovation must be completed within 12 months after execution of the agreement. In order to receive payment of the grant funds, the business must submit to the city all invoices and receipts for the work performed.