North End Grocery demolished to make room for new Biggby

Owner: 'Sad to see it go, but excited to bring Biggby to Reed City'

REED CITY — Demolition of the former North End Grocery in Reed City took place July 26 to make room for a new Biggby Coffee franchise set to open up this winter.

"Sad to see it go, but excited to bring Biggby to Reed City!" read a Facebook post from Sonya Bielecki, who is starting the Biggby Coffee store with her partner, Kelly Prielipp. who was born and raised in Reed City. Her first job was at North End Grocery, which is one reason why the couple chose that location.

"With the cross-section of (highways) 10 and 131, we feel we will have a lot of business and a lot of customers who we will make happy every day. Kelly is originally from Reed City, born and raised, so to be able to help build the community, to put a known brand within the community, to bring those kinds of names into Reed City is a big deal to help the community thrive," Bielecki said.

Bielecki and Prielipp are both "obsessed" with Biggby Coffee, and have been since it was originally called Beaner's Coffee. 

"I think one of the most exciting things for both of us, and why we are so committed to Biggby, is that we talked about opening a franchise 11 years ago. We have been Biggby connoisseurs since it opened," Bielecki said.

Bielecki appreciates the fact that it is a Michigan brand, having been started in East Lansing. 

Despite supply chain issues potentially making the build more difficult, Bielecki has high hopes.

"We’re really committed to the smile that Biggby brings to our community. We’re proud to serve people, no matter the way things have gone, we are dedicated to excellent customer service," she said.

Bielecki said making a profit is just a bonus for doing the kind of work she hopes will teach high schoolers life skills and what it's like to be in on the ground floor of a business, as well as putting smiles on the faces of people who will end up there every morning for their daily cup of joe. 

"We are really committed to doing whatever we can to help people get employment that makes them happy and gives them more than just a job, or a paycheck, and really helps them grow professionally and personally," Bielecki said.

The Biggby location will have a lobby/seating area, as well as a drive-thru, as Bielecki made it a point to create an area for people in the community to mingle, relax and enjoy themselves while sipping their drink of choice.

The announcement of the franchise has already seen a good response from people on Facebook.

"We’re really grateful for the overwhelming response from the community, it’s amazing to be that welcomed. We’re both humbled by it," Bielecki said.

“We’re gonna have so much fun. It’s all about having fun.”