New year's resolution for coffee franchise: name change
LANSING, Mich.--To distance itself from a "disparaging term," Beaner's Coffee will spend $1 million to rebrand its 79 coffee shops under the Biggby Coffee banner by the end of January.
The coffee retailer wants to distance itself from its brand.It has been brought to the attention of the 12-year-old coffee retailer based here that Beaners is a pejorative term for Hispanics.
Matt Jackson, a spokesperson for Beaner's, said the company will absorb all of the costs of the rebranding.
"When Bob Fish and Mary Roszel started the company, they thought it (Beaner's) was a fun, quirky, nonsensical way to refer to themselves--as someone immersed in coffee," Johnson said.
With locations in nine states, the need for a new name became evident as the corporate offices began receiving emails about the ethnic slur. Last year, Beaner's approached Lambert, Edwards & Associates Inc., the Grand Rapids, Mich., marketing and public relations firm for which Jackson works, about changing its name.
"It's offensive to Hispanic Americans. At the end of the day, if anyone is offended, it doesn't go along with the company's mission. .... We had no idea it could be interpreted in any other way," said Jackson.
Doing nothing was not an option. Bob Fish, Beaner's CEO and co-founder, in a prepared statement said, "We ultimately felt we would be condoning the use of a disparaging term if we chose to do nothing."
Beaner's Cofffee is among the fastest-growing franchises in the nation. "Entrepreneur Magazine" included Beaner's among its 2007 list of top franchise opportunities.
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