Tuesday, November 28, 2023

[EXCLUSIVE] Dutch Bros. Has At Least One Location Brewing in Metro Atlanta

Metro Atlanta's first outpost of Dutch Bros. Coffee is one step closer to reality.  A new Dutch Bros. is being proposed for a half acre site at 9630 Medlock Bridge Road in Johns Creek which last week received an "approval with conditions" from the Johns Creek Board of Zoning Appeals.  

The new drive-thru only coffee shop would replace an old Jiffy Lube car care facility, adjacent to an existing Waffle House, close to the Regal Cinemas-anchored Medlock Crossing shopping center.  Starbucks currently operates an inline location (no drive-thru) within the shopping center.  

The proposed drive-thru only (DTO) Dutch Bros. would be 950 square feet with a 377 square foot patio, whereas the existing auto care structure built in 2000 is 2,432 square feet.  Johns Creek planning materials indicate that Duluth-based Phoenix Roasters had intended in 2022 to build an 878 square foot DTO unit on the same site, but their plans failed to come to fruition.  

Johns Creek Board of Zoning Appeals approved Dutch Bros. plans with the following conditions:

1) The subject property shall provide a minimum of 6 on-site parking spaces as shown on the site plan received by the Community Development Department and date stamped on October 10, 2023. 

2) Owner/Developer shall provide appropriate striping and signage to aid internal traffic flow of vehicles for appropriate ingress/egress to the property and interaction with drive-through lanes, subject to the approval of the Community Development Director. 

3) Owner/Developer shall provide written approval from the adjacent property owner to the north, approving the scope of work and encroachment onto their site prior to the issuance of a Land Disturbance Permit. 

The Dutch Bros. beverage menu is diverse with coffees, teas, sodas, smoothies, lemonades and energy drinks, among other offerings while its food menu is rather limited.  According to the Dutch Bros. website, the food menu (referred to as "Its All Goodies) includes only a chocolate chip muffin top, orange cranberry muffin top, lemon poppyseed muffin top and a granola bar.  

Brothers of Dutch descent Dane and Travis Boersma started the business as a pushcart in Grants Pass, Oregon in 1992.  The company started franchising in 1999 and after growing to several hundred units, stopped offering new franchises as of 2017 although franchisees still operate about 300 units, according to the company's most recently released information.  

Dane Boersma died from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, in October 2009, he was 55.  

Dutch Bros. became a publicly traded company in 2021 and after the stock soared initially, the company has experienced some growing pains as a public company.  The stock (NYSE: BROS) currently trades at about $30 per share, up about 10 per cent year-to-date (YTD), but only a little above its IPO price.  

Christine Barone, a veteran executive of Starbucks and former CEO of True Food Kitchen, joined Dutch Bros as President this past February, and following news that current CEO Joth Ricci is stepping down, Barone will herself assume the CEO position this coming January.  Travis Boersma, who in 2013 appeared on the hit reality show Undercover Boss, remains involved in the company as Executive Chairman.  

Dutch Bros. has stated it plans to have 4,000 shops nationwide in the years to come.  

To achieve this goal, the company plans to lean heavily on their predominantly DTO model.  Dutch Bros. has in recent months made inroads into Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky and Florida with 23, 4, 3 and 2 units respectively.  

Dutch Bros. is entering metro Atlanta at a time of tremendous competition and limited availability of prime locations.  

Drive-thrus - whether they be for coffee, burgers, smoothies or chicken joints, among other uses - are also facing increased scrutiny from cities and communities who fear that drive-thrus' convenience will lead to increased traffic and congestion.  A DTO Tim Hortons proposed on State Bridge Road, also in Johns Creek, was panned by neighbors citing both noise and traffic concerns.  

Industry titan Starbucks is constantly building and at times relocating Atlanta area locations, while new players such as Scooter's, Biggby, 7 Brew and Ziggi's, among others, are vying for market share.  Even Caribou Coffee, which had gone through a retrenchment from the market, is returning to Kennesaw with other stores in the works. 

Have you been to Dutch Bros. Coffee?  Who do you think makes the best coffee in Atlanta?  Where else would you like to see Dutch Bros. open? 

Please share your thoughts below. 


911 Supervisor said...

I've been to a Dutch Bros in Salt Lake City. It was a drive thru only store. Coffee is pretty good.

Anonymous said...

Been to Dutch Bros in Eugene Oregon! Their coffee and chai teas are amazing! They need to build one in Lawrenceville or Snellville Ga!!

Anonymous said...

I was in Tennessee and tried Dutch Bros coffee and was disappointed 😞 ... All the hype was just hype. I'll give them another try when they open just to make sure.

Anonymous said...

Dutch Doors is simple and good. Very enjoyable!

Anonymous said...

IM EXCITED FOR THIS!! I've emailed them several times about bringing DB to GA! Too excited!!

Anonymous said...

McDonough and Peachtree City are also good locations and possibly the little town of Griffin! I've been out of Colorado for 3 years and am missing my coffee and friendly staff!

Anonymous said...

Excited to see them come to Atlanta and the burbs.

Seems like the area will be saturated in coffee shops.

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