Bob Fish, perhaps better known to employees and enthusiasts as "Biggby Bob," met face-to-face with the Plymouth community Thursday while treating customers to free coffee at its location.
The visit was part of the coffee chain's "Spot Bob" event, where Fish will visit one of Biggby Coffee's 146 locally owned locations once a month and buy drinks for anyone who comes in during his visit.
"It's fun to be able to award customers," Fish said. "The Biggby way is to be invested in the community and give back."
The visits, he said, also reward the franchise owners. Fish's bill Thursday was approaching $2,500 by the time his visit ended at 10 a.m. and lines at times stretched to the front entrance.
Fish, who started Biggby Coffee in 1995 in East Lansing and began franchising Biggby locations in 1997, said the biggest benefit of the "Spot Bob" visits is to thank customers and allow them to meet with the CEO in-person and offer feedback and suggestions.
"The response from the community is always phenomenal," Fish said. He said fans of the coffee chain will follow him to different locations.
Fish also praised the owners of the Plymouth location, Drew and Colleen Wolford, who he said are "good local owners."
Drew Wolford, who opened the Plymouth Super Center in 2001 (Biggby moved to the location in 2010), said the customer base at his location has been loyal, and he tries to reward that loyalty by looking for ways to contribute to the community's charities and schools.
Fish said this was his first "Spot Bob" visit in Plymouth, but praised the town for having a strong sense of community.