Country's second largest coffee franchise coming to Huron

Curt Nettinga of the Plainsman
Posted 4/28/23

Scooters Coffee coming to Huron

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Country's second largest coffee franchise coming to Huron


HURON — Huron’s first national coffee shop franchise, Scooter’s Coffee, is expected to open later this summer, according to owner Grant Johnson of Mitchell.

“We hoping for a mid-August opening,” said Johnson, from Casper, Wyo., where he and his wife Andrea opened their first store last October. “In addition to Huron, we are also developing a site in Gillette, Wyo., right now.”

According to Johnson, since the Casper store opened, there were 200 more Scooter’s last year and the company expects to open 300-400 more stores in 2023. “That would make us, potentially, the second largest in the nation, behind Starbucks.”

Scooter’s Coffee is based in Omaha, with all product shipping from a central warehouse there. The product lineup is familiar at all locations, including hot and iced coffee, blended drinks, energy infusions, smoothies and a line of quenchers with green tea. On the horizon this summer is a line of children’s drinks, which Johnson said will be available in Huron, offering decaffeinated options for little ones.

The store will also have a selection of breakfast sandwiches and some pastry items.

“When we looked at Scooter’s as an opportunity, we really like the business model and the company’s core values - midwestern values,” Johnson said. “They stay out of politics and just focus on pleasing their customers. At that time, there weren’t any rights available in South Dakota, so Wyoming was a good fit.”

Since securing rights in Wyoming, Johnson said that the rights to Huron, as well as Spearfish and Sturgis became available and those site have been added. “We have the rights to seven stores,” he said. “Four in Wyoming, then the three in South Dakota.”

Grant and Andrea Johnson (COURTESY PHOTO)

When rights were purchased for Huron, the Johnsons began looking at land to build, but didn’t find exactly what they were looking for. “I knew many people in Huron after having a landscape business before that worked up here a great deal. We got wind of the bank opportunity and we worked out a deal to purchase the property.”

An inspection revealed that to bring the existing building up to what was needed would cost “a ton of money,” Johnson said. “It was simply more cost effective to take it down and start from scratch. The builders are lined up and are familiar with the requirements, having already built several other Scooter’s site.

“We would like to be open before the State Fair,” Johnson said, “however there are things that are out of our control such as when construction items arrive. Scooter’s requires that everything inside and outside be completed before the store can open. We got held up in Casper, when they got a lot of rain and we couldn’t put sod down.”

When open, Johnson said the store will be open seven days a week, “Usually from very early in the morning until early evening,” he said, “but we will lock down the hours after we can take a more in-depth look at the hours our customers are working.”

Approximately 22-25 employees are expected, most of them part-time, most from a younger demographic.

“Right now, my oldest barista in Casper is 21 years old,” he said. The Johnsons plan to co-manage the Huron site themselves.

“‘Fast and Friendly through a a drive-through’ is kind of their mission statement,” he said. “We feel we have a good site and a plan that works. We’re excited to bring Scooter’s Coffee to Huron.”