BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — The first of 50 new Caribou Coffee locations planned for Michigan has opened in Battle Creek.

It opened on Capital Avenue near Beckley Road on July 31. The franchise is a first for Manna Development Group, which has plans for several more throughout the state. The company also owns several Panera Bread franchises.

Caribou Coffee in Battle Creek. (Courtesy)
Caribou Coffee in Battle Creek. (Courtesy)

“We’re really happy to be launching back in Michigan. There are a couple of sites in Michigan already, but we have opened the first location for our franchise group over in Battle Creek. We’re super excited to be there,” said Jennifer Arnold, the director of sales and marketing.

Several people were at the grand opening, including the city’s mayor. Arnold said she’s heard of people driving more than half an hour to get to the location.

Manna will be building the rest of the 50 locations over the next few years. The next few set to open include a Grand Rapids location at 28th Street and Kraft Avenue, along with Allen Park and Ferndale locations.

“We’re continuing to look at additional locations to develop. So it’s very exciting to see where we’re going to be and be able to impact those communities that we’re going to be going in,” Arnold said.

The Michigan expansion is part of a larger expansion nationwide, as work is underway to open around 300 locations across the country by various franchise owners. Caribou Coffee, which was founded in Minnesota in 1992, currently has more than 750 locations worldwide.

Arnold said it offers items with premium ingredients, Rainforest Alliance Certified green coffee and a small food menu with a variety of options.

“Caribou is really about making these day-making experiences that spark a chain reaction of good,” she said. “We really think that it’s the heart of us to be able to align with that. And just to give that really good-quality, premium cup of coffee that you might not get anywhere else, something special, something that’s not just a normal latte, but something really elevated and different.”

She suggested those new to Caribou Coffee sign up for Caribou Perks, which offers a free drink for signing up.