Plan­ners OK cof­fee shop busi­ness plans

Fa­cil­ity slated for prop­erty on high­way near Garfield

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - TOM SISSOM

BEN­TONVILLE — A lo­cal en­tre­pre­neur’s vi­sion of grow­ing a na­tional chain of drive-through cof­fee shops got a boost Wednes­day from Ben­ton County plan­ners.

The Ben­ton County Plan­ning Board ap­proved a site plan for a 40,000-square-foot ware­house, man­u­fac­tur­ing and of­fice fa­cil­ity planned for prop­erty on High­way 62 near Garfield that will house the 7 Brew Cof­fee Com­pany as the busi­ness grows.

“Our in­ten­tion is to be­come a na­tional chain,” Ron Crume, pres­i­dent and co-founder of the com­pany, said af­ter a pub­lic hear­ing in which the plan­ning board ap­proved the site plan for the busi­ness.

“We’re start­ing in North­west Arkansas,” Crume said. “We’re get­ting di­aled in here be­fore we ex­pand into neigh­bor­ing cities and states, places like Jo­plin, Bran­son, Fort Smith and Spring­field.”

Crume said the busi­ness now op­er­ates from a 20,000-square-foot fa­cil­ity in Rogers. The oper­a­tion stores some prod­ucts and as­sem­bles the 15-foot by 32-foot build­ings used for the drive-through cof­fee shops. He said the busi­ness has one cof­fee shop open at 2101 S. 52nd St. in Rogers, near the Vil­lage on the Creeks, and is about to open a sec­ond at 25oo E. Cen­tral Ave. in Ben­tonville. Plans are in place for ad­di­tional shops in Rogers and Fayet­teville.

The plan­ning board spent much of Wednes­day’s hear­ing try­ing to de­fine the planned uses for the new fa­cil­ity. Work on the ware­house build­ing was ini­tially be­gun as an agri­cul­tural ware­house but af­ter dis­cus­sion with plan­ning staff the use was changed to heavy com­mer­cial, with some ware­house stor­age, of­fice space and man­u­fac­tur­ing.

“I had al­ways had it in the back of my mind that if 7 Brew was suc­cess­ful, and it has been, we would want to con­vert this build­ing for com­mer­cial use,” Crume told the board. Ron Hud­nall, with Re­source De­sign in Rogers, told the board his firm is al­ready look­ing a con­cepts for a cor­po­rate of­fice on the site if the busi­ness con­tin­ues to grow.

John Sud­duth, the county’s gen­eral ser­vices ad­min­is­tra­tor, told Crume to be sure the de­sign for the build­ing met the needs and re­quire­ments for all of the pos­si­ble uses and to work with the county’s build­ing of­fi­cial on meet­ing the ap­pli­ca­ble build­ing codes.

Ash­ley Tucker, board chair­man, echoed Sud­duth’s com­ments.

“Our ap­proval is for land use,” Tucker said. “It’s not a build­ing per­mit.”

The board unan­i­mously ap­proved a re­quest to re­duce the num­ber of park­ing spa­ces re­quired by county reg­u­la­tions and unan­i­mously ap­proved the site plan for the fa­cil­ity.

“I had al­ways had it in the back of my mind that if 7 Brew was suc­cess­ful, and it has been, we would want to con­vert this build­ing for com­mer­cial use.” — Ron Crume, pres­i­dent and co­founder of 7 Brew Cof­fee Com­pany

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