Area residents might soon see a new coffee retailer popping up around Greater Des Moines.
Brothers Stephen Froscheiser, of Des Moines, and David Froscheiser, of Lincoln, Neb., recently secured the state development rights for Omaha-based Scooter's Coffeehouse. There now is one corporately owned Scooter's in Iowa, located in Merle Hay Mall,
The pair plan to open 20 stores throughout the state, but David Froscheiser said if local consumers embrace the brand, they could open as many as 20 in Greater Des Moines alone.
"The whole state represents an enormous opportunity because there are so many communities that have the vibrancy and the population it takes to have businesses grow and thrive there," he said.
Under their franchise agreement, the Froscheiser brothers will operate their own stores as well as identify franchisees for others.
"Scooter's has about 40 locations in Omaha and 13 in Lincoln," David said. "Stephen's lived in Des Moines for the past eight years, and we realized the market is really underdeveloped in Iowa."
Stephen said he feels the Des Moines area lacks coffeehouses with "local flavor."
"Dunkin' Donuts has come in recently, but there is no other big player on the local front and we thought that was a big void," Stephen said. "I seek out local coffeehouses when I travel, and hear the same thing when I go to other places. That's what they want."
So why Des Moines? Aside from Stephen already calling the area home, David - whose career background is in transportation and agriculture - also is familiar with the community because his current employer is based in Des Moines.
"Des Moines is a vibrant community," David said. "It is continuing to grow. It has core Midwestern values. ... Nebraska and Iowa have many similarities in both their culture and people, so it made the decision very easy."
David said the Scooter's model includes drive-thru-only stores that can be built as small stand-alone buildings, which allows for flexibility in terms of where to build.
"We can go into areas where there are no more revenue opportunities," he said. "Shopping centers may be leased out, but Scooter's buildings can be placed in parking lots, which makes it easier for stores to fit easier in areas that are not ideal for development."
David said the brothers' "conservative goal" is to have five stores open in Greater Des Moines by the end of 2014. The first could open as early as January, and the franchise is one of several businesses eyeing the former Amici Espresso space at 206 Sixth Ave. They plan to develop in Ames before moving east to communities such as Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Cedar Falls and the Quad Cities.