Chattanooga continues to brew up more coffee options.
An Arkansas-based coffee retailer known as 7 Brew is expanding into Chattanooga with plans to open a drive-through outlet in Hixson in early March and possibly other coffee stands in the market in the future.
Southern Brew, a new franchisee of the growing 7 Brew chain, is constructing the first of 13 units it plans this year in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama, with its first outlet in a Hixson shopping center parking lot. A trailer with the new coffee stand was delivered at the Northtowne Square shopping center on Highway 153 last week, and Operations Manager Jackson Barclay said the new storefront is scheduled to open in the next month.
"We're excited about opening up at this site and bringing high-quality drinks, a great experience and positive energy for our customers," Barclay said during an interview this week on the construction site of the new coffee drive-through.
The coffee chain began in Rogers, Arkansas, with its seven original coffees and has since expanded to 54 stands in 14 states and has added a variety of other drinks, including lattes, mochas, chai tea and cappuccinos.
7 Brew offers a variety of what it labels "you-nique drinks" that can be mixed in up to 19,000 different combinations. The coffee chain brags most about its customer service, and each location includes drive-through lanes where 7 Brew staffers come to the car, explain the drink options and take each customer's order. Although there is no indoor seating, the 7 Brew outlets also are designed for walk-up customers.
Most of the drinks at the new 7 Brew will range in price from $3 to $7, Barclay said. The seven original coffees include Blondie (caramel and vanilla breve), Brunette (hazelnut and caramel mocha), Smooth 7 (white chocolate and Irish cream breve), cinnamon roll (while chocolate and brown sugar cinnamon), white chocolate mocha (white and milk chocolate mocha), German chocolate (coconut and caramel mocha) and triple 7 (smooth 7 with six espresso shots).
The new outlet will be open from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily and will stay open until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
"So whether you want to get a jolt of energy in the morning or at night, we're going to be open for you," Barclay said.
The new coffee outlet will have 45 to 50 full- and part-time employees. With an average pay with tips of $16 to $22 an hour, Barclay said he has been successful in hiring most of the staff already.
Many of the workers are headed to Arkansas for training this weekend.
Barclay said customer service and relationships, along with the variety of quickly served drinks available at 7 Brew, should attract repeat business even with more than 50 coffee and pastry retailers already in the Chattanooga market.
The new 7 Brew is a couple blocks away from a new Starbucks coffee restaurant that opened late last year on Highway 153 -- one of at least 15 Starbucks storefronts in Hamilton County.
Two years ago, Scooter's entered the Chattanooga market with plans to eventually build up to 15 of its drive-through coffee stands.
Last fall, a Valdosta, Georgia, coffee chain known as Red Owl Coffee also entered the Chattanooga market with its first local drive-through coffee kiosk in East Brainerd. Red Owl, which is relocating much of its operations to Chattanooga, is planning at least four area outlets.
Three local coffee chains also have been started in the past five years and continue to add more storefronts.
Be Caffeinated, a chain of drive-through coffee shops launched in 2018 in Red Bank, has grown to include four drive-through units. Sleepyhead Coffee, which started in 2019 as a coffee cart, is expanding its storefront in the downtown James Building. In December, a Montreal bagel shop known as Honey Seed opened on South Market Street.
On its website, 7 Brew claims its "secret sauce is not a flavor, it's a feeling."
"We believe people are priceless, so we treat them like it," 7 Brew says on its website. "Our goal is to make your visit the happiest part of your day."