Scooter’s Coffee is expanding its reach in the Cape Fear region with a new store proposed near a bustling Wilmington intersection.
The area’s first Scooter’s Coffee location opened on Market Street last month. Now, franchisee Morgan DeBerry plans to build a second Scooter’s Coffee kiosk near the intersection of Wilmington's S. College Road and Oleander Drive.
The plans, which were submitted to Wilmington leaders last week, call for a 664-square-foot drive-thru kiosk on a half-acre of land at 1421 and 1425 S. College Road. The site is sandwiched between the Trader Joe’s parking lot and Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church.
DeBerry said he’s been working on this second Wilmington location for the last year and a half – almost as long as the Market Street location. Because of the new site’s small size and its proximity to College Road, he went through several development designs before landing on the current plan.
“It was more or less (looking at) just how our drive-thru stacking would work and making sure that we could fit enough cars on the actual site where we weren't disturbing College Road,” DeBerry said.
The S. College Road store will be “very similar” to the Market Street location, DeBerry said, down to the square footage. However, the new store will pilot what DeBerry calls a “walk-out door.” That means the location will have two lanes for cars – one for drive-thru ordering and a second for customers who have ordered ahead online. Scooter’s Coffee employees will walk out the online orders to customers.
“That's really going to be able to help us maximize throughput and speed and everything at that site to get people in and out quicker,” DeBerry said.
The store will be piloting the “walk-out door” concept for the entire Scooter’s Coffee chain, DeBerry said. Ohama-headquartered Scooter’s Coffee has more than 650 locations nationwide.
In addition to brewed coffee, Scooter’s serves classic espresso drinks like an americano, cappuccino, latte or mocha. They also serve muffins and cinnamon rolls along with breakfast sandwiches.
DeBerry sees big potential in the chain’s second Wilmington kiosk because of its proximity to the perpetually busy Trader Joe’s and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington campus. He said he specifically looked for sites along busy Wilmington corridors like Market Street and College Road to raise the brand’s visibility.
“We wanted to be in high traffic and high volume areas where people would see us and recognize us,” DeBerry said.
DeBerry is under contract to buy the two lots on College Road. They are currently owned by Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church. The church purchased the land at 1421 S. College Road for $120,000 in 2000 and the lot at 1425 S. College Road for $540,000 in 2007, according to property records.
DeBerry said he envisions bringing a total of five Scooter’s Coffee locations to the Wilmington area. He’s currently looking for more local spots, ranging from Monkey Junction to Leland and Hampstead.
The area’s ongoing growth, overall friendliness and support from groups like the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce have helped push DeBerry to continue extending the chain's local reach.
“I'm excited to open that second one and really help elevate and grow the Scooter’s brand in Wilmington,” he said.