Global coffee franchise coming to Bermuda Run: Caribou Coffee to open new location near busy U.S. 158/N.C. 801 intersection

Published 12:10 am Thursday, February 8, 2024

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BERMUDA RUN — Caribou Coffee is coming to Bermuda Run.

If you’ve driven down N.C. 801 South from I-40 through the big intersection with U.S. 158 past Wells Fargo, you’ve no doubt seen the Davie Construction Co. sign and noticed workers with heavy equipment moving dirt around on the lot behind the bank at the corner of Peachtree Lane.

Carl Carney, president and CEO of Davie Construction, confirmed that the global premium coffee house with more than 800 stores in 11 countries will indeed be setting up shop near the town’s busiest crossroads.

Janet Sheppard, chief financial officer for Davie Construction, has been closely involved with the project.

“We’re just doing the shell building right now, and I know that has to be finished May 1,” she said. “I’m sure they want to open as quickly as possible and expand more into the North Carolina market.” 

Currently, there are 10 Caribou Coffee locations in North Carolina, including four in Charlotte and the closest being in Greensboro in the Friendly Center.

Sheppard said she was working with a developer who was working with Caribou, leading to completing a deal. The lot itself is approximately .67 acres, and the building will be approximately 700 square feet.

“We were bidding one for them, and they were looking for one in this area,” she said. “We happened to own a piece of land and were able to work out a deal. 32RedLLC is the owner of the land and will own the building.”

Shannon Anderson, the store manager in Greensboro, said she is excited about another Caribou location coming to the Triad in Bermuda Run.

“It should be open in a few months,” she said. “We have the manager training right now. The only other thing I know is that it’s probably going to be what we call a cabin nowadays in the Caribou world. 

“So it’s going to be a lot of drive-thru, and it may not necessarily have a dining room like our store in Greensboro has, but it’s going to have the same exact menu, all the same products and it just may look a little different from the outside. It’s probably going to be bright blue.”

Anderson said that although Starbucks is firmly entrenched as the country’s (and world’s) No. 1 coffee house, Caribou is part of the next wave of popular coffee locations.

“I don’t know who is No. 2, 3, 4, but I think we’re right up there with Dunkin’ in certain pockets of the country and with some of the others, too” she said.

The company was founded in 1992 in Minneapolis, Minn., and Anderson said it has sustained quite a following in its home state.

“When you’re in the Minnesota area, it is almost more popular than Starbucks up there,” she said. “It is crazy. Starbucks was already around when we came along. The management knew they wanted to do something a little bit different and wanted it to be more people-focused than anything, and that’s sort of how we got here.”

“No. 1, we pride ourselves on fantastic guest service. But No. 2, it’s what we use for our mochas and hot chocolates and stuff of that nature. Like instead of using a chocolate sauce, we use actual solid chocolate that melts in with the milk. It’s makes all the difference in the world. It is amazing. Our chocolate drinks are the best. We also have a great range of drip coffee from your light roast, to your dark, dark roast and stuff in between. But I think our specialty drinks are where we really shine.”

In addition to coffee and the wide variety of specialty drinks, Caribou also has breakfast sandwiches, a couple of lunch sandwiches, bagels and assorted pastries and bakery items.

In its company description, Caribou said the company “provides high-quality, handcrafted coffee-forward beverages and craveable food options” and is “known for a commitment to sustainable practices and making a difference.”

As of Dec. 26, 2023, Caribou had 333 company-owned, 140 non-traditional and 338 franchise locations. It is part of Panera Brands, a portfolio of complementary brands also including Panera Bread and Einstein Bros. Bagels, which are all independently operated.