Dutch Bros. Coffee Regional Manager Nick Bates says the new double drive-thru location, which opens Friday in Apple Valley, is “not your ordinary coffee shop.”
Bates, along with his veteran team of 30 baristas, also known as the “Dutch Mafia” or “the MOB,” gathered Tuesday at the new location on the corner of Bear Valley and Navajo roads. He told the Daily Press the crew had some last-minute preparations to finish before they open Dutch Bros. at 5 a.m. on Friday the 13th — “a lucky day for everyone in the High Desert,” he added.
Bates, 29, who moved with his wife from Redding to the area to oversee the new operation, said his team is here to serve customers the best coffee and drinks they’ve ever tasted.
Daniel “Tennessee” Hamer, 29, “lead mobster” of this coffee family, said his crew expects a large crowd on opening day that should remain consistent through the holidays and into the new year.
“We’re seeing a lot of excitement on social media about the new store,” Hamer said. “We’re expecting vehicles in both drive-thru lanes to spill out into the parking lot near the Jack in the Box and Mandarin Chef restaurants. We already have a plan to accommodate our guests.”
Bates said the coffee shop, located across the street from Apple Valley High School, hired nearly 60 employees. About 10 will work at one time.
The new Dutch Bros. is not only a first for the High Desert but for all of Southern California. Until Friday, the closest shop is in Fresno. Another location is planned for La Quinta.
“Dutch Bros. is like In-N-Out Burger, it’s always packed and the employees are super, super friendly,” said Stacy Limon, 37, who lives in Hesperia and discussed the company’s selection of hot and cold drinks, which Limon described as “huge.”
The Oregon-based Dutch Bros. chain offers coffees, teas, hot cocoa, sodas, smoothies, pastries and energy drinks, a list that includes over 20 drinks from its “not-so-secret” menu, according Monthly Portland.
The company’s holiday menu boasts multiple seasonal drinks, like the Candy Cane, an iced peppermint mocha with whipped topping, chocolate drizzle and candy cane sprinkles.
The Peppermint Bark Dutch Freeze, which is made with blended white chocolate, dark chocolate, peppermint mocha and candy cane sprinkles is also on that menu.
Hamer said the team faced several challenges on the road to opening Dutch Bros., including preparing the spot to ensure health and safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Temporarily not accepting cash is part of the protocols put in place for that purpose.
Company President Joth Ricci told the Portland Business Journal in October that there’s no physical interaction between customers and store employees. Paid items are served via trays.
“Because of COVID-19, we’ve also had to reroute many in our training team members as they traveled to various sites,” Hamer said. “We’re doing everything we can to keep everyone healthy.”
Coffee aside, Hamer said the company is known for its charitable work.
Dutch Bros. started the Dutch Bros. Foundation to support programs and projects that build deeper connections through engagement in youth, music, health and origins, according to the company.
Through the foundation and local franchisees, the company donates several million dollars each year to support its customers, local communities and non-profit organizations, the company said.
Dutch Bros. was founded in 1992 by Travis Boersma and his late-brother, Dane, who passed away in 2009 from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
The company has since established an annual “Drink One for Dane” day, with each store donating proceeds from each drink sold to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
A second Dutch Bros. is expected to move into a planned retail shopping center on Bear Valley Road, situated between the shuttered Del Taco and John’s John’s Incredible Pizza buildings in Victorville, according to Progressive Real Estate Partners.
Ricci told the Portland Business Journal that Dutch Bros. will open 63 new locations this year, closing. out 2020 with more than 430 locations in nine states.
Beginning Friday, the Apple Valley Dutch Bros. Coffee shop is scheduled to be open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. It is located at 21680 Bear Valley Road in Apple Valley.
Daily Press reporter Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227 or RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz.
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