Dateline: 'Seattle, Texas'

Seattle's Best Coffee opens 10 drive-thrus in DFW, most in Walmart lots

DALLAS -- Seattle's Best Coffee, a featured brand within Starbucks Corp., opened 10 drive-thrus throughout Dallas/Fort Worth, eight in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. parking lots, at 4:30 a.m. on May 20.

"With the opening of 10 new drive-thrus in one day, we're welcoming coffee drinkers from across Dallas/Fort Worth to experience a piece of Seattle in their hometown--it's what we call 'visiting Seattle, Texas'--where the coffee flows fast, friendly and delicious," said Frank Sica, vice president and general manager for Seattle's Best Coffee.

"Our new drive-thrus are designed to create a different kind of coffee culture--one that combines the quality and passion of a coffeehouse with speed, convenience and value," said Sica. "This concept is for coffee drinkers who are purchasing coffee outside of cafes at places such as convenience stores, gas stations and fast food restaurants. This is our opportunity to give time-pressed coffee drinkers a better cup of coffee and a better breakfast."

Jennifer Dimaris, vice president, brand management for Seattle's Best Coffee, said, "In addition to our 40 years of experience roasting high-quality arabica coffee, we are bringing a delicious breakfast to Dallas. We invite customers to value their mornings with a great cup of coffee and a menu of breakfast sandwiches, all at a price that you'll come back for every day."

Drivers will find a menu that includes arabica coffee beverages and dashboard-friendly foods with 12 different combos priced under $5. The combos offer quick picks: a medium cup of coffee or soft drink paired with an egg sandwich on a biscuit or muffin, stuffed pretzel melt or handheld sweet or savory "Tasty Pies." In addition to mochas and lattes, it will offer many dessert-inspired specialty coffee drinks such as Birthday Cake Lattes and S'mores Mochas, available hot, iced or frozen.

Commuters can find the 10 new Seattle's Best Coffee drive-thrus roadside at busy intersections and outside of popular shopping centers throughout Dallas/Fort Worth, with red exteriors and prominent signage. The 10 locations--Burleson, Lancaster, Dallas (4), Fort Worth (2), McKinney and Rockwall--are open from 4:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on the weekends:

The company selected Dallas/Fort Worth--one of the fastest growing and most populous markets in the country--as the first market for the multi-store expansion of Seattle's Best Coffee drive-thru following the launch of the concept in Seattle last fall.

The new locations opened in Dallas/Fort Worth with speed and efficiency thanks to a new small footprint design and innovative real estate strategy. Using this model, the brand significantly cut its market entry time, reduced initial investment costs and developed locations that previously were not suitable for a traditional sized coffee shop. The 10 locations that opened "overnight" on May 20 were built in DeSoto, Texas, before being transported on flatbed trucks to their current locations across Dallas/Fort Worth.

Seattle's Best will open  more locations starting in late summer 2013. Four new drive-thrus will open in Dallas/Fort Worth at the following locations: Lewisville, Arlington, Westworth Village and Wylie.

In total, the 10 new stores employ approximately 150 full- and part-time partners who underwent intensive training for more than 30 hours each to prepare to provide fast, friendly service worthy of Seattle's Best for the synchronized opening.

Seattle's Best has "forged a very strong relationship with Wal-Mart," Sica told Bloonberg. He declined to discuss future expansion plans and specifics of the contract with the Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant.

Seattle's Best Coffee is currently available in more than 50,000 locations including cafes, college campuses, restaurants, hotels, airlines, cruise ships, grocery stores and movie theatres.