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Omaha-based Scooter's buys Coffeesmiths

Rebranding to happen over summer months

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Omaha-based Scooter’s Coffee has acquired locally-owned Coffeesmiths, operator of three stores in Cedar Rapids and Marion.

The sale became official on May 23. Scooter’s now owns and operates the Coffeesmiths locations at 7037 C Ave. NE and 2300 Edgewood Rd. SW in Cedar Rapids and 690 Marion Blvd. in Marion.

The stores began serving Scooter’s coffee and other products on June 13 and will be rebranded this summer.

Coffeesmiths founders Jim and Lisa Smith opened their first coffee shop in 2004 at 7037 C Ave. NE. In 2005 they added a drive-through-only location at 690 Marion Blvd. in Marion.

Julie Lammers and her husband, Scot Brown, bought Coffeesmiths in January 2007 and added the third location, a cafe with a drive-through window at 2300 Edgewood Rd. SW in April 2001.

“My husband has continued to work full time — 50 to 60 hours a week,” Lammers said. “He also was supporting the stores evenings and weekends for everything from computers to all of the financials like payroll.

“I was doing all the day-to-day activities like hiring and ordering supplies. Scot has just turned 50 and it was time for us to determine the next chapter in our lives.

“We needed a little more time for leisure as these stores are open seven days a week. We weren’t able to take a vacation of more than a couple of days.”

Lammers said Scooter’s Coffee had approached the couple several years ago, but they were still working on growing Coffeesmiths. As late as last year, Lammers was working with local real estate agents on the location of a possible fourth store.

“We contacted Scooter’s and asked if they were still interested,” Lammers said. “They wanted to reach farther into Iowa after opening stores in Des Moines. The opportunity to buy three stores with an established customer base and many longtime employees was attractive to them.”

Rob Streett, Scooter’s president and COO, said in a news release that the companies share many core values.

“Our company’s success is rooted in customer loyalty, quality products and community involvement,” Streett said. “Coffeesmiths boasts a loyal customer base with an appreciation for a good cup of coffee. We look forward to getting to know them.”

Scooter’s Coffee was founded in 1998 by Don and Linda Eckles in Bellevue, Neb. With 140 stores open in 10 states, the company has signed agreements in five additional states throughout the country and will open more than 40 locations this year.

Scooter’s Coffee, which serves coffee from beans roasted at its corporate headquarters in Omaha, recently opened two additional stores in the Des Moines area and announced its first franchise agreement in Wisconsin.

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