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Ziggi’s Coffee Facing Challenges

The Ziggi's Coffee location in Tempe near the ASU campus has faced rising prices of goods after the height of the pandemic

Ziggi’s Coffee located in Tempe near the Arizona State University campus will have to make between $60 and $65 per employee working to keep the shop open.

Ziggi’s Manager Rhonda Stenseth said if there are two people working, the store should be making around $120 to cover the expenses then hopefully make money off of that.

Stenseth said the store doesn't look at what they have to make to stay afloat necessarily.

“We look at what we have to do with our sales per man hour,” said Stenseth. “As far as staffing, we work really hard on staffing correctly.”

Stenseth said the store tries to provide high quality products and good customer service to compete with Dutch Bros, Starbucks and Press Coffee.

Stenseth said Ziggi’s is unique because it is a franchise, but is run by a husband and wife team so the store tries to make the environment like a “home for the kids” with seasonal signature drinks. 

“We try to provide very friendly customer service by learning everybody's name and learn a little bit about our customers that come in because everybody can get basically the same drinks,” Stenseth said.

The store has faced the challenge of the cost of goods going up and the minimum wage increase, Stenseth said. The majority of the customers are college students with a limited budget, so the store tries to keep its prices fair for them.

Another challenge the store has faced was it was being built during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which Stenseth said was difficult. The store was supposed to open earlier, but was delayed because the electrical panels were backordered for months.

Ziggi’s Coffee has a large walk up window in case COVID-19 numbers were to rise again, so they could still stay open, Stenseth said.

“We weren't actually opened during COVID, but we struggled through the construction of it which was a challenge in itself,” Stenseth said. “It pushed us back months.” 

Stenseth said every time the store gets past a challenge, another challenge comes up. If the store runs out of something, it has to substitute goods for others at different times.

“Just when you think you are over the hurdle, then we struggle with something you had no idea we were going to be short on,” Stenseth said.

Since the store is part of a franchise, the franchise helps determine the prices by taking into consideration the cost of goods increasing and minimum wage increasing, Stenseth said. The store and franchise look at the prices of their competitors to help determine their prices, Stenseth said.

Stenseth said the store mainly attracts college students because when college is in session the store is busy, when college is not, it's not as busy said Stenseth. The store also attracts people who work from home, said Stenseth.

“They like our location and the atmosphere we have in here,” Stenseth said.

Stenseth said the best way Ziggi's Coffee succeeds as a business is by staying competitive and her and her husband's involvement with the store.

Stenseth said they are very supportive of the staff and customers and people come to support them because her and her husband are there and actively engaged with the store.

ASU student and regular Ziggi’s customer Devyn Baldus said she goes to Ziggi’s because she loves the study environment.

Baldus said she feels like she doesn't get enough work done elsewhere and Ziggi’s has good coffee and friendly employees. Baldus said she recommends Ziggi’s to others as well. 

“I think it's pretty fun to come here and try their coffee,” Baldus said.

Ziggi’s employee Sabrian Acosta said he is working at Ziggi’s because he loves the environment and people.

Acosta said his favorite part about working at Ziggi’s is working with his coworkers. Acosta said it’s a small circle so all the coworkers are very close and his bosses are very nice.

“I think it's our environment and then our attitude toward people or to each other,” Acosta said. “We don't talk to the customer as a customer, we talk to them as a friend.”

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