About this event
Mary Roszel co-founded what is known today as BIGGBY Coffee, a Michigan-based company that franchises coffee cafes. In 1974, Mary moved to East Lansing with her two children ages 5 and 6 to attend Lansing Community College. She received her associate degree as a paralegal in 1976. Subsequently, in 2010, she was named Distinguished Alumni of the year. Mary was employed by the Michigan Supreme Court for 13 years until 1987, when she resigned to attend Michigan State University to complete her bachelor’s degree in hospitality, graduating in 1988. She was inducted into the School’s Alumni Association Hall of Fame Class of Pacesetters in 2012. While attending MSU, Mary worked at a local breakfast restaurant where she met Bob Fish, who was also attending MSU for the same degree. They managed two restaurants and after graduating built and manager their own restaurant for the same breakfast concept. In January 1994, they sold their restaurant to start a new concept, which eventually would become BIGGBY Coffee. They opened their first café March 15, 1995, in East Lansing, and a second one in downtown Lansing in November 1997. They sold their first franchise for BIGGBY in 1999; today there are over 197 franchise stores open in 9 states and 57 opening soon for a total of 234. They expect to reach $100 million in sales this fall.
She has served on many boards including the Entrepreneurship Advisory Council for the MSU School of Business, Dine America Advisory Board, Michigan Small Business Technical Development Center, and Ele’s Place. She has also been a Trustee for the Michigan Restaurant Association Educational Support Foundation. Mary retired from Biggby in 2013 and enjoys travel and may other activities, including sharing her experiences and what she has learned.