A ton of coffee is being consumed in Fort Morgan and there is room in the market for a new competitor, the city council heard Tuesday during a public hearing.
“I asked [an existing] coffee shop, and they say they’re drenched in business,” Mayor Lynn Dale said.
An Internet search for coffee in Fort Morgan details three stand-alone locations, a Starbucks within the Safeway, and a group of restaurants that also serve coffee.
Scooter’s Coffee has received approval for a special use permit to allow plans to proceed with the 620-square-foot coffee shop and drive onto 804 E. Platte Ave. On a plot of land that is currently vacant near the intersection of Warner Street. The property is located west of Dollar General and is owned by Raymond Laws as Enable Properties, LLC. Matt Laws is listed as director of Enable Properties.
AgEdge Development, LLC, owners Jerry Ehrke and Mark Oberg of Nebraska detail a background in farming, which eventually led to this project.
“We got a lot of hair and decided to try Scooter Coffee at Sterling’s,” Oberg said.
Scooter’s Coffee was founded in 1998 in Omaha, NE, and has since opened more than 400 stores, with plans to reach 1,000 by 2024, according to a letter from AgEdge Development to the city of Fort Morgan.
The store will operate from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday to Sunday and will create a full-time manager position and up to 20 part-time baristas. Oberg said hiring jobs is not a concern.
“We were impressed with the range of talent we saw in Sterling,” he said. “We have received more than 200 applicants and they are all good and quality applicants.”
Coffee Scooter will be built by American Building Systems, a sterling general contractor who cites Bank of Colorado in Akron among its projects, Oberg said.
“This is the same contractor we worked with at Sterling,” Oberg said.
He added that within three months of starting the project, the cafe could open in Fort Morgan. That would put the company on a schedule to open by Thanksgiving, Oberg said.
The purpose of Tuesday’s hearing was to approve the special use permit required as a result of the property subdivision class. The city council endorsed the measure 6-0, with City Councilman Bill Garcia absent. It was also unanimously supported by the Planning and Zoning Board.
“Under current law, we’re asking if it’s a business to take it into account,” said Brent Nation, Fort Morgan’s director of public works and utilities. “This examines whether there should be a driving car, not necessarily whether there should be a coffee shop.”
He explained that the volume of construction demand allows it to meet setback requirements and signage regulations.
“We don’t think it would change the character of the neighborhood by locating it there,” Nation said.
Scooter’s Coffee is located on a half-acre lot with an entrance that departs from Warner Street and leads to circular architectural plans through the GII in Dallas, Texas, read on. The plot will include six new car parks and will retain 10 existing spaces. Signs will be located near Warner Street and the E Platte Avenue intersection.
The Special Use Permit will be suspended if use is abandoned for at least six months.
The City Council has discussed that while there are other stand-alone coffee shops in Fort Morgan, Scooter’s is located in a different part of town.
There’s also another consideration for location, Dell noted: “It’s true by the police department, but I don’t know it might be closed at night.”
Scooter’s menu includes both hot and cold drinks, juices, tea and other beverages, and reads the message from AgEdge Development to the city. Food offerings include breakfast items and sandwiches.