A new mecca for coffee brewers of the single-cup persuasion has come to Burlington.
The first company store dedicated to the Keurig brand of single-cup coffee makers opened Friday at the Burlington Mall, offering a vast selection of blends, all seven Keurig brewing systems, and accessories from sugar shakers to T-shirts.
The store looks and feels like a finely appointed luxury kitchen. Handblown glass pendant lights hang over dark wood cabinets with quartz counters, where the brand’s line of single-cup brewers and a new espresso machine sit ready to be test-driven.
Black displays filled with coffee ranging from Van Houtte’s raspberry chocolate truffle flavor to a brew over ice Snapple tea run along the taupe-colored textured walls, the swirly pattern chosen by the designer to evoke thoughts of steam.
“It was gorgeous,” said Jennifer Dicicco, a graphic designer who lined up 2½ hours before the store’s grand opening as one of the first 100 customers to receive a free Vue brewer. “It was really amazing. We were like kids in a candy store.”
Keurig is the leading brand, by far, among makers of the single-cup brewing systems used in offices and homes. The Burlington store represents Keurig’s first foray into brick and mortar retail after previously selling its products through other retailers, such as Target Inc., and online.
“We really want to view it as a learning lab and let customers tell us what they think about Keurig,” said Brian Kelley, chief executive of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc., which owns Keurig. “We’re launching a series of new innovations in the next few years and want to be able get consumer feedback quickly.”
In addition to Keurig’s K-Cup and Vue coffee brewing systems, as well as the new cappuccino and latte machine called Rivo, Green Mountain is looking to expand into carbonated beverages. New K-Cups from Campbell’s Soup Co. are also launching next year.
Green Mountain has referred to the new Burlington store as a pilot for future retail endeavors and said Friday there are no immediate plans for additional locations. But executives said the company may expand to major cities at some point in the future.
The Burlington store serves as a branding opportunity for Keurig, said analyst Marc Riddick, who follows Green Mountain stock for The Williams Capital Group in New York. Now Green Mountain can showcase its own products in an environment it can control, he said, rather than relying on shelf space in other department stores.
“There are a lot of things they can do to create branding opportunities that get press coverage and get people interested in where they’re going,” Riddick said. “It’s an advertising vehicle if you will.”
More than 100 people attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony early Friday and poured into the store afterward. The new flagship location sells nearly 200 different varieties of K-Cups and Vue packs, the largest collection of Keurig coffee available in stores.
A “pick a pack” display wall of individual cups allows customers to create their own personalized 3-, 6-, or 12-cup packs of coffee from any of the blends. A new interactive touchscreen tool offers information on each of the different blends and brewing systems.
“It’s something you can’t do anywhere else,” said Rick Slade, the creative director at Green Mountain who designed the store. “We wanted to make it easier for people to try something new.”
The company said it opened its first store at the mall because it’s close to the new Keurig headquarters under construction in Burlington. The company is slated to move its offices in Reading, Wakefield, and Woburn to the new location next year.