Exit 11 Coffee expands to new drive-thru location

On 13 March 2020, just days before the coronavirus-related business closures in the US Franklin County, Exit 11 Coffee LLC opened its second drive-thru location in Union, Missouri, located at​ 1579 Denmark Rd.

Exit 11 serves specialty coffee and espresso drinks, smoothies, teas and a variety of pastries and food items. The two-sided drive-thru trailer is permanently parked on the lot of El Tapatio. Exit 11’s official City of Un​ion ribbon cutting was planned for 31 March but has been postponed because of the pandemic. However, due to the nature of their business, Exit 11 Coffee Drive-thru was excluded from the county’s mandatory business closures, and has continued to offer food and beverages to-go. Despite the current economic conditions and what has been an uncertain climate for service industry businesses, Exit 11’s Union location is reportedly attracting new customers daily and has already cultivated a new group of regulars, adding to its Exit 11 “Tribe”.

Between losing half of its employees to the Stay-at-Home order, to not being able to purchase its 100+ gallons of milk each week because of the restrictions at Sams and Costco, Exit 11 continues to face new challenges daily. Owners Angela and Scott Garland have found innovative ways to solve each new challenge, from using precautionary gloves and touchless transactions, to two of their children traveling (safely) home to lend extra hands.

Serving as the only drive-thru coffee shop within 30 miles, Exit 11 has reportedly been presented with tremendous community support as people search for any semblance of routine during the crisis.

Noticing a lack of any local, quality drive-thru coffee options in Washington, the Garlands first opened a stand-alone, two-sided drive-thru coffee trailer in summer 2018, which was located at 1403 Jefferson, just half a block from their coffee house and co-working centre. In expanding to the drive-thru coffee business, Exit 11’s goal has been to prove the model, create a strong foundation and continue to open additional locations, eventually leading to a franchisable model.

“This is a business model that we’ve put our heart and souls into—it’s ready and adaptable to those looking to start their own franchise,” said Angela Garland. They continue to pursue locations in the St. Louis metro area as well as locations close to their original location, which now serves as Exit 11’s corporate headquarters.

As an additional result of their growth, the Garlands began roasting their own beans through a shared facility in St. Louis. They currently sell their Scottie’s Coffee & Syrups online and in their store, and are working on offering their beans wholesale to other coffee shops. Through industry shifts and most recently, this global crisis, the Garlands have been able to pivot and adapt to the ever-changing needs of their customers.

For updates on Exit 11’s Grand Opening and forthcoming Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, visit @exit11coffee on Instagram, and for Exit 11’s website, visit: exit-11.com/coffeedrivethru.

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