Coffee-gate: Detmer says Biggby refused him service for not having a mask

Congressional candidate Mike Detmer, Livingston County’s favorite politician who refuses to wear a mask, says on Facebook that he has sworn off Biggby Coffee for good after being refused service for not wearing a mask.

We don’t know which Biggby’s pushed Detmer’s button, whether he was at a Biggby’s with drive-thru service, or even when the incident occurred. All we know is that Biggby Coffee is dead to Detmer.

At any rate, here’s Detmer’s post, which appeared on both his campaign and personal pages:

In addition to his post, there are a slew of interesting comments.

Detmer, who is running in the GOP primary to represent Michigan’s 8th Congressional District in Washington, first publicly showed his aversion to masks on April 15, when he took a selfie with a whole bunch of people all squashed together. None of the people in the photo bothered to put on a mask or practice social distancing as they took time out to pose for a photo before heading to Lansing for “Operation Gridlock” to protest Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-home order.

Mike Detmer, left, in the photo he posted on his Facebook page. The photo was taken on April 15, 2020, as Detmer and the rest of the group headed from Howell to Lansing for the “Operation Lockdown” protest at the capitol.

It was in that same photo that Detmer was with a person making a white-power hand sign, and in which a “Michigan Proud Boys” vehicle was parked. (For those of you unfamiliar with the Proud Boys, the group has been named a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and was involved in the “Unite The Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., in August 2017.)

Detmer has sworn off the popular Michigan-based Biggby Coffee for life on the day that the latest numbers show COVID-19 cases for Livingston County residents under the age of 30 has spiked 30.2 percent since July 1, and numbers across Michigan are ticking upward.

There are 73,663 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan, with 6,119 deaths. according to In Livingston County, there are 519 confirmed cases with the number of deaths holding steady at 28 since mid-June, according to the Livingston County Health Department.

East Lansing-based Biggby Coffee is a true Michigan entrepreneurial success story: Founded by two Michigan State University hospitality students, the first location opened on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing in 1995. The first location was such a success that the two opened a second location in downtown Lansing in 1997. A year later, they opened a corporate office in Lansing, and decided to franchise in 1998.

Originally founded as Beaner’s Coffee, the company rebranded the business as Biggby Coffee in 2007. In an announcement about the change, Biggby’s said: “As the company has grown from a single store to a regional chain, the need for a new name became evident amidst growing concerns over the use of the word ‘beaner’ as a disparaging term against Hispanic Americans.”

Today, Biggby Coffee has grown to 234 stores across Michigan, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Caroline, Wisconsin and Indiana.

One of the founders was inducted into MSU’s School of Hospitality Hall of Fame for her success with Biggby Coffee.

This post was updated to include information on the rebranding of Biggby Coffee.


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Journalist Maria Stuart worked at The Livingston County Press/Livingston County Daily Press & Argus as a reporter, editor and managing editor from 1990-2009. These days, she runs The Livingston Post.