The Next Little Thing: Tiny Scooter’s Coffee Kiosks Popping Up All Over Wyoming

Scooter’s Coffee is caffeinating Wyoming at a rapid pace, recently opening shops in Cheyenne, Casper, Gillette, and soon in Douglas, Jackson and Sheridan. One franchisee is planning another 12 - 17 more in the Cowboy State.

RJ
Renée Jean

December 25, 20236 min read

Scooter's Coffee stands are popping up all over Wyoming.
Scooter's Coffee stands are popping up all over Wyoming. (Renée Jean, Cowboy State Daily)

Tori Manning was wearing her official Scooter’s Coffee attire while out shopping, prompting several people to approach her and rave about how much they love the coffee and make a point of going to Scooter’s whenever they’re in Nebraska.

Manning loves that they love the coffee, but it’s become one of her pet peeves, too.

“People don’t seem to realize that we’re here,” she said. “Scooter’s is right here in Cheyenne. They don’t have to go to Nebraska anymore.”

In fact, Cheyenne is the third Wyoming city to host a Scooter’s. The chain, which recently went corporate, popped up in Casper this summer and has just opened a new store in Gillette. Another is opening soon in Douglas. That’s just the tip of the spear. At least 10 more are already on the books to open in the Cowboy State.

“Scooter’s has grown to, I think, 750 live buildings right now, and I think they have 1,400 in the pipeline to be built for next year,” Manning told Cowboy State Daily.

At least nine more stores are in the pipeline, Manning said she was told by corporate headquarters.

“There’s one coming in Jackson and one in Sheridan,” she said. “There are a lot of territories bought, but that haven’t decided on land and such yet.”

Only Beginning

RaeAnn Jeffries and her husband Kent are the owners of the Casper store, which was Wyoming’s first Scooter’s, and its third most recently opened Scooter’s Coffee in Gillette.

The two stores are just a start. She and her husband have signed a contract to buy the rights for between 12 to 17 Scooter’s locations in all. Their next one will be in Douglas sometime in January, according to the Jeffries’ area manager, Ruth Walker.

“Then we’ll have Sheridan making its way through, around March,” she said. “And, after that, we’re looking at land in Buffalo and Helena. There are a few other places, but we’re waiting to purchase them, and get that on the ball.”

Jeffries told Cowboy State Daily she and her husband love Scooter’s Coffee, and they also appreciate the chain’s family oriented motto.

“That’s us,” she said. “Because we’re also in Subway, and we started in Subway 30 years ago.”

The Jeffries have Subway stores throughout Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota, but were looking for options to diversify, and coffee not only seemed like a great fit for their tastes, but it’s been very trendy of late.

“I think I read something this last year in one of the magazines that coffee was the up-and-coming thing,” RaeAnn said. “I don’t know why exactly for sure, but I know my husband and I, we love coffee.”

In fact, America’s love affair with coffee has been a rising trend since 2020.

According to the National Coffee Association, 63% of Americans drink more coffee than any other beverage, including water, consuming around 2.8 cups per person. That trend has held steady for the past three years.

  • Tori Manning, left, owner of a Scooter's Coffee stand in Cheyenne, and daughter Anna are part of a fast-growing trend as Scooter's are popping up all over Wyoming.
    Tori Manning, left, owner of a Scooter's Coffee stand in Cheyenne, and daughter Anna are part of a fast-growing trend as Scooter's are popping up all over Wyoming. (Renée Jean, Cowboy State Daily)
  • Tori Manning, background, watches as her daughter prepares a latte at the Cheyenne Scooter's Coffee stand.
    Tori Manning, background, watches as her daughter prepares a latte at the Cheyenne Scooter's Coffee stand. (Renée Jean, Cowboy State Daily)
  • Scooter's coffee in a cheerful holiday cup.
    Scooter's coffee in a cheerful holiday cup. (Renée Jean, Cowboy State Daily)
  • Anna Manning prepares an almond milk latte at a Scooter's in Cheyenne.
    Anna Manning prepares an almond milk latte at a Scooter's in Cheyenne. (Renée Jean, Cowboy State Daily)

Family Also Brought Manning To Scooter’s

Love of Scooter’s coffee and family were the reasons Manning also became keen on opening a Scooter’s store.

“They use only specialty-grade Arabica beans,” Manning told Cowboy State Daily. “And they only allow, like, two flaws per batch, and their beans are less acidic. (Scooter’s coffee) has this aftertaste that just makes you want more. I’m not kidding. I just love them.”

Manning likes the coffee so much, in fact, that whenever she was visiting her daughter Anna in Nebraska, she’d buy six or eight additional coffees to freeze for later so that between visits she was never without her favorite coffee.

On one occasion, she was making just a quick run to a storage shed. It was also haying season, so she didn’t even tell her daughter she was in town. Anna wouldn’t be able to get away from the fields anyway, and she was going to be in and out without anyone even knowing she was there. Or so she thought.

While she was in the drive-thru stocking up on her favorite coffee, she had a bit of an epiphany, and it was all thanks to unexpectedly seeing her daughter, who unexpectedly popped up right behind her in the drive-thru.

“I was thinking like, I can’t be a substitute teacher for the rest of my life, I have to find something to do,” Manning said.

As she was thinking that, she glanced at the vehicle behind her and there was Anna.

The glance drew her eye to something else she’d never noticed before. The words, “Scooter’s franchise” reflected in her daughter’s truck window.

Manning took it as a sign.

“I’m like, ‘That’s it, that’s what I’m going to do,’” Manning said.

She would open a Scooter’s store with her daughter.

Why Not Wyoming?

At first, Manning looked for a Scooter’s opportunity in Nebraska.

But she also grew up in Lusk and was very familiar with Cheyenne, as well as the Cowboy State in general. So, when Scooter’s told her there were no open territories in Nebraska, but that Wyoming was wide open, she knew it was meant to be. She would be coming back home to Wyoming.

Now she and her daughter are running the Cheyenne Scooter’s Coffee together, a mom and daughter team who are both as excited as they can be about taking this adventure together and becoming part of Scooter’s meteoric spread to Wyoming and other states.

One of the things Anna and are particularly excited about is the potential opportunity to one day take a trip to Costa Rica.

“We’re one of the, I think, maybe the only coffee company that is hand-to-hand beans,” Anna said. “And we haven’t gone yet, but we do have families go to Costa Rica and stay with these families, and help with the beans, and then bring them back.”

Scooter’s makes that opportunity available to all of its store owners once they’ve been with the company at least a year, Manning said. It’s quite an adventure to look forward to, but the best part of all is just the chance to do these things together.

Renée Jean can be reached at Renee@CowboyStateDaily.com.

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RJ

Renée Jean

Business and Tourism Reporter