- By Gary Dinges American-Statesman Staff
Office Depot executives could have chosen any city in the nation to roll out BizBox, their latest offering.
But they picked Austin – and you’ll now find BizBox, which offers a variety of services to small business owners, inside 14 Central Texas Office Depot stores.
The Office Depot/BizBox combo offers “everything you need to start and grow your business under one roof,” according to Kevin Moffitt, chief retail officer for Office Depot, which also owns OfficeMax. In addition to picking up office supplies, shoppers can now also get in-store help with legal services, information technology, back-office functions, web development and more.
“We’ve always had a great presence in the Austin community,” Moffitt said. “It’s our second headquarters essentially. We just think of Austin as the innovation hub of the country. It’s the perfect combo of art and science – a great place for us to use as an environment to roll out our best thinking.”
The plan is to continue rolling out BizBox services at all 1,400 Office Depot stores nationwide, Moffitt said, using what the chain learns here to refine offerings going forward.
“We’ve got a lot of great relationships in the Austin area, and we’re excited to take it to the next level,” he said.
Coffee chain on the way
Move over, Starbucks. Another coffee chain has its eyes on Austin.
Gloria Jean’s Coffees, which was founded in 1979 and has 900-plus locations worldwide, says it plans to open “at least” four or five stores here in the next few years.
It’s A Grind Coffee House, a sister chain, is already in Austin and doing well, according to Laina Sullivan, director of franchise development for Gloria Jean’s.
“Austin is an extremely desirable market for our brand as the state capital and the home of a thriving university,” she said. “These college students are up late and studying and need their coffee.
“The market has a young vibe paired with great density of population and demographics. There is strong retail activity and people are visiting the city from all around the state. The people in the market like to go out and try new things.”
Learn more about Gloria Jean’s Coffees by visiting gloriajeans.com.
More at Mueller
More businesses are on the way to the bustling Mueller development in East Austin.
Catellus, the firm transforming the city’s former airport into a massive mixed-use community, recently announced several upcoming additions.
Lady Quakenbush’s Cakery, an expansion of Quack’s 43rd Street Bakery, will open this spring on the ground floor of the Amli at Mueller apartment building.
The Alamo Drafthouse building on Aldrich Street is getting two new additions. Lilla & Beth is a locally owned boutique that will feature home accessories, as well as an assortment of clothing and accessories for infants and women. Look for it to open on the ground floor in April.
“We’re creating a place where customers can easily pop in and explore unique gift ideas for any special occasion, or pick up something charming and fun for themselves,” Lilla & Beth owner and Mueller resident Megan Cooper said. “We also want to build on the existing sense of community on Aldrich Street by offering in-store events and gatherings for customers to network and mingle.”
Also on the ground floor of the Alamo Drafthouse building, keep an eye out for Massage Heights, which is set to debut early this summer.
“Aldrich Street has quickly become one of Austin’s iconic food and entertainment destinations, and we have many more great offerings to come,” said Ken Blaker, senior vice president of development at Catellus. “With Alamo Drafthouse, the Thinkery, a host of local eateries and a lively park, there is already so much to experience in just a short walk along the Paseo.”
Pluckers Wing Bar has added another Austin-area location.
It opened this month at 7101 W. Texas 71 in the Oak Hill area.
“We’re excited to accommodate the growing Austin community with a seventh Pluckers location in Oak Hill,” said Dave Paul, co-owner of Pluckers. “Our Austin fans have continually shown their appreciation for the Pluckers experience, and we’re always proud to bring additional locations to our hometown.”
The Pluckers in Oak Hill follows closely the opening of another one in the Austin area, in The Linc, a shopping center near Austin Community College’s growing Highland campus.
Prior to these latest additions, Pluckers hadn’t opened a new location here in almost a decade.
The express lane …
Modern Acupuncture has opened its second Austin location at the Arboretum Market shopping center, 9722 Great Hills Trail in the Arboretum area. … There’s a new addition at Lakeline Mall in Northwest Austin. Find Nacho Macho in the food court, serving tamales and more. … Orangetheory Fitness has opened its 22nd Central Texas location in Mueller Town Center, 1911 Aldrich St. in East Austin. … Asian grocer H-Mart debuted its first Austin location Thursday at 11301 Lakeline Blvd. in Northwest Austin. … Domain Northside in North Austin has added Brandy Melville, a California-based chain specializing in women’s fashions, to its tenant mix. The store is at 11621 Rock Rose Ave. … Also at Domain Northside, look for another California clothing chain, Chaser, to set up shop soon. … Ultimattress, a mattress retailer, has opened three Central Texas stores: 11066 Pecan Park Drive in Northwest Austin, 4220 W. William Cannon Drive in Southwest Austin and 2701 Parker Road in Round Rock.