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Starbucks opens stand-alone store in Dawson
I-Starbucks pic 1
The second, third and fourth people to purchase coffee at the new Starbucks location in Dawsonville, Christy Millholland, Susan Muenchen and Patti Adams all work for the Dawson County school system and got to the store at 5 a.m. Friday morning. - photo by Allie Dean Dawson County News

"Are you kidding?"

Patti Adams, 48, is shocked when asked if she is excited about the new drive-thru Starbucks in Dawsonville.

"It's going to be great!"

Adams was one of the very first people to purchase coffee at the new store in the Dawson Marketplace shopping center on Ga. 400.

She along with fellow Dawson County school teachers Susan Muenchen and Christy Millholland were the second, third and fourth patrons of the new store.

"We got here at five," Adams said.

She was holding a hot chocolate, a drink she called "frou-frou."

Her compatriots, Muncheon, 51 and Millholland, 46, got coffee black, with no room for cream.
After finishing their drinks, the group set out to hike Sawnee Mountain, soaking in the last of the summer before the school year begins. The drive-thru store is going to be perfect for their busy schedules, they said.

"I'm a five-day a weeker at the Kroger Starbucks," Adams said. "The drive-thru will make it so much more convenient, and the staff was great this morning, really friendly and had samples."

Assistant store manager Courtney Miller said the staff had been "busting serious butt" to get the store open in time. The store opened at 5 a.m. July 21.

Miller has worked for the company for two years, and grew up in the area. She used to commute to exit 13 and exit 14 to work at the Starbucks stores there. Now, she doesn't have to.

Miller, along with store manager Dana Lowry, who has worked for the company for 12 years, said they weren't too apprehensive about the close proximity and popularity of the Kroger Starbucks.

"I think it will be competitive; the Starbucks in Kroger was the first store in Dawsonville so it holds a special place in people's hearts," Miller said. "We're hoping we can amplify the Starbucks experience and bring it full circle with the drive-thru. This store is also full-service, unlike the Kroger store which doesn't sell everything."

The store employs 31 people, some who are new to the franchise and some who have worked there for many years, like Lowry. The store also employs several veterans and veterans' spouses, something Miller pointed out is central to the business model.

In all, the managers are happy to be located in such a prominent place and eager to start this new chapter with the Dawsonville Starbucks.

"I've known about this store for two years, so for me it's' been two years coming," Lowry said. "We're so excited to be here."

The 1,930 square foot store is located at 215 Marketplace Blvd. Suite 100 in Dawsonville.

Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 5 a.m.-10:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 5:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.