Officials at the largest privately held drive-thru coffee chain in the country hope to open their Payson location next month.

“We don’t have a date, but we’re shooting for December,” said Kevin Harper, who’ll co-operate the Payson Dutch Bros. store at 602 S. Beeline Highway with his fiancee, Shelby Hammer.

Both Harper and Hammer have been with Dutch Bros. for 10 years. Both have spent the last four years as regional managers in the Valley.

The 0.8-acre lot was previously unoccupied but SimonCRE purchased the land and erected an 824-square-foot building. The business is located south of Mike’s Fish & Chips on the west side of Beeline Highway, across the road from Dairy Queen and Bob’s Western Wear.

Dutch Bros. started as a single pushcart in 1992 and has grown to more than 300 locations in seven western states. It is headquartered in Grants Pass, Ore. As of Oct. 1, the Dutch Bros. Coffee Facebook page said the company has 325 stores with plans to grow to 800 stores in the next five years.

The Facebook page says the company employs more than 9,000 people and raises $5.8 million annually for nonprofits and local charities.

Harper said they plan to hire 35-40 employees for the Payson store.

“We posted the job openings on our Facebook page and Instagram to gauge interest,” he said. “I think that has now closed. We may have a hiring party this Saturday, but haven’t decided for sure.”

Harper was in Payson for a walkthrough of the building.

Harper and Hammer recently moved from Mesa to Payson with their 9-month-old son, Kaden.

The business offers coffee, smoothies, milk shakes and a Dutch Bros. Blue Rebel Energy Drink, teas, lemonade and Dutch Sodas, which are flavored sparkling water.

“It’s more than just about coffee,” he said. “We really strive to get to know our customers and build relationships with them. It’s an environment.”

The Payson store will be open seven days a week from 5 a.m. until 10 or 11 p.m. In addition to the drive-thru, the business also has a walk-up window and outside seating.

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