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Joe To Go Drive-thru coffeehouses are hyping sales in the java industry.

By Frances Huffman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

With starbucks on nearly every corner of nearly every city inAmerica, the once-percolating coffeehouse trend has simmered downand become a staple of American culture. But savvy entrepreneurshave found a way to add a new ingredient to the industry:drive-thru coffeehouses.

In an effort to speed up the daily grind forcaffeine-dependent consumers, drive-thru stands are popping upall over the country. Jeff Titterington and Mike Rippey, both 50,own 27 drive-thru Caffino outlets in California and Chicago, thefirst of which opened in 1993 in Napa, California. "No oneelse was doing it back then," says Titterington, who came upwith the Caffino concept after seeing a number of coffee carts on atrip to the Pacific Northwest. "I thought we could do the samething but on a more professional level."

Northern California residents took to the drive-thru conceptimmediately, and soon, some 500 customers a day were whizzingthrough the Caffino location to get their daily jolt. Within ayear, the Caffino team had opened another store and have averagedsix new stores each year since. Caffino's 27 shops brought in$13 million last year--an average of a little less than $500,000per store.

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