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Muffin House: How one business’ shutdown led to another’s prosperity
December 1, 2022
Walking around Wayland High School, one might see students holding coffee cups everywhere. For some high school students, coffee is integral to their everyday routine. But the source of their coffees all differ.
Some students hold plastic cups with orange straws and block letters spelling out “Dunkin” on the side, while others have cups with the Muffin House Cafe logo. When the Starbucks in Wayland closed down for three months, the Muffin House Cafe became increasingly popular.
“I used to go to the Starbucks by the middle school all the time before it closed,” junior Abby Wrentmore said. “It’s in a really convenient spot.”
For some students, Muffin House became their everyday caffeine source, and as a result, the breakfast shop noticed the extra customers.
“I’ve worked at Muffin House for two years, and I would say that when Starbucks closed, we definitely did get an increase in customers,” Muffin House employee Claire Maxwell said. “We got a lot of people to join the rewards program, as Starbucks does that and usually, it’s only regulars that have a rewards card. I’ve made a lot more rewards cards in the last few months, definitely more than before.”
Not only did the closing of Starbucks affect their popularity, but one specific drink became increasingly well-known because of a WSPN drink review.
“We noticed that last year, when one of [the WSPN reporters] wrote about our chai lattes, the sale of that drink increased,” Maxwell said. “Now, anytime I see a teenager walk in, I don’t even need to ask what they want, because [I know] they’re getting a chai.”
Muffin House is located on the border of South Wayland and Natick and is just one of the many Muffin House Cafe locations, the first of which opened in Medway.
“Our owner used to run different coffee shops,” Maxwell said. “He closed those down and moved to Florida for a couple of years, and when he came back, he wanted a new fresh start, so he opened the Medway location. They do breakfast sandwiches in addition to the muffins and the coffee. The breakfast sandwiches are how Muffin House became well-known, as they were really good. Because they became so popular, new locations opened, and [the Wayland location] opened in 2018.”
With its recent popularity, Muffin House has been struggling to keep up with employment.
“Right now, we only have five employees,” Maxwell said. “We are looking for people to apply for weekends at the café. We have between ten and twenty students that come in everyday, so we’re definitely busiest from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. every morning.”
Muffin House Cafe’s local flavors attract those who prefer it to chains like Starbucks.
“I really like that the taste of Muffin House drinks is different from any other coffee place that I’ve ever been to,” junior Katie Pralle said. “Starbucks is a taste that is so familiar to everyone, it almost gets repetitive and boring sometimes.”
Even though Starbucks has reopened, some students who strictly went to Starbucks for coffee before are still going to Muffin House now.
“I used to be someone who only ever went to Starbucks to get drinks and breakfast,” Pralle said. “Now that I’ve been to Muffin House, I don’t think I can go back. It’s become a staple in my life.”