7-Eleven's Queen of Coffee Continues Her Reign
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — 7-Eleven Inc. franchisee Lori DeFelice has added a second year to her reign as the convenience store chain's "Queen of Coffee." She first received the title a year ago.
To commemorate her extended royalty, a ceremony was held Thursday morning at her 7-Eleven store, located at 10 County Road 39A in Southampton.
On average, DeFelice sells 1,250 cups of coffee every day and is on track to sell a total of 450,000 cups during 2015. This is an increase of approximately 15,000 cups over 2014.
"It's awesome to be queen for the second year in a row, and it just shows the strength of the community and my employees," DeFelice told CSNews Online in an interview Thursday.
Along with her crown, she received a coffee bean necklace bearing her initial and a framed copy of her recent Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner cover.
"The Long Island area brings in the most coffee sales in the entire country. Winning the title of Coffee Queen two years in a row is not easy and takes hard work and dedication," said Laura Gordon, vice president of marketing and brand innovation for 7-Eleven. "Lorie's level of customer service and dedication to her community is what makes her so successful. It's more than having fresh coffee and a clean store; it's about connecting with your customers and employees. On behalf of 7-Eleven, we are proud to crown Lorie our two-time Coffee Queen and wish her continued success."
Thursday's special event also included complimentary muffins and doughnuts for customers; free "Coffee Queen" T-shirts; samples from vendors; and a visit from radio station WALK 97.5 FM. Attendees included local officials, 7-Eleven representatives and members of the community, who DeFelice credits with much of her success.
"It makes me very happy to have a business there. I think Southampton is a great place," she said. "I probably won't be Coffee Queen forever, but we will always be a close community. If I win again next year, it's because of the people who come to my store and buy my coffee, and the community that supports me and the people that work for me."
DeFelice's daughter Madison, appropriately dressed in her Halloween costume of a box of doughnuts, was also crowned "Coffee Princess."
Adding to the family affair was the spirit of her late father Tom, who ran the store for 46 years and was "shining down" on the event, DeFelice believes. "His heart was in that store," she said.