7 Brew Coffee: Steep Expansion Plans Across Nebraska

In an industry packed with competition, 7 Brew Coffee franchisee and operator Chase Oberg said customization and kindness are helping them gain market share in Lincoln.

Strong Start in Lincoln

The first location in Nebraska, located at 5655 O St. in Lincoln, opened in December 2022. Less than a year later High Plains Brew, the franchisee holding company, opened a second location at 5302 S. 56th St. in Lincoln.

The Lincoln brand has grown fast, according to Oberg, due to the support of the community. 7 Brew High Plains decided to give back to the community by donating $2,000 to nonprofit CEDARS during the second location’s ribbon cutting.

The money will go towards the Carriage House, an expansion of the nonprofit’s emergency shelter that helps homeless teens who are parents.

Comfort in Customization

One of the brand’s greatest strengths is its almost inconceivable customization options.

“We have over 20,000 customizations you can choose from,” he said.

The menu offers a variety of coffee-based options, as well as energy drinks, smoothies, shakes, teas, and a take on Italian soda, called Seven Fizz. There are 29 syrup flavors, 12 of which are available in sugar-free.

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“Any of our drinks you can get one-quarter sweet, half-sweet, three-quarter sweet, or extra sweet,” Oberg said. “Really you can adapt to anything, whether you’re trying to be healthier, or just trying to get a really good, flavorful drink.”

If the options are too much, the menu lists the seven original combinations. Or, a “surprise me” option lets “brewistas” craft a drink based on your preferences.

The 7 Brews drive-thru building was dropped in place by crane. (Courtesy of 7 Brew Coffee)
The 7 Brews drive-thru building was dropped in place by crane. (Courtesy of 7 Brew Coffee)

Cultivating Kindness

Next to having a great memory for remembering endless combinations, Oberg said they look for friendly people to represent their brand. Specifically, individuals who are able to take direction.

“We’ve had some great employees that didn’t have coffee experience, but they had a knack for developing and growing, with a great personality,” he said.

For his part, Oberg also had no barista experience before he agreed to open the franchise with his father. Oberg was finishing up his undergrad at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville when his father, Ron Oberg, asked if he’d ever heard of 7 Brew.

Fayetteville is just over 20 miles from Rogers, Arkansas, where 7 Brew launched in 2017.

“I always wanted to be an entrepreneur,” said Oberg, who got his bachelor’s degree in business administration. “I never thought I’d be coffee, but I love developing leaders, and I think I’ve found my passion. Coffee just happened to be the industry.”

The father-son duo is joined in the venture by Alex Carney. Together the trio has penned an agreement to open 30 locations in Nebraska and South Dakota. They hope to do so in the next five-to-six years.

“Our next location will be North Platte, then Norfolk, Kearney, Grand Island, and eventually Omaha and Sioux Falls,” he said

High real estate costs are the biggest factor delaying an Omaha location.

As of March 2024, 7 Brew touts 192 stands in 26 states, including Nebraska’s neighbors Iowa, Colorado, Missouri, and Kansas.