O Bee Taps Into Its History With Brewpub Theme

By Ron Jooss01.10.2018

O Bee Credit Union in Tumwater, Wash., is celebrating its roots with a beer-themed branch.

O Bee, which was formed in the 1950s to serve Olympia Brewing Co. employees, has opened a branch with the look and feel of a brewpub. In fact, at times it even serves beer.

The facility features a wood bar with brass rails, taps at every teller station, and clock permanently set at 5 p.m. While the taps don’t actually serve beer, the credit union does occasionally hold beer tastings at the branch.

While the suds scheme reflects O Bee’s historical roots, it also serves as a differentiator, says Lee Wojnar, vice president of marketing at the $255 million asset credit union.

“Nobody else is doing this,” Wojnar says. “When you’re unique in the marketplace you stand out. It creates a buzz in the community. It is a true celebration of our history in every sense of the word.”

Jennifer Roberts, senior vice president/chief operating officer, says the design has created a “better than anticipated lift” in membership growth and traffic at the branch.

What’s more, the branch has also been a great vehicle for connecting with the community, Wojnar says. “We bring in craft brewers, who are small-business owners with a passion for what they’re doing—just like credit union people.

“They can share their products with our neighbors and members. And we all have a place to gather.”

(via Credit Union Magazine)

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