Local coffee shop, The Bean, has been serving fair-trade coffee and homemade desserts to java lovers in the Auburn area since April 2015. However, The Bean will be moving locations in the coming weeks from their current residence on Gay Street to a new storefront on the corner of Dean Road and Glenn Avenue.
Hope Nichols, The Bean’s head barista, says the change of location is bittersweet. Nichols is also the daughter of The Bean’s owners, Ben and Sydney Nichols. As a family, Nichols said they wanted to create a place for people to gather.
“We started it because we wanted to get to know our community better and serve our customers well,” Nichols said.
The family-owned business has cultivated a unique style by decorating their shop with retro, vintage furniture to create a home away from home for their customers. The decor took a year of picking out the right pieces from antique malls and estate sales to create a space that felt welcoming and comfortable like a home, Nichols said.
“This is part of our signature, it’s who we are - the retro feel,” she said.
Nichols said her family’s personal home is also decorated with vintage pieces and is reflective of the style of The Bean. The family views their coffee shop as an extension of their home and desires for all of their customers to feel welcome.
It is going to be hard to leave the old building where she has built memories, but at the same time she is excited for the opportunities that the new location offers, Nichols said.
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“You never realize the impact a place can have on you," she said.
The new home of The Bean on 140A N. Dean Road will have three times the amount of seating as the original, a fully stocked kitchen as opposed to the small counter space the business currently operates with, an outdoor patio and significantly more parking spaces for customers.
Nichols said she is excited for the expansions because of the new ways to serve their customers. The menu is expanding to include more beverage and food options including lunch menu items.
All of their food and beverage options will be prepared in house. Nichols is especially excited for the homemade gelato and waffle cones.
“We’ve been testing it and it’s so good,” Nichols said.
Loyal Bean customers do not have to fear too much change, however. Nichols said the retro theme of The Bean is “non-negotiable.” The owners will bring all of the existing pieces as well as four storage units full of new decor to the new location.
“It’s a slight upgrade, but it’s still keeping the same homey vibe,” she said.
In addition to the increase in space and new menu items, Nichols said she is also looking forward to the new demographic the Dean Road location will attract. The original building on Gay Street is only a block away from campus, but the new storefront is farther away. Nichols hopes that the new location will invite people of all ages to join the college students in their regular visits to The Bean.
Nichols said the vision of The Bean will stay the same.
“We are still all about coffee, people and serving others,” she said.
Close to the heart of The Bean’s mission is making sure that their products are sourced responsibly, and the new storefront will continue this legacy, she said.
“All of our coffee is fair trade and it will always be fair trade,” Nichols said.
The new shop will continue to use coffee beans from the coffee roaster Land of A Thousand Hills because they promote fair wages for coffee farmers in Rwanda and other impoverished countries.
The Bean refers to their drinks as “not just a cup of coffee,” because each drink is impacting the lives of farmers across the world.
“There’s an entire community where coffee has changed their lives and drinking coffee here at The Bean pours back into that in Rwanda.”
Nichols said she and her family are excited for the expansions to The Bean and the new opportunities to serve the community.
“It is such a sweet reminder how gracious the Lord is,” said Nichols.
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