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The Bean: Elevated

Happy New Year and welcome to The Bean Coffee & Cafe’s new monthly newsletter. At the beginning of each month, we will send out information and updates about the exciting things that are happening at The Bean, such as new menu items or changes, and things that may be happening in the community that we’re involved with that we feel you should know about!

With this first edition of the newsletter, I would like to introduce myself. I am Brad Killen, one of the new owners of The Bean. I grew up in Derby, KS (Wichita area) and I am a Kansas kid through and through. We purchased The Bean as we were ready for a new project and to get back into the retail food industry. I have bought and sold several businesses, and I’m excited to have this brand and elevate it in some major ways. We have been a part of The Bean since the beginning; I own the company that provides all the bakery items for The Bean.

My primary business is Scratch Bakery. We are a wholesale baking company and provide pastry and bakery related items to coffee shops, restaurants, grocery markets, casinos, large corporate offices, and many other places throughout the greater Kansas City metro area. I started my company in January 2013 and tomorrow (January 8th) we will celebrate 9 years in business. I have learned a lot and have been through a lot during the last 9 years. As with all things in life, there has been a lot of joy and happiness along with pain and suffering. Just 1 year after opening my bakery, my mother lost her 15-year battle with breast cancer and just 6 months after that her mother (my grandmother) also passed away. I was and will always be a momma’s boy at heart and those two beautiful ladies who I talked to every day; I miss them dearly. My last words to both were, “I am going to miss you, I love you and I promise to make you proud.” I strive to live up to those words daily.

Every year since my professional life began, I have chosen a ‘Word or Phrase of the Year’. This sets goals for me and helps guide me through the course of the year. I choose books to read, articles to study, and trips to take which focus on this phrase. We will start this with The Bean also.

The word of the year 2022 is ELEVATION! We want to elevate everything we do; in our personal lives and in our approach to the business we want to take it from where it was and set the course for our lives and the business to be even better 5 years or 10 years from now. For The Bean we want to create a solid foundation that will allow us to be strong and set us up for strategic growth for years to come. You may have noticed a lot of external changes, such as new paint colors, items on the walls, new lighting, new TV’s, etc. What you may not have seen is everything going on in the back of café and in our offices. Since September, we have replaced all the refrigeration units and freezers. We are working on getting new dish washing machines (unfortunately, they have been on back order for months). We have new dishes and silverware that we are waiting to use once we have a better way to clean them rather than using our small sink and hand washing each piece. But we are on our way to elevating it all!

What I want to do with the rest of this newsletter is to answer a few questions that everyone seems to be asking, primarily, “What are you going to do with The Bean?!”

First things first. We are going through a full rebrand of the café. We have hired a local branding and design studio to help us with these efforts. And here at long last is our NEW LOGO! What do you think?

Why has there been a name change? The more I talked to people around town during my visits to Price Chopper, at Fall Festival, at The Bean, and while out and about in the community, I realized many people do not go to “The Bean Coffee Company”. This made me wonder why? A typical response was, “well, we do not drink coffee.” I would explain that The Bean is not just a coffee company; we are so much more. We serve breakfast and lunch items. We offer smoothies and ice cream-based frappes, as well as a full tea and pastry program. They all replied, “we had no idea! We will come check you out now.” We are better described as a Coffee & Cafe and that is why we have updated the name.

Why are some menu items gone? Our menu needed some quick changes. There were some items I did not feel comfortable serving and many more need to be changed but we want to go slow and do things right. Some items will stay, some items will go, and a newly designed menu will be created by our team.

What about Gluten Free and Vegan items? It does not matter where you are located, in the food industry today, this topic will often come up. We have stopped using the gluten free bakery the former owners used for many reasons. The primary reason is that they will not deliver to us. The second reason is that it was not financially beneficial and unfortunately, we threw out 75% of the gluten free items purchased due to lack of sale. What we can tell you is that we will have items that are gluten free and vegan. We will create items that everyone will enjoy, not items intended for a small select group. We will create delicious gluten free items and the shelf life will be like our regular food and pastry menu. We do have some gluten free items now, including our alternative gluten free sandwich bread and our quiche (which we make from and at Scratch) which has a crustless option, making it gluten free.

What is next? Elevation is the name of the game, and our approach and timeline will be as follows.

Beginning today we will be elevating all facets of the business.

· We will be private labeling our coffee, using an established, well-known local coffee roaster/provider. This will be The Bean’s coffee, focused on Spring Hill. We will sell our coffee by the bag in store, and we will also be ordering instant coffee sourced through our coffee roaster. This new offering will be great to have as you travel, take to the office or for a quick start to your morning when you don’t want to wait on your coffee pot. You will be able to take Spring Hill’s coffee with you wherever you go!

· Merchandise. We will continue working with our branding agency and fill in all the gaps we have in our merchandise offerings. Our items will have a Spring Hill appeal, as we believe we can sell more items focused on our great town and not just items that say The Bean.

· Smoothies, teas, and ice creams. These items have been a part of The Bean since day one and we are elevating these also. We have sourced the best smoothie and refresher company on the market and will be launching these items very soon. We will redo the tea menu and work with local providers. Ice cream will continue to be a big part of The Bean and we will be partnering with a local, very well known, company to bring you the best frappes, shakes and dare we say the words “boozie milkshakes”.

· We have been asked by over 50 hopeful people if we will get a liquor license. We are exploring getting a license; however, we are not and will not be a bar. If we decide to move forward with this option, we will provide a great selection of libations to accompany and enhance our drinks; items like the boozie milkshakes mentioned above.

· The kids’ food menu will also be elevated. We will launch the new kids’ menu before we launch our new breakfast and lunch menus. We are working daily to create the best menu for what we like to call, “The Lil’ Beans”.

· We will be holding a Grand Re-Opening event this spring (planned for April or May) when we are ready to fully launch The Bean’s new brand, new merchandise, and new menus. The fun but crazy part is that we are and will be open for business during all of this. You will be seeing every step of the process as it develops, and we hope you like what you see. It will all be worth the journey, and we thank you for your patience and patronage.

· The Bean and Community Involvement: We believe in giving back. We will be working with local schools, event planners, recreational activities and individuals to be a light in our community and help people elevate their lives too.

We hope and pray that your family has an excellent 2022. Thank you for being a part of The Bean Coffee & Cafe.

Brad Killen

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