Are you ready for some…coffee?
Any good Minnesotan knows that the frigid winter months are incomplete without a nice, hot cup of joe. Java. Brew. Hot stuff. Coffee.
And, Wells just recently welcomed a new addition for the coffee crowd. This new coffee stop is no ordinary stop, either. The Bean, a coffee club, has many decadent and welcoming treats up its sleeve.
Bill and Pat Schuster just recently moved back to the Wells area and America, after being missionaries in Australia and Guatemala for close to 30 years. Last year, they returned to the U.S. and began making a home in Wells.
“We felt the Lord nudging us to come back to the area where Pat grew up,” says Bill of his wife, who grew up just south of Walters. “We thought we would be coming back to rest, relax, do some reading, but He called us to this. As Christians, we are to be the best stewards of what God puts into our hands.”
Their call to help their community came through as a building at 135 South Broadway. Once the Schusters found the building was on the market, they moved straight away to purchase and begin to restore it, even before they were here in the U.S.
The upstairs portion of the building is now a rented three-bedroom executive loft, while the main floor is host to The Bean.
After its renovation, the Schusters wanted to make much of the open space available for rent in order to bring other businesses, big and small, to Wells for use.
“We rent these spaces by half days, full days, weeks, and months,” says Bill. “We have areas for pop-up businesses, meeting and conference rooms, as well as an arts and crafts working area.”
The Schusters will even rent out the entire ground floor if people are interested which they are, as the Schusters already have a potential wedding reception lined up in the future.
Their hope in making these spaces available for the Wells area is to foster a sense of community as well as supporting and promoting other businesses.
And speaking of other businesses, The Bean has fresh donuts from Wells’ Bake Shop available daily for club members.
How does one become a club member? There is no tricky initiation, or a palate taste test for coffee connoisseurs. It’s simply a one-visit, 10-visit, or 20-visit card that allows members to enjoy as much coffee as they’d like during their visit.
“You can have one cup of coffee or seven and you won’t be charged for them, just the initial membership fee,” say the Schusters. A one-visit membership card only costs $5 for The Bean patrons, $4.50 for students, and $4 for seniors.
Members of The Bean get to enjoy the use of the gigantic community space, complete with comfy couches, games, books, television, music, and Wi-Fi.
Now let’s talk beans.
“When we got here, we realized it took quite a trip to get a truly good cup of coffee,” says Bill. “And we wanted to provide an excellent cup of coffee for our members.”
Bill not only brings in fresh beans, he roasts them on site, and these beans are sourced from around the world.
“Every bean grows in different climates, soils and are, themselves, different kinds of beans. Think of coffee beans as apples. Your Red Delicious apples look and taste and smell different from a Granny Smith apple or a Golden
Delicious apple,” explains Bill. “The freshness of our beans is pointedly noticeable. They’re roasted here and ground fresh here. We also have a reverse osmosis water system. And when you have an excellent bean and excellent water, you get excellent coffee.”
Not only that, but the coffee can be brewed in all of your favorite ways from a regular cup to espresso, to cappuccinos, javas, mochas and the like.
“You won’t find a fresher cup around here,” Schuster promises. And with the unique set up for their customers, the Schusters say they are bringing something to Wells that has not been done before.
Their first day happened almost a month ago, on Dec. 14, and Pat Schuster says business has been steady, but she wants to continue to see what times and amenities are best for the community.
“We want this space to be the community’s space as well. We want them to feel comfortable here whether they’re students, workers, bridge clubs, Bible study groups, or just want to come to a warm place to relax and read or watch TV. We want to be able to hone in on what the community’s needs are from us.”
For now, The Bean’s hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Members are welcome to bring their own treats to share with other members, and any local musicians or artists are welcome to come share their talents and crafts.
Whether you’re a gourmet gourmand, a caffeine critic, or just your average joe who enjoys a hot cup of joe, The Bean certainly promises a pleasant experience for all palates.