Little Bean Coffee Co. Announces Franchise and Adopts New Name | New

By Christina Amano Dolan Editor

A beloved Mechanicsville cafe seeks to bring its local charm and creative flavors to the heart of communities in Hannover and beyond.

Little Bean Coffee Co., located at 7032 Mechanicsville Turnpike, announced the start of the company’s franchise last week. Additionally, the cafe has taken on a new name: Rivers Edge Coffee Company.

The shop opened in May 2020 and quickly became a hub of activity in Mechanicsville. Offering the savory flavor of locally roasted coffee and a bustling menu of specialty latte creations, the thriving business has grown significantly from its humble beginnings as a family-run coffee cart.

Owner Jett Odle says his journey to creating the perfect cup started with a Christmas present from his wife, Morgan, who brought home a coffee roaster. A lifelong coffee lover, he eagerly picked up green coffee beans from a local Colorado store and “quickly smoked the whole house.”

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Later, moving to his wife’s hometown of Mechanicsville, after learning of her pregnancy, he decided to try his hand at opening his own coffee business. Enlisting the help of his brother, Micah, the couple opened a coffee cart at Memorial Regional Medical Center in 2018. After about a year of learning the mechanics of running the business, the brothers decided to officially open a full size shop and a coffee roaster on site. .

The Little Bean name began to spread through the community after the store opened, including its appearance at local businesses such as The Lazy Cow Ice Cream Parlor and nearby Graham’s Ice Cream store. As business boomed, the store outgrew its roasting space and expanded into a larger nearby roasting facility.

Jett Odle said he would like to turn the new facility into a roasting retail space in the future, offering limited-release beans, coffee grinders, brewers and more while revealing the roasting process to customers.

“One of my favorite things in the world is showing people who’ve never seen raw coffee what it actually looks like,” Odle said. “…It’s an almost plasticized bean, that smells a bit like agriculture…and you throw it into this beautiful machine that turns it into the coffee we all know and love.”

From “day one,” Odle said he and Micah knew they wanted to build a bigger business.

“The reason we chose to open a cafe is because we love the engagement and level of familiarity you get…there’s just something really, really special about being your local cafe,” said said Odle. “One of the reasons we haven’t opened another store yet is that we knew the day we opened a second store we would lose some of that magic.”

Every day, Odle said he could walk into his store for just an hour and see “as many as 10 people” he knows by first name.

“Every time we talked about expansion, we ran into this question of how can we replicate what we’ve done here and not give up that element and not give up the ability to be incredibly engaged with your community?” said Odle.

After careful research, they came across a franchise consulting group that offered the opportunity to maintain the store’s small-town vibe in innovative ways, he said.

“We realized we could use this really cool thing called franchising to help people own cafes in their own community,” Odle said.

The process of roasting coffee is “very knowledge-intensive,” Odle said, acknowledging how difficult opening a cafe can be to navigate on your own.

“People want to own cafes because they’re there, these wonderful community centers… But the nuts and bolts of owning and operating a cafe are really, really tricky,” Odle said. “That’s when Micah and I realized we had an opportunity to help people… We can marry that passion of ‘I want to own my community’s coffee shop’ with the knowledge that [we] have built how to do this in a way that you are not going to go broke immediately.

The duo aim to teach people interested in opening a cafe how to make the perfect latte, marketing and sales functions, running a business, and ultimately “the soul of a business.” – how to become for their own community what Little Bean Coffee Co. has become for Mechanicsville, he said.

“So we can provide them with the Rivers Edge name, we can provide them with Rivers Edge beverages, we can provide them with all the know-how they need to run their business…so they are the ones engaging with their community on a really intense level like Micah and I do,” Odle said.

In order to eventually franchise out of the state of Virginia, Little Bean Coffee Co. had to take on a new name. While the original name holds sentimental significance to Odle, as he named the shop after the nickname he gave his daughter, his wife came up with a name that pays homage to the shop’s roots in Mechanicsville. .

Influenced by Mechanicsville’s tradition of visiting the river, Morgan came up with the name “Rivers Edge” because “all good things that happen by the river begin at the river’s edge”.

“I think it serves as a metaphor for what Little Bean has become,” Odle said. “The edge of the river is this meeting point where we find ourselves and where we find ourselves. And then from there, even though we all go on and do separate activities…eventually you will all come back to the riverside.

The most enjoyable part of owning a cafe for Odle has been making meaningful connections with members of the community. He said he looked forward to spreading that joy of connectedness to communities beyond his own.

For more information on franchising, contact [email protected]

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