It wasn’t long ago that owners of Stick Boy Bread Company in Fuquay-Varina Katie and Josh Dies remember trying to break into the business. Wholesalers took a chance on the couple and business took off.
When a regular customer, Dave McCreery, brought up locally roasted Boogie Bean Coffee Roasters and Katie got to meet the owners and husband and wife team, Kevin and Ali Littlewood, it was a great match.
“If we’re in a spot where we can help another local business getting its start – it’s a good response,” Katie said.
Stick Boy began selling Boogie Beans in the bag and as drip coffee April 12 and will try out sales through June. But Larry’s Beans lovers, don’t fret.
The Raleigh roasters aren’t being kicked to the curb. Instead, Katie and Josh see this as an opportunity to expand options for their coffee-loving customers.
“We feel like there’s room on the shelf for more roasters,” Katie said.
It takes 2 to tango
Raleigh native Kevin and Asheville native Ali moved to Holly Springs in 2009. And Boogie Beans got its start in January 2011.
Kevin had a year of culinary arts school under his belt. He was working from home and frequenting Java Jive in Cary for coffee.
“We’ve always had a passion for specialty coffee,” Kevin said.
The owner of Java Jive began selling some green coffee beans for customers to roast at home. Kevin bought a tiny home roaster and began making his own coffee. Soon, friends and family started to ask if they could buy some of the Littlewoods’ beans.
“Slowly, we started thinking, ‘Wow, people could really buy this coffee,’” Kevin said.
The Littlewoods started to research fair trade and organic beans and decided to start up a business.
“We really wanted to share our coffee experience with those around us,” Ali said.
The couple loves life, to have fun and dance.
“We really wanted our business to capture that,” Ali said.
Thus, Boogie Beans was born.
In the early days, it took about an hour to roast a pound of coffee. But Kevin and Ali learned that things could be accomplished much faster with a larger roaster.
Getting in the swing of things
Boogie Beans is sold locally at Stick Boy and the CupCake Bite in Fuquay-Varina as well as locations in Cary. Boogie Beans has started to expand with its mobile coffee and espresso bar as far west as Arkansas and Michigan.
The beans also can be purchased on Amazon and through the company’s website.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Ali said of the growing business.
“It’s blown up in the last year,” Kevin said.
But, Kevin said, there are some distinct reasons why buying locally is important. The coffee is roasted to order; within 48 hours of roasting, the customer has the beans. And the company delivers for free within the Triangle area.
And the family-owned and operated business is really small. Kevin and Ali have employed help from friends to run the website and mobile bar. Still, they remain involved in the entire process.
“We’re always visible,” Kevin said. “We’re not just a voice on a phone.”
And Kevin has improved his roasting abilities since the early days. He went to school in Vermont and earned the distinction of Roast Master.
A foxtrot of tastes
Recently, Stick Boy employees got together to learn about Boogie Beans and enjoy a cupping, the process of smelling and tasting various types of coffee to draw out different flavors.
“We’re dissecting all the coffees so employees can describe them for customers,” Kevin said before the cupping.
Stick Boy will stock five blends initially, all blends that Larry’s Beans doesn’t carry.
They include the Earth Day Blend, a combination of Central American and Indonesian beans, the Berundi Kayanza, a sweet tasting mild coffee, the Boogie’s Blend, a great breakfast blend of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe and organic Colombia beans, and the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, a spice and herb flavored brew. There also will be a decaf coffee available.
All four of the selections that will be available at Stick Boy are fair-trade and organic. Also, the beans are available in 16-ounce bags.
Stick Boy has one of Boogie Beans’ drip coffees available daily with the intention of using some of the company’s espresso in the future.
“I think people in the community would like it,” Katie said. “I just think it’s fun.”
Kevin and Ali will be at Stick Boy on April 27 for an official introduction to the community from 9 a.m. to noon. During the event day, all three drip coffees offered and the espresso will be Boogie Beans.
All of the regular coffee beans sell for $13.99 per pound and the decaf coffee beans are $14.50 per pound.
Contact Kelly Griffith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-552-5675.