The Bean Rush Cafe Story
Owners Mark and Shannon Abrahams
In the Beginning: A Caribbean Tale
Hospitality and customer service has always been in our blood, and to be honest, it always will. This industry requires a strong desire to go above and beyond, to exceed customer expectations. That is what Bean Rush Cafe strives to do.
Prior to Bean Rush Cafe, we served five amazing years in the ever demanding, high-pressure world private charter yachts in the Caribbean. So, we are no strangers to long days and hard work. No matter how outrageous the client’s requests were, nothing was ever a problem. Although living in the Caribbean, on multi-million dollar yachts sounded very glamorous, especially to our friends and family, the reality was it was very demanding on the mind and body.
The adventure on the high seas came to an end when our desire to start a family came into fruition. This also paved the way in fulfilling our dreams of opening our very own cafe. Assimilating back into the ‘real world’ seemed daunting, even with highly accredited (and financially crippling) college degrees. We felt left behind by others who had progressed in the corporate world.
Easier Said Than Done
Even from the beginning it was no easy feat, as neither of us had owned our own business, we were able to rely on and support each other when things occasionally went awry. There were moments in the developmental stages that we struggled, but somehow always made it through, with our sense of humour still intact.
Our initial year we opened Bean Rush Cafe in Crownsville. It was extremely nerve racking and a huge learning curve for the both of us. With consistently steady growth, we were able to persevere past the dreaded small business one-year mark. Honestly, we are blessed with the most loyal and supportive customers. Our regulars have become part of the greater Bean Rush family. Without them, Bean Rush simply would not exist. Having invested our money in other avenues, our marketing relied heavily on “word of mouth”, placing a huge emphasis on quality customer service.
Our first location in Crownsville is in a small community off the beaten track with no tourist trade or even walk by traffic. Therefore, we relied heavily on the repeat customers that were local to the area. Though, it was a blessing to have all the very loyal and supportive schools within the area, that have parents and teachers requiring copious amounts of caffeine!
Growing Two Families
After two years of solid growth and a desire to expand (suckers for punishment) we decided to open up another Bean Rush Cafe in a location much like Crownsville. Originally, we did look at locations in larger shopping centers but none had the character of our signature store. We were looking for a place that had a sense of community. A boutique location in West Annapolis presented itself, and we didn’t hesitate to jump all over it.
While slowly expanding the Bean Rush empire, we also expanded our family with the birth of our beautiful daughter, Madeleine Rose a.k.a. Baby Bean. Although having never been so busy, both locations and our new family are both thriving and we couldn’t be happier. With a lot of dedication and perseverance, we are still breaking new ground and exploring new avenues.
Our original business plan was and always will be, keeping things local, keeping things simple and delivering the best coffee house experience possible. Mark will also be teaching his daughter to make the meanest espresso around!