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I Have a Bean wins bid for café at Wheaton Public Library

The first ever Café on the Park will be coming to the Whea­ton Public library this summer through the joint venture of I Have a Bean Coffee and Jo & Doh Donuts. After eight years of having a vacant cafe space in the Wheaton Public Library, the library’s board of trustees decided last fall it was time for a change. The library Director, Betsy Ad­amowski, said when she started her position as the Library Di­rector in October 2013 she did a Community Wide Analysis and “it was loud and clear that the community wanted the library to have a cafe.” She sent out a request for proposal in October and two businesses responded: River City Roasters and Café on the Park.
On March 16, roaster Pete Leonard and donut entrepre­neur Mel Yarmat pitched their coffee and donut shop partner­ship idea to the library board and won the bid. The new café was called “Café on the Park.”
I Have a Bean Coffee has been operating in Wheaton since 2007 and brews specialty coffee beans with a mission based emphasis of employing post-prison men and women. They work closely with post-prison support organiza­tions that provide counseling, mentoring and a supportive com­munity for their employees. Jo & Doh’s is located in Naperville and is known for its gourmet and creatively flavored donuts, includ­ing the Maple Bacon and choco­late chip cookie dough donut.
According to Leonard, the owner of I Have a Bean, their business plan was chosen because the library board thought the partnership would bring some­thing ‘fresh and new’ to the café scene in Wheaton. The café plans to offer a ‘kid friendly’ menu and prepare fresh food on site.
Cafe on the Park’s menu items will include a variety of dough­nuts and other pastries, sand­wiches, chips and cookies, along with I Have A Bean coffee, tea and other snacks and drinks.
Adamowski and Leonard both expressed great excite­ment about the project. “I feel that this will have a huge affect on the library experience and will contribute to our goal to make the library a destination for all ages,” said Adamowski.
Located next door to Ad­ams Park, the café will utilize the patio and park space to have Wheaton College students play music and entertain custom­ers. Leonard said he will be en­couraging students to play at the café for “Music on the Park.”
Before the board presenta­tion, I Have a Bean researched other library cafés and found that they were universally un­derstaffed, with unenthusiastic and poorly trained staff. They plan to fix this issue by having a minimum of 2 people ‘on bar’ at all times to eliminate wait times. I Have a Bean hopes to hire two more full time staff because of the revenue generated from selling coffee to Café on the Park.
The library expects an increase in traffic from its already 600,000 guests that visit each year.
As the coffee shop continues to expand, students have asked whether there is a possibility of a café opening in the Buswell Library where there are cur­rently no fresh food options. Senior Hannah Oury stated that “I Have a Bean would be a good option because it is already a partner for the Artist Series.”
I Have a Bean frequently sup­ports Wheaton College busi­ness events including the Shark Tank and Elevate competition.
After participating in these business events, Leonard said he is “excited to see the further development of living ‘on mis­sion’ for Christ brought back to the concept of Vocational Call­ing, rather than keeping that the exclusive domain of mis­sionaries and pastors.” He added that “getting the opportunity to be part of a café on campus, or supplying coffee to Sam’s and the Anderson Commons would be the icing on the cake!”

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