Columbus Coffee Co., Mr. Bean Coffee: For Powell entrepreneurs, coffee business has its perks

Jim Fischer
ThisWeek
Margaret and David Caldwell own and operate the Powell-based Columbus Coffee Co. truck.

Whether you want to come to the coffee or have the coffee come to you, Powell-area residents have new options.

About a month ago, the locally owned Columbus Coffee Co. truck started serving. More recently, Mr. Bean Coffee opened in the Armita Plaza at 170 W. Olentangy St.

Both are owned and operated by Powell residents.

Columbus Coffee Co. owners Margaret and David Caldwell had long contemplated starting a business together, a discussion further fueled when the company for which Margaret Caldwell worked as an events planner closed during the early days of the pandemic last year.

“We wanted something to do that would be safe, that would last and that would be ours,” Margaret Caldwell said. “When we started thinking about food trucks, we considered shaved ice, but Ohio only has like four good months out of the year for that.”

The availability of a truck that, with her husband’s engineering background, was ideal to fit with coffee- and other beverage-making equipment, plus the availability of the brand name, sealed the deal for the longtime coffee fans.

Similarly, Sabrina and Moe Fard sought to combine their love of teas and coffee with their backgrounds in marketing and business management, respectively, to create a comfortable space in which to serve their neighbors – something they hope they’ve accomplished with Mr. Bean Coffee.

“I have dreamed of opening a local, family-owned coffee shop,” Sabrina Fard said. “I enjoy making hot tea, as well as iced drinks with other flavors. People would often tell me, ‘You have the potential to be a barista.’”

Owner/barista Sabrina Fard stands behind the counter inside the new Mr. Bean Coffee shop in the Armita Plaza at 170 W. Olentangy St. in Powell.

The opening of Mr. Bean Coffee was delayed a bit due to conditions brought about by the pandemic, Moe Fard said. But the couple have been encouraged by the reception they’ve received in the early days of the business, affirming their decision to situate their business in Powell.

“We wanted the shop to be where we lived,” he said. “We know the people here are friendly and supportive of local businesses.”

The Caldwells have experienced the same positive response, as they have brought the Columbus Coffee Co. truck to such sites as local businesses and neighborhood gatherings. They’ve quickly become a partner with the Olentangy Swim Association Powell Pool and the parks in Liberty Township.

“We’re excited to partner with them, especially because they’re in the community and we want to support local when we can,” said Mary Lorenz, board member for the swim association. 

“I think it is fantastic that they are a local business and that the township can support them in their efforts and they can fill a need for the township,” Liberty Township administrator Mike Schuiling said. “It is vitally important that the township supports local businesses.”

“We know the parents and the kids at the pool and other sporting events because our sons are involved in a lot of those activities, so we want to give them the best,” Margaret Caldwell said.

Both operations offer broad selections of hot and cold coffee- and tea-based drinks, in addition to other warm and cold beverages. As Margaret Caldwell pointed out, Columbus Coffee Co. has an entire menu section called “Non-Coffee.”

“In addition to espresso and frappes and cold and nitro brews, we’re doing Italian sodas, Lotus Energy all-natural energy drinks, some bakery items and even, circling back to our original idea, shaved ice,” she said.

“We are responding to what people want. They ask for a drink, and we will create it,” Sabrina Fard said, adding that all of her shop’s coffees and drink ingredients are organic.

“Good service and attitude are important to a small business, but we also want to make sure to give people what they want and to have it taste good,” Sabrina Fard said.

From ingredients – the Caldwells said they taste-tested all of their ingredients as they were sourcing inventory – to state-of-the-art equipment, it’s all to ensure everything tastes its best, David Caldwell said.

“The goal is to never let anybody down,” he said.

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