Photo by Shane Harms
Anthony Hoyt standing behind his talented baristas at Java Bean.

Java Bean celebrates 25th anniversary

By Erin Bosetti

This year, local favorite coffee haunt Java Bean turns 25. It started out as a coffee cart in Eastlake in 1989 and two more carts were opened in the city including one in West Seattle. Our well loved Ballard branch was opened in 2001.

What makes Java Bean so great? “We don't change too much. That's our secret. Great service. Great people. Great cup of coffee. Oh, and our egg breakfast sandwiches are to die for!” said owner Anthony Hoyt.

“We have such a great variety of folks who support the Java Bean from all age groups. Young and old we attract them all by facilitating a very familial service experience and a great product and upbeat feeling in the shop.”

Hoyt says that they can attribute their long lasting success and loyal followers to the “three C’s.” Customer service: ”We hire people who smile and like to take care of people and then train skills.” Consistency: Hoyt is extra diligent about maintaining the quality of their fair trade and organic coffee. And cleanliness, something all Ballardites who frequent the shop can agree with -- it’s hard not to feel cozy in the winter and breezy in the sunshine in their shop on 24th Avenue Northwest.

Java
Barista, Micah, serves up a a mean cup of java. Photo by Shane Harms

Many of Java Beans die-hard fans have stuck with them for the last 25 years, with some of them moving to neighborhoods just so they can be closer to the shop. Hoyt was drawn to the business when the coffee scene was first gaining steam in the late 80s.

“I got into the business because I loved espresso coffee. Back in 1987 I was working as a valet parking cars downtown near 6th and Pike and got hooked on coffee by a co-worker who bought me my fist caffe mocha from Seattle's first espresso cart. I went back one hour later for another...I began to see my future in coffee. The rest as they say, is history.”

Hoyt has learned a lot in the past 25 years.

“ What I've learned from owning a business: Always do something you like; never force anything as it will probably break; stay positive in the face of adversity and everything will be fine. I'm constantly working on that last one.”

The worst part of owning a small business in Seattle for Hoyt?

“I guess I'd say the feeling that the city of Seattle doesn't support small business owners. Too many permits!”

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