Magic Beans Coffee House opened on April 25th, 2016, said owner Todd Babcock. He admitted that it was a long process to get the shop started. He purchased the building in 2014, which includes an upstairs apartment and his chiropractic office.
He moved to Girard to be closer to his daughter who works at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis. He did not expect that the building he purchased would have all of this trouble that came with it. It had a fire previously and water damage from pipes breaking.
He was brainstorming ideas of what uses he would have for the space next to his chiropractic office. He could have made it into an office building for a lawyer or an accountant, but there was not a lot of demand for office buildings in the Girard square at the time. Someone suggested a coffee shop, and that idea stuck.
“I spent most of 2015 trying to get the building ready,” he said. In the fall of 2015, they laid out the building for the coffee shop idea. They planned out where the various equipment would go. To increase seating, he put the men’s restroom in the chiropractic office next door.
A friend had suggested to him the use of barn wood. A few people also suggested using the exposed brick. This work required chiseling off the plaster to expose the brick.
Babcock said that he had experimented with roasting his own coffee twenty years ago. He experimented with it again last year. “I wanted fresh roasted coffee,” he said. “I decided to make all of the pastries from scratch.”
Starting up, he had volunteers who helped him to get started. He purchased the coffee roaster from a company in Arizona. He admitted he was a coffee lover most of his life. He was a Starbucks fan for most of his life, though now he doesn’t go out of his way for it. No need when you own your own coffee shop.
He enjoys helping figure out they like coffee drinks they didn’t know they liked. He was talking to a police officer in Girard and asked him why he didn’t come to the coffee shop. The police officer said he likes
hot coffee, and it’s too hot for it in the summer. Well, Babcock suggested he try an iced coffee. The police officer did not expect to like it as much as he did when he went over to Magic Beans to try it. “He was amazed at how good it was,” Babcock said.
An older customer came in wanting to try a “fancy coffee,” but didn’t know which one to try. The man said he doesn’t like sugar, just his black coffee. Babcock suggested he try a cappuccino, which is espresso and steamed milk. This man really liked his selection too.
“I love to bake,” Babcock said. “A lot of the baking is done by me. I find it very enjoyable to make things and help people like them.”
Babcock said that one of the reasons he built the coffee shop was to have a place to make baked goods and roast coffee when he retires. He also wanted to have a place where people could congregate. “So I just wanted a place that would be a fun place to sit and drink coffee someday when I retire,” he said.
In the past, he experimented with baking bread. This might be something that he would try in the future. When he lived in Des Moines, Iowa before Girard, he baked bread and bagels and tried to sell them at farmer’s markets in 2009 and 2010. Although it’s difficult, he said that he enjoyed making bread, and down the road, that would be a distinct possibility.
Source: Meet Todd Babcock, Owner of Magic Beans Meet Todd Babcock, Owner of Magic Beans