The Village Bean Coffee House in Merrickville celebrated an important milestone last week – their 10-year anniversary.
When owner Robyn Fredickson moved to Merrickville from Ottawa, she became a regular at Brewed Awakenings (the former name of The Village Bean) as a way to get to know the community. When she was laid off from her professional job, she was hired at the coffee shop part time while she was figuring out what to do next. Robyn and her father had already been talking about investing in a business together, so when the coffee shop came up for sale, it seemed like the perfect fit.
Robyn took possession of the shop, renaming it The Village Bean, on April 1, 2011. When Robyn took over the business, the shop was referred to as “Merrickville’s meeting place in the morning”, and she says they have stayed true to that legacy. Although the menu has changed a bit over the years, her goal has always been for The Village Bean to be a community hub. “My favourite thing about being a coffee shop is really the customers,” she says. “I love our customers we see every day. They’ve become more like friends and family.”
Robyn has enjoyed being a fly on the wall as the community has morphed and changed around her over the past decade. She has watched as kids have grown up, gone to university, gotten married and had children of their own. “Just to see that life progression,” she says. “Watching our customers grow… going through big life events with them.”
The Village Bean has been open throughout the pandemic, but has closed their indoor seating. To try and meet the community’s needs, Robyn has started offering take home meals like beef stroganoff and butter chicken, to make eating at home easier and more enjoyable. “We also started doing some fresh heat and eat meals that are all handmade,” she says.
Like many business owners, Robyn’s goal for now is to just get through the pandemic. She feels a strong connection to the community and is dedicated to continuing to stay open so that customers can still come by and get their coffee, served with a smile. “It’s the place that they can come through the pandemic and see a friendly face, just checking in to get coffee,” she says. “That means a lot to me as well.”
Reflecting on their 10 years in business, Robyn says she is very grateful for the Merrickville community and their support over the years. “We feel so blessed to have the support of so many people in the community and our regulars who come in everyday. I just feel really blessed to have made it to the ten-year mark.”