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All hail the Bean

The history and future of Taylor’s coffee shop

By Sarah Davis | Echo

Welcoming students with wafting smell of chai, chalk calligraphy and good cheer, the Jumping Bean has been a faithful sweet spot at Taylor for almost 20 years.

“The Bean is a nice place for students to just come and be together,” senior barista Shayna Balting said. “Oh, and hopefully get a good cup of coffee.”

Launched by married students Ben and Rebekah Eisner, the Jumping Bean has loyally served Taylor since the fall of 1997—surviving many changes in logistics and management.

After the Eisners graduated in 1999, the Jumping Bean was renamed Vecino’s under new ownership. Then later, another transition turned Vecino’s into The Northern Lights.

In August 2006, current Dean of Students Steve Morley (’00), along with friend Jacob Drake (05’), bought the coffee shop. They changed the name back to the Jumping Bean and ran operations through December 2014. The Bean is currently owned and operated by Tony Manganello and Tom Hughes.

In the spring, the Jumping Bean will leave its long-time alcove in the Union for a slightly bigger, more professional space in the new campus center.

“I think The Bean will be more available to students in the campus center,” Balting said. “It will be closer to the chapel, so we’re hoping people will be able to come and go more often.”

New loyalty cards are also encouraging more traffic for the Jumping Bean. The free punch card gives students a free drink on their eleventh transaction.

These punch cards are just in time for fall too. This year, The Bean is keeping Taylor warm with pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice chai and spiced apple chai.

“My favorite drink is the Joe Freshman, but we have that all the time,” Balting said. “The spiced apple chai is really popular this fall though.”

The Jumping Bean, a place where community is first but coffee is an excellent second, is continuing its service despite all the coming changes. A student favorite for coffee dates and staying awake, it may be moving, but The Bean isn’t leaving anytime soon.

  • The Jumping Bean

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