When Carol and Jeff Fisher opened the BeachHouse Beanery in 2008, everyone told them it was the worst time to open a business. Now, they are celebrating their 5th anniversary.
“It was hard, and it’s still hard,” Carol said. “It helps that we’re making it, and it helps that we’re surrounded by all these great people who love coming here and love us.”
When the couple moved to Flagler Beach from Ohio, they didn’t know anyone and were having a hard time getting connected to the community. After a year of not connecting, Jeff working from home and Carol working in Daytona Beach, they started to become desperate for that community connection.
“That was part of our reason for opening a coffee shop, to become part of a community,” Carol Fisher said. “When we look now at our circle of friends, who are also our customers, it’s only because of this business. The thing I never would have guessed about opening a business is that it would grow into what has become a family to us, a community.”
Throughout the five years, the owners have continued to mold their business based on what that community has needed. After about a year, beer and wine were added to the menu, allowing a new atmosphere which lends itself to Friday night music. The aim was to not only be a place for great coffee and conversation, but also be a place to hang out and have a glass of wine in a setting other than a bar — a void that Jeff Fisher felt needed to be filled.
Throughout the years, vegetarian and vegan items have also been added to the menu and in response to customer requests, this fall the couple will be reworking their menu to include more of those options.
But above all else, the biggest change the beanery has made is the move from the downtown location to its new home on A1A, a year ago in September. Since the move to A1A, the Fishers have been able to hire two more employees.
“That’s a testament to growth and how you can give back, because those two people didn’t have jobs before,” Jeff Fisher said.
The growth of the BeachHouse Beanery is not just in employees and space. On any given day, people can be seen scattered throughout the coffee shop working from laptops, reading the newspaper or having conversation. If you don’t know anyone there when you walk in, you will before you leave. It’s the coffee shop culture, or as Jeff Fisher calls it, the pixie dust.
While there are no big plans for changes in the future, the Fishers said they plan to continue to change their offerings based on customer needs.
“I just want to say how much we appreciate the community,” Carol Fisher said. “It’s very heartwarming how people have been our friends through all this.”
BOX: ANNIVERSARY RIBBON CUTTING
The Flagler County Chamber of Commerce & Affiliates will help the BeachHouse Beanery celebrate 5 years in the community at a ribbon-cutting at 4:15 p.m. Aug. 30. The storefront is located at 1112 S. Oceanshore Blvd., Flagler Beach.