South Congaree welcomed a new business to the community Monday with the opening of The Human Bean. The coffee franchise originated in Ashland, Oregon in the late 90s and has since set up shop throughout the U.S.
Thom Perez, spokesman for the Human Bean, said that the South Congaree location is the first to open in the state. A North Carolina location opened in the spring, making the Midlands' store the only other Human Bean in the Carolinas.
He said when looking for a place to set up in South Carolina, South Congaree proved itself to be the perfect spot. “Our strategy is to look for underserved markets, but places where there is high potential,” Perez said. “South Congaree ticked all the boxes for us.”
Perez explained that the area of the new Midlands location has substantial road traffic which makes the most sense for the coffee shop.
The Human Bean is a standalone coffee shop with two drive thru windows, one on either side of the building. Rather than ordering at a microphone then driving up to a window to pay for and receive orders, customers drive directly to the window to order, pay and pick up. Perez said this format makes for a more personable experience.
Beverages served include hot and iced espresso and coffee beverages, smoothies, Italian soda and teas. Baked goods from Seattle’s Finest, Umpqua Oats, and breakfast sandwiches are also available for purchase at the Human Bean. Perez said some of the food items offer the Midlands “a little taste of Oregon.”
The coffee shop’s opening week has been successful thus far, according to Perez. “The community response has been phenomenal, it’s almost overwhelming,” he said. “Everyone has been so warm and so genuinely welcoming.”
The Human Bean is located at 669 Main St. and is open daily from 5 a.m. until 9 p.m.