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Chatting with The Big Bean Owner Deb Hoffman

Patch spoke with Deb Hoffman about running a business in Severna Park.

The town of Severna Park is full of local businesses that provide great services for the community.

In order to get a better sense of the owners and managers behind the businesses, Patch is introducing a new column. Severna Park Patch will talk with local business owners about life in Severna Park and how they got their start.

This week Patch spoke with The Big Bean owner Deb Hoffman.

The Big Bean has been in Severna Park for 13 years. The shop itself is well known for its colorful walls and whimsical decorations. Hoffman designed and painted the walls of The Big Bean herself. She said she wanted to make her coffee shop unique.


Severna Park Patch: What is your favorite part about running a business in Severna Park?
Deb Hoffman: Everyone says the same thing and it is so true though, the people and the community. Everybody is so nice in Severna Park.

Severna Park Patch: How did your business get started, and where did the idea come from?
Hoffman: I was between businesses so to speak. I had just had a toy business—we were toy manufactures in Annapolis—but it was just time to move on. Then we moved to Severna Park and I was kind of looking for some way of connecting with the community. We just moved from the other side of town but I was ready for a new challenge. There were no independent coffee stores in Severna Park at that time so we were the first. We used to be between a barber shop and dry cleaner in a teeny space but it became evident in a short time that we needed room.

Severna Park Patch: What’s the biggest challenge The Big Bean has overcome?
Hoffman: I think for me the biggest challenge is staffing just because of the nature of the business but it has also been the most rewarding. I learn something from everybody that I have hired and I have developed new friendships.

Severna Park Patch: What’s unique about your business? Why should customers come?
Hoffman: I think it’s the staff and I think it is our coffee that is better than most around I guess. I think we have really good coffee. I think that our customers like flavor coffee so we try to accommodate them. We carry on hand about 30 different flavors of coffee.

Severna Park Patch: What’s a typical day like for you?
Hoffman: That’s kind of the fun part that everyday is a different challenge. We do look forward to seeing the same regulars every day. When I was a kid growing up in Pittsburgh there was a deli we’d go to and everyone knew everyone at the table. You’d go in and there’d be lots of commotion and that is kind of like how The Big Bean is in the morning. I think it provides an in between place of home and work. And people who work from home and need more stimulation so they bring their laptops in and work.

Severna Park Patch: What other local businesses do you like to frequent?
Hoffman: I love Paper Trousseau and we go to Jeno's, Squisito and Fryo House a lot. They are all right here and we love them—they are great people. We go to Brian Boru for dinner and it is one of my favorites. I love burgers and I am telling you, you can’t make a burger and fries like that.

See Also:

  • Chatting with Mutt & Joe Manager Heather Jones
  • Chatting with Breakfast Shoppe Owner Kyle Algaze
  • Chatting with Spark Running Owner Caitlin Burman
  • Chatting with the Owner of Kirsten’s Cakery
  • Chatting with the Owner of Clement Hardware

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Leslie Brown January 22, 2013 at 02:02 PM
Deb and her staff do so much more than provide excellent coffee and teas - The Big Bean is where our community seems to come together. My walks with friends on the trail always ends with coffee and conversation at The Big Bean. Deb and The Big Bean support our community and causes. I'm so glad that Patch is doing these "chats." Our small business owners are a big part of what make Severna Park special.

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