THE UN-HIP COFFEE ROASTER:
We all know the story of how Jack (Beanstalk Jack) and his mother fell on hard times, and sold their only cow for a few Magic Beans. Fast forward to 2008 as Bob Grant was struggling due to the slow economy. Bob did not have a cow to sell, but he did have an idea involving some “magic beans.”
Bob has always been the creative type: a bit of an artist, building and remodeling homes, refinishing furniture, and is even a self-published author. The Grant family usually supported his ever-changing business ideas, but they were a little skeptical when he announced, “I want to create a coffee roasting company called Cumberland Valley Coffee.”
Creativity does run in the family genes, but not skinny jeans. Unlike your typical Nashville-area coffee roaster, the Grants are the most un-hipster people you will ever meet. They do not have facial piercings, cool mustaches, or thick-rimmed glasses. How would Bob and his wife, Charlene, make Cumberland Valley Coffee successful in Robertson County with almost zero seed money?
Ingenuity. Bob soon set to work building his own coffee roaster from an old charcoal grill. After some failed experimentation, Bob perfected bean roasting on his homemade roaster.
Bob and his oldest daughter, Shelley Bryant, soon gained some wholesale customers, and created a retail website (www.cumberlandvalleycoffee.com) from which they offer free local delivery.
Now there was a new problem. The homemade coffee roaster was no longer big enough. It was time to get serious, and go all out. A full blown coffee roasting shop with a real roaster was now needed. And guess what? There is a little magic involved.
THE BELL FARM – AUTHENTIC COFFEE CONNECTION
In the 1990’s, Bob was lucky enough to come across a massive pile of barn lumber on Hwy. 31 in Goodlettsville selling for $200. This lumber had originated from the famous Bell Farm in Adams, TN. Bob eagerly purchased the “magic” lumber and set out to build a furniture shop at his Greenbrier home that would later be converted into the Cumberland Valley Coffee roasting shop.
In 2010, Bob was delighted when Jeff Munday needed a coffee supplier for Authentic Coffee, which is located in the very spot where Bob had purchased the lumber from Jeff’s father many years before. Grant and Munday now enjoy sharing the story about their spooky connection with their customers.
THE MAGIC BEANS GROW MORE FAMILY BUSINESSES
Bob and Charlene Grant have five children, and four grandchildren. Their youngest son, Jacob, is Bob’s assistant. Two of the five children have taken the plunge, and started their own small businesses after learning from their un-hip (but creative) father.
THE NOT TOTALLY AMISH, AMISH STORE
On September 1, 2016, the oldest Grant child, Shelley Bryant, purchased a business: Miller’s Country Amish Store in Greenbrier, TN. Bryant and her daughters, Rebekah and Rachel, changed the name to Bryant’s Country Store, and have been busy ever since selling the “magic beans.” The Bryant’s recently celebrated their one-year anniversary.
“We are so thankful for the growth that we have had in our first year,” said Bryant. “We are expecting a very busy Thanksgiving and Christmas season with lots of gift box orders!”
As you may have already guessed, the Grant and Bryant families did not grow up with an Amish heritage. However, they do love good food, and are always up for a challenge. Shelley and her daughters often get asked if they are Amish even when they are stepping out of their cars wearing their blue jeans and sneakers. They love sharing Amish foods and local products with the Greenbrier community.
“The baked goods that we carry from Schlabach’s Bakery are divine!” Bryant said. “Their sourdough bread is what makes our sandwiches great.”
Bryant’s Country Store carries a variety of cheeses, canned goods, local honey, jams, noodles, local eggs, butter, and Cumberland Valley Coffee. In addition to Amish foods, the store also sells Amish-built storage barns, gazebos, pavilions, and playsets. When you visit the store, you may even get to meet some of the Amish builders when they are dropping off new displays!
The Bryant ladies often get asked, “What is in ‘The Cottage’?”
Well, if you have not visited lately, you will be pleased to see that Bryant’s Country Store opened The Cottage as an expansion in April 2017. It is a beautiful little cottage located right behind the store that features Amish-built, solid-wood furniture, as well as home décor items. The store specializes in custom built furniture, and examples can be seen on their website, www.bryantscountrystore.com. Stop by and visit, and maybe enjoy a sandwich or a piece of pie on the front porch!
THE ELOQUENTLY CREATIVE SON
Sam Grant (a.k.a. the middle child) is the most creative of the Grant children. He is so creative that he had to name his business Eloquent Creative ( http://eloquentcreative.net/ )! Sam provides many media services for local businesses, realtors, and local politicians like their cousin, Wade Munday.
Like his father, Sam is self-taught. He has diligently worked to become Springfield’s go-to guy for photography, cinematography, and aerial film. Sam has had the opportunity to work on some music videos, as well as provide services for movies that were invited to the Nashville Film Festival.
“One of my favorite moments was seeing footage I recorded on the big screen at the Nashville Film Festival." Sam said. "Everyone has a story to tell…from the musician, the small business owner, the couple getting married, or even the homeowner selling their home. I love meeting these diverse people while hearing and telling their stories."
THE NEW CAFÉ
Would you believe that the Grant family was able to squeeze out just a little more time to open another business?
Café 31 was opened by the Grant family in June and is located inside the White House Public Library.
“Café 31 is a great blend of Cumberland Valley Coffee and Bryant’s Country Store. We now have a retail space where people can enjoy coffee drinks, great food, milkshakes, and even pick-up their favorite variety of Cumberland Valley Coffee!” Bob said. “Charlene really enjoys creating recipes for the soups that we serve each day.”
A BUSY HOLIDAY SEASON
The Grant family is looking forward to an extremely busy 2017 holiday season. “We are encouraging business owners who are looking for holiday gift boxes for their clients or employees to order early this year,” said Bryant. “We are excited about offering lots of great Amish foods and our locally roasted coffee in our gift boxes. They are great to give to that person who already has everything!”
Local school, church, and other non-profit groups will be conducting holiday fundraisers with Cumberland Valley Coffee this year. “Our school fundraising season is already starting to get busy,” said Grant. “Of course, as soon as that first week of cool weather hits, people are in the mood for coffee!”
A visit to Bryant’s Country Store will give you a chance to check out Amish foods, and sample a cup of Cumberland Valley Coffee. “One of the perks of being a regular customer is all of the yummy samples,” Bryant said. “We plan on offering a good variety of samples leading up to the holidays. People really enjoy having new items like Hot Pepper Jam Dip to serve at holiday get-togethers.” Bryant’s Country Store is also expecting a shipment of fresh cut wreaths to help their customers decorate for Christmas this year. It’s one-stop (Shop Local) holiday shopping!
Just remember not to get your feelings hurt if you pass by a member of the Grant family between now and Christmas, and they do not slow down to talk. They are busy as bees! And stay tuned, you never can tell what the Grant family will brew up with the help of their “magic beans!”