Bean Bar is comprised of a creative and passionate team of individuals coming from a diverse spectrum of experience and backgrounds. David and Malena Brown, husband and wife, are the brains (and owners) of Bean Bar. The two met at a retail store in NYC as coworkers and well, the rest is history! They both come from international families. In fact, their wedding on 10.10.10 was a three-day international affair, with friends and family traveling from over a dozen counties. David and Malena come from families that believe in hard work and dedication to whatever you do
Malena Brown - Founder
Malena A. Brown, better known as Mel to most in the Pee Dee, immigrated to New York City as a young girl from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Mel’s love of art began at a very early age, with her raw talent quickly blossoming under an apprenticeship with a well-known NYC artist. She has a BA in Fine Arts from The State University of New York. Her colorful portfolio includes fine arts, drawing, painting, sculpture, watercolors, and graphic design. You will notice Mel’s distinctive imprint on Bean Bar’s graphic design and art direction, with a focused attention to beauty and detail.
David Brown - Founder
David Brown is originally from Aberdeen, Scotland, although you won’t detect much of an accent. At 20, he moved to New York City, along with his family, to pursue an education and work opportunities. Near ten years ago, he moved to Florence with his wife, Malena, to support her father’s international family business. David is passionate about football (soccer), mountain biking, and road cycling. Bean Bar draws from his rich background in the culinary arts, retail, and managing multiple international businesses.
The concept of Bean Bar began when the couple pondered on what they could bring to Florence. Malena shares, “David and I love Florence and are passionate about being a part of its growth. We wanted to bring to Florence the art and finesse of serving high quality, organic coffee and food, paired with excellent customer service. Our business was inspired by our families and their individual journeys to America to establish lives and careers.” Malena describes Bean Bar as a product of the “American Dream.” “My father came to America from Argentina and combined his skill as a chef and love for food into a successful international seafood business,” shares Malena. “He wanted for us to infuse our own experiences and passions into a company of our own. His death four years ago sparked a fire within us to embark on starting our own company. We love good food, coffee, and travel and wanted to bring that flavor to Florence.” The name Bean Bar originated as a play on the word coffee bean and David’s family tartan from Scotland, McBean.
Bean Bar is unique because they serve 100% organic ingredients and prepare their own simple syrups, as well as the chocolate that is infused into the mocha and hot chocolates. Their drinks come in one size-carefully crafted for the perfect ratio of espresso, milk, simple syrup or chocolate. Their most popular drink is a tie between a vanilla latte and a mocha. Their distinctive exclusive organic quality comes from the influence of honoring the lives of their loved ones lost to cancer. Malena’s father, David’s Granda, and other family and friend’s deaths from cancer enhanced their desire to provide clean eating (and drinking) options to their patrons. They also believe that coffee should not leave a negative footprint on the world and pride themselves in being environmentally conscious and sustainable. Every to-go item shared with customers is 100% compostable.
You can find Bean Bar at SC Real Foods every Tuesday, Naturally Outdoors & Bicycle World on Thursday, Friday, and every other Saturday, City Center Farmer’s Market on alternating Saturdays, and Local Motive on select Sunday’s for brunch. The menu is currently tailored to the shifting needs of their moving pop-up locations, however, the menu will expand in the future as plans for a brick-and-mortar location are in the works. Malena says, “This is truly exciting for us, as we have loved getting to know and serve our growing body of customers at pop-up locations across the Pee Dee. We are thrilled to join the tremendous growth and opportunity in Florence.”