BERLIN — Celebrating a business that has become a second home for some residents, town officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony for Cafe Busy Bean Monday morning.
“Everyone I’ve spoken to who has been to your establishment here has loved it,” Mayor Mark Kaczynski told Tigran Hovhannisyan, owner of the Main Street cafe.
Kaczynski was joined by Interim Town Manager Arosha Jayawickrema and Hovhannisyan’s daughter, Ani Hovhannisyan, in holding the ribbon up as Hovhannisyan wielded the oversized scissors.
Economic Development Director Chris Edge said the cafe “has been the biggest, hottest thing in Berlin,” since its soft opening on Nov. 4, 2018.
Since last year’s launch, Hovhannisyan has expanded his menu to include nitro cold brew coffee, parfaits, salads and bagels, sourced from Bagel Plus in Plainville, and is currently looking at new lunch options. He’s also looking to add outdoor seating along Main Street, with Edge providing some assistance.
He’s happy to see that the town has accepted Busy Bean as a place to go out and a destination in its own right. “It seems like the town really loves it,” he said.
The cafe’s coffee is sourced from specialty coffee roaster La Colombe in Philadelphia and it serves ice cream made by Shady Glen in Manchester and baked goods, including crepes and baklava.
When he first noticed Busy Bean’s front door propped open with a fan last year, Berlin resident Dan Balboni said he was so excited about the prospect of the business finally being open he couldn’t help but peek inside. While they were still a few weeks away from opening, Hovhannisyan served him some coffee and Balboni was back on opening day, first in line.
“I had to taper back a bit because when they first opened I was here nearly every day,” he said. “This is my home away from home.”
When he first moved to Berlin four years ago, Balboni recalls missing the sense of community that could be found at the Starbucks in downtown Newington, where he previously lived. Since Busy Bean opened, he’s started seeing people discover it and become residents.
“It’s more than just coffee; really it’s the atmosphere and meeting people,” he said. “If it wasn’t for this I wouldn’t know so many people around town.”
“As far as I’m concerned the town needs this kind of place … it’s good to see the community support him like this because getting any kind of small business off the ground is hard,” he said.