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Cool Beans warms up to business

October 27, 2011

Dustin Rockwell, owner of the newly opened Cool Beans Cafe, mixes a pumpkin spice latte. The coffee shop opened just a few weeks ago just north of Tech’s campus. – Photo by Kyle Kight

JUSTIN FORT
Staff Reporter

 

Two new coffee shops recently opened within two miles of Tech’s campus.

 

The more recent, Cool Beans Café at 802 W. California Ave., opened its doors Oct. 10.

 

Dustin Rockwell, Cool Beans Café owner and operator, said he is not a connoisseur of coffee and has little business experience. He said he opened the shop because West California Avenue needed a coffee shop, and the location was perfect.

 

“I couldn’t exactly open a convenience store,” Rockwell joked.

 

Rockwell’s first two weeks at Cool Beans have been up and down, but he said he expects business to stabilize soon.

 

“There were some tough times,” Rockwell said. “Once the word gets out, I’ll have a lot of foot traffic.”

 

As word continues to spread, some Tech students are getting more excited about the new coffee shop.

 

Darryl Mixon, a junior environmental science major, has already become a regular at Cool Beans.

 

“It’s a great spot,” Mixon said. “It’s quiet. I like the coffee, and it is reasonably cheap.”

 

Rockwell said he believes Cool Beans’ location is what will give him an edge in selling coffee to students.

 

Ray Holley, a senior sociology major, also agreed and said he walks by the shop on his way to class every day.

 

“It’s just convenient,” Holley said. “I don’t even drink coffee, and I’m seriously considering going in.”

 

Like most coffee shops, Cool Beans offers various items that may appeal to everyone. In addition to coffee drinks, Cool Beans sells doughnuts, biscuits, cupcakes, sodas and lunch, which Rockwell makes fresh each day.

 

Dan Daily, a senior aviation management major, said he believes the lunches will be something unique to Cool Beans.

 

“I think those will give him an advantage,” Daily said.

 

Mixon said the same about the baked goods Cool Beans offers, such as the doughnuts that Daylight Doughnuts delivers each morning.

 

“I really like all the fresh baked goods they have,” Mixon said.

 

Rockwell said he believes the coffee served will appeal to students for more than one reason. He said Marley Coffee not only tastes great, but it was created by Rohan Marley, the son of legendary reggae singer Bob Marley, and it goes along with the atmosphere Rockwell said he is trying to create at Cool Beans.

 

“It goes well with the reggae theme,” Rockwell said. “I’ve been drinking it for about a year now.”

 

Another aspect that Rockwell said he believes will attract customers is Cool Beans’ drive-through – something only Cool Beans and Starbucks Coffee have.

 

LaShontana Gordon, a freshman nursing major, said a drive-through is especially beneficial for Tech students.

 

“You’re always on the go,” Gordon said. “If you’re in a hurry to get to class, then you can just drive by.”

 

Cool Beans also has many of the things students typically associate with a coffee shop, like free Wi-Fi and entertainment, such as parties and poetry readings.

 

However, even with the luxuries of typical coffee shops and unique features, is Ruston large enough to sustain another coffee shop? Daily said he has his doubts, especially considering Frothy Monkey’s recent closing and the opening of The Black Box.

 

“I think there are too many,” Daily said. “I think the only reason it’s a good idea is because of its great location.”

 

Email comments to jwf014@latech.edu.

 

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