Chamber’s Small Business of the Month: Green Beans Coffee Omaha 4/10/15 04/09/15 9:05:15 PM
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John Sievers of Green Beans Coffee Omaha supports America’s troops by facilitating the gift of a “Cup of Joe” to deployed service men and women. – Photo by JordanGreen.com
Chamber’s Small Business of the Month
Green Beans Coffee Omaha Doesn’t
Just Pour Coffee; It Supports Our Troops
By Dan McCann
The Daily Record
One of the newest members of the metro coffee scene has a global back-story – and a global distinction. Green Beans Coffee Omaha is the first independently owned, free-standing Green Beans Coffee in the United States.
It is also the Greater Omaha Chamber’s Small Business of the Month for April. Owner John Sievers described the honor as “amazing” and “completely unexpected.”
More than an a.m. caffeine fix, a fresh-baked muffin and an inviting place to hang out, Green Beans Coffee seeks to serve a higher mission: supporting our nation’s military members.
The broader Green Beans Coffee Company owns and operates more than 70 cafés in nine countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Kyrgyzstan. All are located on or near military bases as a way to offer some of the comforts of home to our nation’s men and women in uniform. Sievers said his application to become a licensee in Omaha meshed with the company’s desire to expand in suburban communities at just the right time.
“Omaha has an enormous military, retired military and government-related community. Southwest Omaha has the second biggest military-affiliated population,” he said.
Sievers was introduced to Green Beans Coffee while deployed to Afghanistan in 2007, 19 years after he entered the Air Force. Retirement in July 2014 capped a total of 26 years of active duty service. Three months into civilian life, Sievers and his wife, Angela, opened Green Beans Coffee Omaha near the corner of 168th and Harrison St., directly behind the Kwik Stop.
“Before retiring, I made a list of the things I enjoyed the most throughout my career. Serving our great nation and honoring our nation’s heroes kept floating to the top. I was also interested in intel, leading small groups of people, cooking and being in business for myself. Green Beans Coffee just seemed to be the perfect fit,” he explained.
In addition to espresso-based drinks, Green Beans Coffee serves teas, smoothies, fresh-baked pastries and breakfast items, and a wide assortment of salads, sandwiches and soups for lunch. That, said Sievers, sets Green Beans Coffee apart from the competition.
“Our food is delicious, authentic, and some of it very different from what you can get around here,” he said. “Where else can you get a tartine in Omaha?” (A tartine is a hot, open-faced sandwich with gourmet topping.)
And a ‘Cup of Joe’Also distinguishing Green Beans Coffee is the company’s devotion to the environment in addition to that military focus. The “green” in Green Beans Coffee speaks both to the company’s use of recycled paper and plastic products – and to its staunch support of the armed services.
Green Beans Coffee offers everyone the chance to send a “Cup of Joe” to soldiers deployed in many countries, like these in Afghanistan.
“We are deeply rooted in our military and taking care of our nation’s heroes,” Sievers said.
Green Beans Coffee honors the nation’s service men and women by donating a percentage of sales to organizations that support the families and children of the fallen, including Snowball Express and Children of Fallen Soldiers.
The company also sponsors a “Cup of Joe” program whereby anyone, anywhere in the world, can buy a cup of Green Beans Coffee and have it delivered (with a personal letter of thanks) to a deployed member of the armed services. To date, more than 900,000 “Cup of Joes” have been purchased for deployed troops.
In addition, Green Beans Coffee facilitates connections on its Facebook page (www.facebook.com/cupofjoeforajoe) between deployed troops and their friends, family and other supporters who want to express their thanks. Sievers said that is one of the most rewarding parts of the relatively new endeavor – “giving back to our nation’s heroes and their families.”
Green Beans Coffee Omaha is a family endeavor. John’s two older daughters, Kirstyn and Kelsey, help around the cafe. John and Angela’s younger daughter, Johanna, “manages” L’il Beans, a special area just for kids. The Sievers – and the rest of the Green Beans Coffee Omaha team – are optimistic about the future.
“We can only hope for great things!” Sievers said. “I would like to expand around the area; we have been asked to. I know of a couple people interested in opening their own stores in the area as well. We’ll have to wait and see.”
United Republic Bank sponsors the Chamber’s Small Business of the Month award. To nominate a small business online, visit www.omahachamber.org. Nominees must be current Chamber members with 50 employees or less.