This Local Coffee-Roaster Family is Having a Blast
by Melissa LaScaleia
Several years ago, Mike Weeden received a care package of roasted coffee beans in the mail from Vermont. His daughter had sent him something new to try. He enjoyed the resulting coffee so much that he felt inspired to roast beans at home. He and his wife, TJ, quickly fell in love with the taste of fresh roasted coffee; so much so, that they wanted people in Myrtle Beach to experience it as well. And the only way to do that, they reasoned, was to open a café.
They found the ideal spot for their new venture in the Market Common. And in March 2014, they became The Roasted Bean. The husband and wife duo have been having a blast with their family-owned operation ever since, which employs many of their eight children.
“It was a joint effort to start the café,” TJ says. “My husband was really good at roasting, and I was the wind under his wings. As soon as he knew that we were on the same page, he knew that we had to do this. It happened very quickly, and with great success.”
So what goes into making a cup of their beloved brew?
“All beans begin green, raw, and hard,” TJ says. “Then you roast it to your preference— either medium or a dark roast.
“Our coffee is very pure; we source high-quality beans from many different countries, so you’re not going to get withdrawal symptoms and headaches that you can from a lesser-quality bean. When you have a good cup, it can change the way you look at coffee.”
Because they love what they do, the two have evolved into self-taught coffee connoisseurs.
“We are constantly learning and growing,” says TJ. “My husband does a lot of research. We ask a lot of questions. We’re in touch with a lot of roasters across the United States. It really is an art and a science. He does the science and we do the art. You have to have the right temperature of milk, and the right espresso shot to get the best taste. Coffee is like wine; there are different kinds and different colors. Some coffee is better with dessert, others with sandwiches, and some on its own. But the best kind of coffee is the kind you roast fresh on your own. And that’s what we do.”
Soon word got out on Google and Yelp that there were coffee roasters in the Market Common. And throngs of tourists in addition to locals poured into their café en masse.
“We get people from all over discovering the Market Common because of us,” TJ says. “They come into our café and share that they’ve never been here before, and begin asking questions about the shops and what’s in the area.”
Originally, the pair were planning to sell coffee exclusively, but they soon began to receive requests from hungry patrons for options to accompany their cuppa. They added breakfast and lunch sandwiches to their menu, and in the last couple of years, expanded it further to include green smoothies and a variety of other drinks.
“We’re very personal here,” TJ adds. “It’s important to me that I know everybody’s name when they walk in the door. We care about the people who come in, and I’ve made some really great lifelong friends as a result. We’re serving great products, we have great music playing— it’s just a really happy place to be.