A New Downtown Destination

Efforts to revitalize Purdy’s downtown business district are poised to take another step forward with the opening of the Utopian Bean coffeehouse and cafe at 200 Washington St. on Friday, May 20.

Located in a newly refurbished building that is also home to the offices of Project Genesis, the Utopian Bean is a perfect gathering place for those looking for a freshly brewed cup of coffee, an expresso drink or a delicious homemade sandwich.

Patrick and Pam Foland are ready to open up their brand new eatery and coffeehouse to the public next Friday. A special opening night celebration will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. on May 20.

Area patrons will have the opportunity to step inside the doors of Purdy’s newest business and enjoy a full menu that includes hot and cold coffee drinks, two different homemade soups, the soon-to-be-famous Utopian salad, five different sandwiches and a big selection of delicious desserts. The Captain’s Son will also be on hand to provide live music.

The Folands, who have called Purdy home since 1997, have been dreaming of opening a local coffeehouse for several years. With their home located just a few blocks from Washington Street, the Folands often walked or rode their bikes by the old deteriorating building and imagined a coffeehouse inside.

“When we walked or drove by, there was this empty old shell of a building, but we saw a coffeehouse,” said Pam.

When Ed Mareth began renovating the historic building last year, the Folands decided to approach him with their idea for a new business in downtown Purdy.

The Folands’ business plan impressed Mareth, and he offered to lease the couple space in his building and gave them the opportunity to design the interior of the coffeehouse to their liking.

“Ed Mareth has been so supportive of this,” said Patrick. “Anything we need, he’s there for us.”

Patrick designed the space inside the coffeehouse himself to include seating for 50, a modern coffee bar and plenty of room for comfortable leather coaches and chairs that encourage patrons to sit down and stay awhile.

A large flat screen TV and free wi-fi add modern touches to the coffeehouse, which also pays tribute to the building’s history with framed black and white photos from Purdy’s past. One of the images shows the interior of the building when it housed a soda fountain in the 1950s.

“We love this old building, and we wanted to pay tribute to its history,” said Pam. “It just feels like the Utopian Bean was meant to be here.”

The Folands plan to offer delicious coffee and a menu that will appeal to all appetites. “Hardy” is how Patrick describes the sandwiches the Utopian Bean will be serving. And Pam adds that the menu will also include lighter fare such as chicken salad on a crossaint. Breakfast will be served in the mornings with menu items ranging from homemade cinnamon rolls to breakfast burritos.

Specials will keep the menu fresh, and there are plans to hold spaghetti nights or steak nights on evenings throughout the year as well as occasional street parties with outside music, dancing and food.

The Folands would also like the Utopian Bean to become a venue where local musicians can play on a regular basis. Anyone interested in playing in front of a crowd can contact Patrick through the Utopian Bean’s Facebook page or by calling the business at 417-442-3014 .

The Utopian Bean will initially be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.

Originally printed by the Monett Times and used by permission. (http://www.monett-times.com/story/1726541.html)


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