By Max Sullivan
Hampton Union, July 14, 2015
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON - Heidi Conlin has dreamed of entering the food service industry for the past 25 years.
Two weeks ago, she made the dream a reality with Breaking Bean Coffee Company, a new coffee shop in downtown Hampton.
Conlin and her close friend Jenn Blankenship opened the shop at 3 High Street on June 26.
The shop serves drip coffee and espresso drinks, provided by roaster Speedwell Coffee in Plymouth, Mass. They also sell pastries from Bread and Roses Bakery in Ogunquit, Maine, which are shipped in daily to the shop.
By the fall, Conlin and Blankenship hope to have paninis, but for now patrons can enjoy sandwich-type pastries like a toasted croissant with feta cheese and spinach.
The shop also offers a specialty nitro coffee, a cold brew poured from a tap out of a Kegerator. Relatively new in the coffee world, the coffee has a similar texture to a stout, Blankenship said.
“Especially beer drinkers, we’re finding… they’re fascinated with the idea,” Blankenship said. “I’m a beer drinker, so I said, ‘Yep, coffee on tap, I’m there. Let’s make it happen.’”
Conlin said she got the idea from a YouTube channel made by a coffee brewer in Washington. Additionally, Derek Anderson, owner of Speedwell Coffee, also told her that nitro coffee would be a great idea.
“I said, ‘I just saw that,’ and (Anderson) said, ‘people are going to love this,’” Conlin said.
Conlin’s inspiration is her uncle, Wally Bragg, who opened Memories Ice Cream in Kingston in 1992. She admired how hard he worked to open the shop and make it the successful summer staple that it is today.
“He had a dream, and I was in awe of him,” Conlin said.
In 2010, Conlin worked with Blankenship on their first attempt together, selling burgers out of a food truck in Hampton. The truck business was never approved by the town, though, and the burger idea was shelved.
Then, earlier this year, Conlin found the space at 3 High Street. She told Blankenship she loved the idea of having a coffee shop, and this time approval was granted, she said.
Opening day was a success, they said. The small space was packed with 12 people at one time that morning, Blankenship said, which was “exciting.”
Part of their vision is to use the eatery to help Hampton’s downtown become more pedestrian friendly.
“We just knew we wanted something in downtown Hampton,” Blankenship said. “We wanted Hampton to be beautiful. We were in love with Newburyport, Amesbury, Exeter, which are great walking communities, and we wanted a walking community, and Hampton’s a great town.”
Hours are 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and closed on Sunday for now, but Blankenship said they hope to expand to later in the afternoon and open on Sunday.