Paige Mills and Noah Martin are two people who take just as much care and consideration to each other as they do to their coffee and customers.
Together, they own and manage The Salty Bean Coffee Company, a mobile coffeehouse that serves organic coffee across Brevard County, as well as the United States.
The couple began their mobile enterprise in 2016 and have traveled around the country promoting their unique, bohemian coffee to enthusiasts.
Mr. Martin, 29, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, graduated from James Madison University with an undergraduate degree in Directed Interdisciplinary Studies and a Masters in Education.
Mr. Martin has always had a nomadic, independent spirit. He took on various teaching jobs before packing his bags, driving three thousand miles, and venturing to California without a job.
He took on other teaching jobs, but a melanoma on his foot gave him a new outlook on life; one that focused on pursuing passions over security and practicality.
Conversely, Ms. Mills hails from Keene, New Hampshire, where the conception of Salty Bean Coffee Co. began. The very first conversation involved selling smoothies on the beach, which appeals to both their personalities. Although the beverage choice changed, the mobility of distributing it didn’t and Ms. Mills and Mr. Martin continue to use beach farms market like the Satellite Beach Farmers Market.
For two people with peripatetic souls, they’ve established themselves well here in Brevard County. Mr. Martin and Ms. Mills passionately talk to customers with genuine interest and calming graciousness. The van also allows them to do something they earnestly enjoy, meeting new people.
“It was just a matter of what vehicle. It was always intended to be mobile,” Mr. Martin said.
The van, a 1995 Ford Econoline, is dubbed “The Black Pearl.”
One of Salty Bean Coffee Co. mantras is “Organic. Purpose Driven. On the Road.”
Mr. Martin was teaching fourth grade in Southern California while Ms. Mills was teaching track and field. They had read of a similar business venture from a man in Colorado who sold coffee out of a VW van. This inspired the two to build Salty Bean Coffee out of their commonalities and ability to work together on a shared passion.
“Right out the gate it was always mobile and then it became what kind of vehicle, where to travel, what states work best,” Mr. Martin said. “Being mobile, organic and coffee were the big parts of the equation.
“That idea came to us two years ago,” Mrs. Mills added.
Salty Bean Coffee Company formed its LLC in July of 2017 and served its first cup of coffee last October.
“Travel and sticking to the open road was always part of the plan but we’ve also been very purposeful,” Ms. Mills said. “We wanted to launch the business in my home town of Keene. I’m a big part of the running community there and that helped establish our name and advertise.
“Runners are always so grateful and psyched there’s coffee at the races,” Ms. Mills continued.
Salty Bean Coffee Co., was also a presence at the local Cocoa Triathlon in April of this year.
“It’s been a pleasant surprise of how nice and welcoming and open this community has been,” Mr. Martin said.
The duo also attends various races on the weekends; handing out free coffee to runners.
Katlain Donner, owner of New Wave Physical Therapy in Suntree, has known Mr. Martin and Ms. Mills for the two months they’ve been in Brevard County. She is also an active runner.
“It’s really amazing to see what they’ve done in such a short amount of time,” Mrs. Donner said. “They’ve really embraced our community like their own and I’ve lived here my whole life.”
Mrs. Donner sees the Salty Bean Coffee Company as a matchless novelty with a warm and neighborly aspect. They just happen to serve an iced coffee she likes.
“It’s really more about the people than the coffee,” Mrs. Donner said. “They really take an interest in who they’re serving and take an active interest in the community where they’re serving as opposed to just serving coffee out of a van.”
Equally unique in its distribution is the process behind Salty Beans organically grown coffee. The coffee itself is made in White Mountains, New Hampshire.
“We came up with our own blend for what we were looking at, what was for us organic and sustainable; something that makes a positive impact on the global community,” Mr. Martin said. “We worked with importers to make sure that workers were paid sustainable wages.”
The coffee beans are imported from Peru and Honduras where they are roasted in small warehouse in White Mountains in small batches. The importance of where and how the coffee develops is an important element to Ms. Mills and Mr. Martin, who dedicate a bulk of the businesses work into fresh and eco-friendly ingredients.
As their mobile enterprise steers itself along, Mr. Martin and Ms. Mills appreciate the joys of doing what you love.
“Sometimes we have to pinch ourselves and think Is this real’?” Ms. Mills said.
Throughout the ups and downs, they still consider it a pleasure and service over what could be the typical priorities and responsibilities of a job.
With very few people given the opportunity to work in a field that provides them with effortless happiness, the owners of the Salty Bean Coffee Company recognize the fortune in it.
“It hasn’t come overnight, but it’s a good feeling that it is officially our full-time job,” Mr. Martin said.
The couple also have a YouTube channel showcasing videos of stories from the road, events, and various aspects of their lives and company. Their online store also offers several products from coffee bags, running apparel, and handmade mugs.
Salty Bean Coffee Co. can be found at the Rockledge Gardens Farmers Market every Wednesday at 2153 Rockledge Blvd.
They also set up shop at the Satellite Beach Farmers Market every Thursday located in Pelican Park at 1525 Highway A1A, Satellite Beach.
For more information on products and services visit www.saltybeancoffeeco.com/or call (603) 762-6601
BY Josh Whitener
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