JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Anticipation for the opening of Patriot Popcorn and Brewrista and the Bean had been building for Ashlee Budds. Outside the tiny store Thursday morning, white chocolate latte in hand, Budds said her first experience on opening day didn’t disappoint.
Drawn by social media buzz, patrons packed the location at the corner of North Roan Street and State of Franklin Road as co-owners Mike and John Brady dished out a variety of sweet and savory popcorns and Brewrista and the Bean owner Abigail Myers served up coffee.
“It’s awesome,” Budds said. “The stuff’s great, Abby was super nice. I didn’t get the popcorn guy’s name, but he was really nice.”
She said she and her two kids had been eyeing the storefront for weeks waiting for the business to open.
“I started following Abby’s Facebook stuff online,” Budds said. “I was aware when they were opening, so we scouted them out.”
John Brady said Johnson City had been “more than welcoming” as the brothers worked to relocate their veteran-owned business from the Greater Chicago area.
“It’s truly a breathtaking area,” he said while taking a 90-second break from serving customers. “Everybody is so beyond kind.”
Brady said people have responded overwhelmingly since hearing about the company’s mission of donating a portion of profits to veterans, active military, first responders and child abuse prevention. “People were talking all about who we need to start networking with and reach out to to help.”
The company sells the bulk of its 80-plus flavors through online sales, but Brady said walk-in traffic was keeping him busy Thursday morning.
“It’s been keeping me going between cooking and mixing our different savories and spices. Ever since 7 o’clock, we’ve had some folks we’ve been interacting with since we moved down here. They’ve been in first right off the bat.”
Brewrista and the Bean LLC’s website says they will offer traditional coffee beverages such as espresso, americano, latte and cappuccino drinks.
The new coffee store will also offer a selection of cold brew coffee drinks and non-caffeinated beverages.
Brewrista and the Bean LLC listed on its Facebook page that they will be open Monday-Friday from 5 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. and on Sunday from 8 a.m.- 2 p.m.
Patriot Popcorn Company will serve customers with a wide selection of gourmet popcorn that ranges from flavors listed on its website like caramel apple, root beer, french vanilla and even a star-spangled banner flavor.
The popcorn store will open Monday from 1-6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. while they will close on Sunday.