Beans & Steams Coffee House wins 2020 Cheyenne County Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Customer Service Award
Pat and Sharell Keane of Sidney, Nebraska opened their coffee shop, Beans & Steams Coffee House, in December of 2019 — just a few months before the world closed down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For small business owners, 2020 would prove to be one of the toughest challenges they’d ever worked to overcome.
Fast forward to May of 2021, however, and you’ll find Beans & Steams as the winner of the 2020 Cheyenne County Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Customer Service Award. How did such a new business not only survive such a tough year, but also come out on top?
Co-owner Pat Keane credits their success to a “community-first” philosophy. Beans & Steams is a labor of love for him and his wife, Sharell. They saw a space to be filled in the city of Sidney — both in the form of a high-quality coffee house that serves a variety of treats and drinks, and as a place for residents to gather together as a community over a cup of Joe.
When it comes to customer service, Pat says, “It’s really about greeting the customer. We teach our team that, every time they hear that door open, they say ‘Hey, how are you guys?’ We want them to look them in the eye, and greet them. Thank them when they leave, and try hard to have a personal conversation in between, whether they know them or not.”
In addition to a friendly, personal atmosphere, Beans & Steams also prioritizes product quality. Baristas at the coffee house time their espresso shots manually in order to counteract changes in weather, humidity, and atmospheric pressure.
“Quality — consistency and quality of product has to be a package deal. You pay extra for good products, try hard to keep things in stock, and keep quality control high,” said Keane.
Another facet of business ownership that the Keanes uphold is leading their team by example. They believe their team is just as important as the customer, and that you always “Work as hard or harder in order to lead by example.”
During the pandemic, their ability to perform a lot of their customer-service-based tactics was limited. But, by leading with the community as their priority, Beans & Steams laid their foundation for success.
“The community absolutely stepped up,” Pat said. “Generous tips, multiple trips. There was a month or two that was scary for us, but the community rallied, and then travel season came, and business just kept climbing.”
GROW Nebraska welcomed Beans & Steams as a new member in 2020, and is happy to congratulate the Keanes and their team on a job well done in such a stressful, difficult year!
GROW Nebraska was funded through the USDA Rural Development to work with the communities of Alliance, McCook and Sidney to provide digital pivoting training. Beans and Steams Coffee is a member of GROW Nebraska thanks to this partnership.
Story by Lauren Bonk, owner of the Curtain and Pen Copywriting Services, a GROW Nebraska member. Lauren hails from Kearney, NE, where she works as a freelance copywriter for small businesses, startups, and even larger corporate entities in need of professionally-written marketing content for their businesses and organizations.