“My husband, John, and I had considered starting a coffee shop for many years, but the timing was never quite right for us to take the risk,” says Jill Ballenger. John, a professor at MVNU, and Jill, who was in sales, were happy to raise their 2 kids in the Mount Vernon community. They were frequent customers and big cheerleaders of the local coffee shop, Happy Bean. Through a chance conversation and perfect timing, their dreams came true in fall of 2017 when the current owners were interested in selling and the Ballengers were interested in buying the successful coffee shop in the Mount Vernon Nazarene University building on South Main Street.
Even though they are located in MVNU’s Hunter Hall building, “we are here for the community, and we are open year-round for everyone to enjoy!” Happy Bean serves premium specialty coffee, tea, and homemade hot chocolate. There is a selection of muffins, scones, and pastries with gluten-free items on the menu made by a local resident using local ingredients.
“Our goal is to do our best to ensure each person knows they are valued and we strive to offer the highest quality product in an environment where they can relax, chat, and enjoy their drink,” says Jill. “We look forward to being involved in the upcoming community events and organizations. Our passion is to be able to serve Knox County in a variety of ways.” Jill and the staff at Happy Bean thoroughly enjoy seeing familiar faces walk through the door and knowing that they are contributing to a thriving downtown community. #brewhope