As the nation grapples with the creeping effects of inflation, the first to feel it in a community are often small business owners. With supply chain issues and steadily rising fuel prices, local businesses have had to get creative and find ways to persist as society adjusts to the new normal in an age of scarcity. .
One local business that has persevered through these uncertain times is Broadway Bean & Bagel, which has been a main street staple in Minot since opening as Bagel Stop & Deli in 1995.
“My mother was a farm woman, so the pot was always on. It gave a sense of community, and that’s where my love for coffee started,” said Broadway Bean owner Dan Boyce. “When this place came up for sale, we definitely jumped on it because it’s something we’ve always wanted to do. We’ve grown and grown and grown over the past 11 years.
Dan Boyce purchased the business after the 2011 flood, rebranded it to its current name, and made various upgrades and additions over the years to maintain a position in the ever-expanding and competitive coffee scene in the magic city.
“We have customers who have been coming here for twenty years. We also tried to accommodate new customers, as when they opened this place there were only one or two small cafes here in town, so we definitely stood the test of time. ” Boyce said.
Thanks to upgrades like the 25-pound San Francisco coffee roaster, drive-thru and even an app, Broadway Bean has been able to ride through the COVID-19 pandemic without stopping. While his loyal customers continue to turn up day after day for their daily doses of espresso and bagel sandwiches, the realities of inflation, lightweight delivery trucks and the sticker shock that comes with it have forced Boyce to make sacrifices to maintain the business. .
“There have been so many shortages, from coffee syrups to staples like cheese, ham and turkey. Most of the time when I have to order, I usually keep about a week or two of stock because I don’t know if next week we can get it or not”, Boyce said.
“From the time I first heard about the cream cheese shortage, it probably took a good two months before it really affected us. We tried to stay one step ahead. There were times when we missed out but were able to run to Bismarck and get the cream cheese for the week,” Boyce continued.
Even though supplies are on the truck, rising fuel prices and supply chain outages are making it difficult to break even.
“We haven’t changed our menu or our prices since 2014. There were several months where we didn’t really make a profit just because it was all going to the distributor,” Boyce said.
To right the ship, Boyce has had to raise prices and slightly reduce menu options to make up for shortfalls created by the current crisis. While her customers were sad to see Broadway Bean closed on Monday, they were ready to adapt along with their favorite store.
“Our business on Tuesday almost immediately increased in sales, so it actually leveled off,” Boyce said.
Boyce uses the day off to accommodate and acquire missing products from his weekly deliveries. While some of the cream cheese options were among the casualties, Boyce said they would make a comeback as seasonal features.
Broadway Bean & Bagel’s outlook is optimistic as summer approaches, and Boyce plans to devote more time to his roaster, which he affectionately calls “Jane”, after fiery Hollywood diva Joan Crawford. Even with the prospect of high prices and fuel demand, customers are still flocking for their favorite beer.
“People have proven themselves when it comes to their coffee. One way or another, they’re going to get it,” Boyce said.