SAN ANGELO – On Thursday, the Bearded Barista celebrated its official ribbon-cutting as the 1,000th business to form a part of the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce. The coffee shop offers patrons the chance to taste freshly roasted brew in a welcoming environment.
Owners Kim and Nat Turney shared their vision of the experience they wanted their customers to have when they visit the shop.
"I am passionate about coffee, I love people, and so we really conceived of this place as equal parts community center and coffee shop," said Nat. "In a place like this, we can create space for people to connect meaningfully with each other."
The Turney family first came to San Angelo after Nat was stationed at Goodfellow Airforce Base in 2001 and remained in the city since his retirement from active duty in 2006.
"San Angelo became home," said Turney. "It's been a great place to raise a family."
After years of teaching and working in the oil field, the Turneys decided to make the dream of owning a coffee shop a reality.
"Always in the back of our minds, we thought this would be fun. We love coffee, we love food, we love people, we love the community, so the plan was always to do something like this," said Turney. "I've been roasting coffee for a long time, and so when the opportunity arose we just took it."
The Bearded Barista offers patrons freshly roasted coffee that is sourced and roasted by Nat. A wide variety of drinks, food, and baked foods form part of the menu.
The plethora of menu items can be enjoyed in the comfy couches and oversized chairs that can be found all over the shop.
Visitors will also see whiskey barrels all around the store that serve two purposes. In addition to being part of the beautiful decoration, the barrels are also part of a whiskey-barrel-aging process that will be served at the store for a unique taste. A bourbon-infused cold brew and a cold-brew liquor are also in the works for The Bearded Barista.
The coffee shop is also partnering with a chocolatier in Fresidkerburg to create coffee-infused chocolate.
The effort to bring San Angelo a unique experience is a family effort as Kim and Nat's daughter, Alayna, is also part of the team. Alayna is the coffee shop's manager and the graphic designer behind the Bearded Barista brand.
The Bearded Barista also offers live music on Fridays, open mike on Saturdays, and a church service every Sunday at 10:00 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays are also BYOB at the coffee shop for beer and wine.
The Bearded Barista is family-friendly, offers discounts to ASU students, military, and teachers.
"I want people to feel welcomed and I want them to feel like they are home," said Turney. "I wanted a place where people didn't feel like they have to move along and have a hard time leaving."