New coffee shop opens in downtown Berlin

New coffee shop opens in downtown Berlin

reporter photo

The owner of Cafe Busy Bean in Berlin has faith in customers.

"I believe that people have taste … (you) just have to give them the right high quality product," said Tigran Hovhannisyan, who opened the cafe at 355 Main St. on Feb. 4.

The cafe offers coffee sourced by speciality coffee roaster La Colombe in Philadelphia, ice cream made by Shady Glen in Manchester and baked goods, including crepes and baklava. He had to refill the pastry case three times on a recent day.

Hovhannisyan previously ran Cafe Sofia in West Hartford. His Berlin customers often urged him to open a cafe in his hometown.

Busy Bean could draw customers to downtown as the town is engaged in revitalization efforts in the area, said Economic Development Director Chris Edge.

The town is planning to use state grants to build sidewalks to allow pedestrians to walk from the high school to Main Street and Farmington Avenue, where there is an ongoing effort to develop a shopping center next to the new train station.

“With Tigran being a Berlin guy, it’s even better,” Edge said.

The opening capped two-and-a-half years of work to get the cafe up and running, with equipment failures and difficulties hiring workers causing delays.

It appeared poised to open in September, however the refrigerator broke and employees who were being trained found employment elsewhere while it was being repaired over the course of four months. The ice cream case also failed and needed to be replaced and incorrect light fixtures were shipped twice.

"It took me about three and a half months until those lights came in,” Hovhannisyan said.

“He had zero luck with equipment,” Edge said. “I think people were unsure if it was ever going to happen.”

Hovhannisyan is already considering expanding hours and hiring more workers, up to 10 employees in total. 

The cafe is currently open from noon to 10 p.m. Once more workers have been trained he intends to open from 6 a.m. to between 10 and 11 p.m.
Twitter: @leith_yessian


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