“As a downtown business owner, I welcome any effort to increase visitors, bring more life to our urban footprint and provide new affordable food options. It’s frustrating when I hear people claim that Greensboro will never be a city like Asheville, Durham or Portland. I don’t think we should be! I think we should strive to create our own compact, unique and hip version of ourselves.
I believe that downtown Greensboro is a place for everyone. It’s a core value of the Green Bean and I think it’s a big reason why our business is thriving. With that said, business breeds business. Combining our community’s strengths and sharing good food will only make our city more fertile for new development, inclusive and booming with awesomeness. Let’s roll ’em in.”
Katie Southard is the owner of The Green Bean coffee shop in Downtown Greensboro. Katie graduated from UNCG in 2002 with a degree in Museum Studies. After graduation, Katie helped open The Green Bean with Pete Schroth, the former owner. Together they envisioned a space downtown that could cater towards a diverse audience and be a flexible venue for art exhibitions, community and business meetings, and entertainment. The Green Bean was a pioneer business opening during the early stages of downtown revitalization. After managing the Green Bean from 2002 to 2008, Katie purchased the business from Schroth in January 2009 and has grown the business to new levels.
The Green Bean is unique because of it attracts business steadily from early morning to late at night. The space transforms from a coffee shop to an indie concert venue to a “meet up” sewing classroom seamlessly. It is a place of welcome to all walks of life providing community meeting space for civic groups and wifi for students, creatives and entrepreneurs at no cost. The diversity of their cliental should be a model for the Greensboro business community. Their walls change monthly – supplying space for local artists to showcase and sell work. They help raise awareness and funds for noteworthy and relevant causes from international “thousands of cranes for Japan” to the local Greensboro Roller Derby. And that doesn’t even speak to their product – in respect to the environment, The Green Bean exclusively sells free trade “shade grown” coffee.
You can find Katie in the Green Bean almost every morning talking to the downtown community about current events and downtown gossip. Stop by and chat with her about her vision for food trucks downtown!