Brenda’s Beanery coffee shop under new management


GREENVILLE — Brenda’s Beanery, a downtown staple for nearly six years, will be operating under new management beginning Friday, September 1.

The popular coffee shop has been purchased by John and Louisa Kennedy, the owners of Kennedy Vineyard in New Madison, according to Brenda Stump, the shop’s current owner. Stump and many of her employees will remain on staff following the transition.

“They’re super nice people,” Stump said of the establishment’s new owners. “And I think it’s a blessing that my staff gets to stay, and that I get to stay, and that nobody has to lose their job.”

The impending closure of the Beanery was announced on the store’s Facebook page earlier in the week, but a later post revealed that the shop will remain open under new management. Stump indicated that keeping the shop’s current staff will be a benefit to the new owners, as well as to the store’s employees and customers.

“It takes time to learn how to do everything in a place like this,” Stump said. “How to make the drinks, and run the espresso machine, and so on. Plus we all have our favorite clients – my employees know people, and I know people.”

Louisa Kennedy said that the deal for she and her husband to purchase the Beanery came together quickly.

“John and I go to Brenda’s a lot,” Kennedy said. “We love the coffee there. It was shocking to everybody to find out they were gonna close last week. So John called Brenda and talked to her, and the next thing I knew we were buying the Beanery!”

She and her husband have been long-time patrons of the Beanery, according to Kennedy, mostly because of the things that make the shop unique.

“Brenda’s is the only place downtown that sells coffee beans,” Kennedy said. “They use one of the top roasters in the country, and all the food there is made fresh and in-house.”

The Kennedys have big plans for the shop, including attracting younger patrons by improving wi-fi reception and establishing a more comfortable, laid-back seating area on the shop’s largely unused upstairs floor, a space that will include couches, games, and other amenities. They also plan to bring in new food selections, including products from a local chocolatier.

“We want to make the place a little more comfortable for people to come in and hang out,” Kennedy said. “Brenda has a great business there, so we’re just making little changes to update things a bit and take it forward to the next level.”

Above all, said Kennedy, her husband and Mike Trask, a friend who will be joining them in their new business venture, are locals who love the area, and hate to see downtown businesses close.

“The Visitors Bureau and others are really trying to boost Greenville,” said Kennedy. “So to see a downtown business close is just sad.”

While the name of the establishment will be changed eventually, for the immediate future patrons can expect much about Brenda’s to remain the same.

“We want the regular people who come in to know that we’re keeping the friendly faces and the good food,” Kennedy said. “Everyone we’ve told has been super happy to hear that the Beanery is staying open.”

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The Beanery will be under new management starting September 1. Beanery will be under new management starting September 1. Tony Baker | The Daily Advocate

By Tony Baker

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The writer may be reached at 937-569-4315. To join the conversation and get updates on Facebook, search Advocate360. For more features online, go to

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