• Thu. Sep 22nd, 2022

First Z Beans Coffee franchise opens in Warner Robins, GA

ByStephanie M. Akbar

Aug 20, 2022

Sally and Gus Lempsink, along with their son, Andrew Wilson, are opening a cafe at Warner Robins that will offer coffee and Ecuadorian cuisine.

Originally from Ecuador, Sally had dreamed of opening a cafe for years.

In December, she entered a Z Beans Coffee shopping in downtown Macon and discovered the same Ecuadorian coffee her husband had purchased from Deep River Outfitters years earlier.

“I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is the shop,'” Lempsink said. “The coffee is phenomenal.”

She knew then that she wanted to bring a Z Beans coffee to Warner Robins.

“It was good,” Lempsink said.

She went to the Z Beans Coffee website and found an email address. She spent hours writing the email. She wanted the words to be right.

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Left to right, Gus and Sally Lempsink and their son, Andrew Wilson, outside their new cafe at Warner Robins across from Robins Air Force Base. The cafe is expected to open in mid-October. Becky Provider The Telegraph

Links to Mercer University

When Z Beans Coffee founder and Mercer University alumnus Shane Buerster read his email, he was immediately intrigued.

In 2016, Buerster took a Mercer on Mission trip with other students to Zaruma, Ecuador, to determine if coffee farming would be a viable economic alternative for mining communities in the El Oro region to support themselves. .

This pivotal trip and a friendship forged with travel guide Arturo Penarretta Romero led Buerster to first give Ecuadorian coffee to friends, then roast the coffee to sell using popcorn during his trips. studies.

Of those humble beginnings, Z Beans Coffee now has eight stores, three of which are planned, including Warner Robins. The coffee bags feature a photo of the Ecuadorian farmer who grows the coffee beans.

The “Z” in the company name stands for Zaruma.

The Z Beans coffee roaster is in the basement of the Lofts at Silver on Third Street in downtown Macon and the green coffee storage facility is in the old Moate Produce Co. building at 473 Hawthorne St.

In addition to coffees from all over Ecuador, Z Beans Coffee offers tea and chocolate from its factory, The Chocolate Factory, founded in Zaruma in January 2020.

Helping farmers in his homeland appealed to Lempsink.

“Ecuador has great coffee,” she said. “We hope to show that while providing a gathering place for people to relax and make friends.”

Founder of Z Beans.jpg
Z Beans Coffee Founder and Mercer University graduate Shane Buerster talks about the uniqueness of the Warner Robins location soon to open as the first franchise for Z Beans Coffee and offering Ecuadorian food in addition to the regular menu from Z Beans. Today, there are eight Z Beans cafes with three in the works, including the Warner Robins location. Becky Provider [email protected]

Ties with Ecuador

Z Beans Coffee by Warner Robins is unique in that it will be Z Beans Coffee’s first franchise and will offer Ecuadorian breakfast and lunch dishes in addition to Z Beans Coffee’s regular menu.

Lempsink will take care of the business side of their family franchise cafe. Wilson, who holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Middle Georgia State University, will help with both the business side and the kitchen.

Wilson is developing Ecuadorian breakfast and lunch options, including “doggy fries.”

Dog fries, known as salchipapas in Ecuador, are a platter of cut fries and hot dog sausages with homemade sauce layered on top, Wilson said.

Doggy Fries from the Z Beans franchise will open in WR.jpg
Known as salchipapas in Ecuador, these “doggy fries” are a platter of cut fries and hot dog sausages with homemade sauce layered on top. Courtesy of Z Beans Coffee, Warner Robins

Wilson also plans to serve plantain poppers, or bolon de verde as they’re called in Ecuador. Plantain poppers are mashed plantains mixed with spices and chopped bacon that are formed into balls, filled with cheese and then baked until crispy, he said.

Wilson said he learned to cook in college.

“I was a broke student and needed to eat,” he said.

Z Beans' Plantain Poppers franchise will open at Warner Robins.jpg
Plantain poppers, or bolon de verde as they are called in Ecuador. Plantain poppers are mashed plantains mixed with spices and chopped bacon that are formed into balls, filled with cheese and then baked in the oven until crispy. Courtesy of Z Beans Coffee, Warner Robins

Beginners

As new cafe owners, Gus Lempsink said they would rely heavily on Buerster’s expertise.

Lempsink, a chemical engineer for Thiele Kaolin Company in Sandersville, said he would help wherever needed at the cafe, including washing up.

Sally Lempsink, known to friends and family by an abbreviated version of her middle name Salome, plans to continue teach spanish to Veterans High School in Kathleen. She will work in the cafe after school and when school is not in session.

“Since I was little, my name has been Sally,” said Lempsink, who has been teaching for 17 years.

Running a cafe was not on Wilson’s radar when he graduated from college. In fact, he’s not a coffee drinker. Ironically, like Wilson, Buerster didn’t drink coffee when he started selling coffee.

Wilson said his mother’s passion for coffee convinced him “to throw my hat in the ring”. He also likes the idea of ​​“not sitting behind a desk” while putting his college degree into practice.

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A Warner Robins family opens the first Z Beans Coffee franchise at 102 South Armed Forces Blvd. at Warner Robins in the former location of Martin’s BBQ across from Robins Air Force Base. They will also serve Ecuadorian breakfast and lunch options in addition to the regular Z Beans cafe menu. Jason Vorhees The telegraph

Location, location, location

After visiting several locations, the family chose 102 South Armed Forces Blvd., Martin’s former barbecue spot, for their coffee.

The place is across from Robins Air Force Base, near the Warner Robins Police Department, and on the same street as My Grandma’s Empanadas and Gregg’s 2.0 Mexican Restaurant.

Gus and Sally Lempsink, who live in Warner Robins, celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary on Thursday. The family hopes to open Z Beans Coffee in mid-October with hours to be determined.

“It’s exciting,” she said. “It’s scary. I think we have a lot to learn and a lot to offer the community.

20220817_Z-Beans_048_jv.jpg
A Warner Robins family opens the first Z Beans Coffee franchise at 102 South Armed Forces Blvd. at Warner Robins in the former location of Martin’s BBQ across from Robins Air Force Base. They will also serve Ecuadorian breakfast and lunch options in addition to the regular Z Beans cafe menu. Jason Vorhees The telegraph

Related stories from Macon Telegraph

Becky Purser covers economic news, having returned to central Georgia in 2000. She has also covered crime and the courts primarily in Houston and Peach counties for The Telegraph. She also covered local government for The Daily Sun when it was a Warner Robins daily, for the Kingsport Times-News in Tennessee, and for the Bristol Herald Courier in Virginia. She graduated from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville with a bachelor’s degree in communications.
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