Did you know there’s a place where you can enjoy a hot cup of coffee and shop for one-of-a-kind items at the same time? In this episode of Homegrown, I’m going to take you to Naomi & Olive and Bird & Bean Coffee House, two local businesses right here in Dothan, Alabama. We’ll chat with owner Christy Keyton to learn all about the treats and gifts she offers Dothan residents.
Meet Christy Keyton
Christy Keyton is the owner of Naomi & Olive and Bird & Bean Coffee House right here in downtown Dothan. She opened Naomi & Olive six years ago, with the store celebrating its anniversary in July.
The shop’s moniker comes from Christy’s grandmothers, both special women that influenced her style and thinking. They also passed their creativity down to her, something you can see in the unique products she offers. The Bird & Bean Coffee House was opened two years later, with the businesses connected.
Christy has always been in sales and she’s always been an entrepreneur. She used to have three booths at three different antique malls—one in the same building where Naomi & Olive now occupies. When the owner decided to retire, Christy bought the building from her and consolidated all of her businesses into one location.
Both sides of the business continue to grow in downtown Dothan. The storefront offers so many cute items and unique finds, while the Bird & Bean provides study space for students and anyone looking for a pick-me-up.
While the business is growing, some of Christy’s plans had to be put on hold. Like any other business, they’ve been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The company’s plans to expand online will have to wait for now, as everyone is still trying to recover from all the issues with the pandemic—including periods where they were closed and people being sick.
Overall, though, Christy feels they’ve been very blessed to have a good year. She’s excited about the fall selling season, especially as people are getting out and shopping again. There are also some new businesses opening downtown, an exciting prospect for more foot traffic.
Growing And Learning
Christy is also part of the Chamber of Commerce in Dothan, which has been helpful in growing her business. They offer workshops and other programs; recently, Christy’s manager at the coffee shop attended a social media event owned by the Chamber of Commerce that was very helpful. Since the company is trying to expand its social media presence, they learned some great tips.
The Chamber is also great for advertising. They even had a ribbon-cutting ceremony when they opened both of the shops. The Chamber is so involved in the community and is very supportive, which is the perfect environment for small business owners and entrepreneurs to grow.
Christy’s advice to those wishing to own their own small business is to do what your heart is into. While she’s been in sales her whole life, she can never sell a product that she doesn’t believe in. She frequently tells people that there is nothing in her shop that she wouldn’t take to her house and enjoy. So if you find something that you can believe in and something that's easy for you to sell, follow your heart, have a good business plan, and go for it. Downtown Dothan has a great vibe and supportive businesses, making it the perfect option for selling locally.
Bird & Bean Coffee House
While there’s a lot of great coffee available in Dothan, Bird & Bean was one of the only coffee shops on this side of town when they first opened. Christy spent a lot of time doing research on where they wanted to source their coffee from. They chose a company out of Ohio called Crimson Cup.
Crimson Cup is known for their award-winning coffee. In 2016, they won an award from Roast Magazine, the industry-wide magazine for coffee, called the Macro Roaster of the Year award. Last year, they also won the Golden Bean award—the top award at a nationwide event that’s like the Olympics of coffee.
Along with award-winning coffee, Christy strives to create a comfortable, cozy setting at Bird & Bean. Their offerings include pour-over and nitro coffee for those with more refined tastes along with sweet treats. A local baker makes all of their food in-house, including a delicious version of the classic Pop-Tart.
Enjoy Downtown Dothan
As you can see, downtown Dothan offers a variety of great local businesses. Make sure you come and support Christy by grabbing a special item at Naomi & Olive and a cup of coffee at Bird & Bean. It’s a great way to support locally-owned businesses right here in our community.
If you have any questions about Dothan or local real estate, feel free to reach out to me and I’ll be happy to help. You can also subscribe to my channel so you never miss an episode of Homegrown. Stay tuned to see what I feature next!