By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Sep 12, 2017 at 3:02 PM

What is it you look for in a coffee shop? A relaxed vibe? Great coffee? Something to nibble? A quiet space to read a book or get work done?

Those are all things JoAnn and Rob Hausknecht hope to bring to Full of Beans Cafe, a coffee shop opening later this fall at 184 S. 2nd St. in the newly renovated Mabbett and Breeds building of Walker's Point.

JoAnn says she’s dreamed of owning her own coffee shop since she experienced her first "real" cappuccino at a cafe in Stevens Point during her college years. But it wasn’t until two years ago that she decided to take the leap. She quit her day job as a school librarian, availed herself of the business resources through the Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corp., and begin searching for the perfect location.

"Coffee shops are where I most enjoy being," she says. "It’s a similar reason to why I became a librarian; I loved being in the library, around all the books. There’s a bit of a ritual to the experience of making coffee or tea, and when you go into a coffee shop, you’re really part of that, and part of this community of people who feel the same."

The name of the cafe, she says, was inspired by the Hausknecht’s cat, Hobbes.

"Like many cats, he occasionally gets this burst of energy and just runs around the house for no reason at all," she says. "One day I found myself commenting: ‘Hobbes is full of beans!’ And the name stuck. It really captures the spirit and spunk we hope to bring to the cafe."

Full of Beans Cafe will offer an intimate, comfortable space sporting decor incorporating deep jewel tones set against Cream City brick walls, along with seating for about 25.

In addition to a full coffee program, sporting coffee and espresso drinks made with Stone Creek Coffee, the cafe will also offer a variety of food items, including grab-and-go sandwiches and panini.

JoAnn, a passionate baker, says the cafe will also feature a kitchen where she’ll create a daily selection of house-made baked goods, such as apple pie, chocolate chip cookies, blueberry muffins and cinnamon rolls.

She also hopes to secure liquor licensure so that she can offer both bottled wine and beer to folks who’d like to visit the cafe during evening hours.

"We’re envisioning a place where residents can pick up their coffee in the morning, work during the day, grab a glass of wine after work at night and maybe even dessert a bit later," she says.

On Saturday evenings, the hope is that the cafe will function as a space for various events, including book clubs and cafe-hosted "Coffee and Crafting" nights.

"We’re going to try not to take ourselves too seriously," she says. "Our aim will be to do the coffee justice. But there’s this real focus on being a gathering place. We really envision this as a place to meet with friends, and to meet new friends."

Once completed, Full of Beans Cafe plans to be open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, visit Full of Beans Cafe on the web or follow them on Facebook.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.