California Lutheran University is home to all sorts of food vendors, so it’s not hard to find a decent thing to grub on. However, if a Cal Lutheran student is willing and able to take a stroll down Moorpark Road, they might find a special corner of coffee paradise.
Owner and founder of Bean Crazy, Steve Low, has been caffeinating Thousand Oaks for years and continues to reinvigorate its menu with modern products.
Its need for being competitive relies mostly on the coffee shops it finds itself surrounded by. Peet’s, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and Starbucks have a large following when it comes to its fans and because of that, Low is bent on making a name for himself and his coffee shop.
“We try to set ourselves apart by not selling mass produced coffee and source beans from 13 different countries. We use proprietary roasting recipes, everything is roasted locally and we know our customers can taste the difference,” Low said.
With this business model in mind, one must think the clientele would be diverse, caffeine loving patrons who just enjoy a thoughtfully made cup of coffee.
Low said he is in the process of shifting to a younger demographic, people who really appreciate a thoughtfully made cup of coffee.
With this, Bean Crazy makes its own in-house syrups in addition to the local roasting, moving from the conventional style of drip coffee to pour- overs that give way to Instagram moments of pure latte art bliss.
“We take a lot of pride within the beans and blends we choose for the shop. It could come from Santa Barbra or South America. We are focused on bringing quality to a market that is lacking in just that,” Haley Ramos, Bean Crazy barista and Cal Lutheran senior, said.
In addition to selling and making coffee, Bean Crazy is also home to gluten free, freshly baked pastries. Buying coffee does not stop at just the mug though. Customers can purchase a bag of beans, ground or whole, to take with them.
“We just want to make sure we are giving everyone their money’s worth on everything we sell. Especially the coffee,” Ramos said.
Intent on providing high quality coffee, Ramos has been working here for a little over a month. Working in a specialty coffee and juice shop, she has accrued skills and talents that are being utilized.
“When I worked in that [juice] shop, I would make sure to listen to everything the customer wanted: dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free. It all mattered because I could make something that could kill a person,” Ramos said.
The overall vibe of the shop is young and hip with its locally provided art, retro bean grinders and knick-knacks that bring the locale a homey feel.
And homey is good when one is trying to put forth a setting that attracts the locals. Attractions have found their way into the Bean Crazy schedule with open mic nights on the second and fourth Fridays of every month and a special event called Cars and Coffee.
Cars and Coffee is an event that showcases local classic cars and invites those from all around to ogle at cars and get a coffee while they are at the event every first and third Saturday of each month from 7 a.m. – 10 a.m. The patrons who do this are offered a discount of $2 off a coffee and a pastry.
The discounts do not stop there. Cal Lutheran students who flash their ID will get 10 percent off any purchase. Those who choose Bean Crazy as the location for their first date will also get a 2-for-1 special.
The smell of coffee is certainly in the air at Bean Crazy, however as of the past year, so is love.
“I was a regular in the shop since I was a sophomore and I kind of got to know the owner but Bean Crazy is where I had my first date with Trevor, which I find so funny,” senior Savannah Robinson said.
Trevor Gilmore is now her fiancé and they make sure to visit Bean Crazy whenever the lovebirds find themselves in need of a coffee fix.
However, upon first venturing in, one would not guess that this shop has its own collection of wine and craft beer for sale, let alone be the setting for what could possibly be turned into a “boy-meets-girl” story.
“I walked in and it seems like a hip place, given its messy (in a good way) appearance. They played amazing music, mostly ‘80s and had good furniture. It’s quiet, quaint and cool,” junior Lauren Parker said.
Alliteration aside, this coffee shop caters to a crowd that takes pride in their coffee while still serving the community. Come on down to get a cup of coffee, better latte than never.
Published March 16th, 2016