After 14 years spent in pursuit of a career in banking, local St. Louis musician Peter Cohen finally followed his dream: to roast and sell delicious, hand-crafted coffee.
"I went from being a bean counter to a bean cooker, though technically I still count beans," Cohen joked.
For the past year Cohen has tirelessly marketed his one-man operation known as Stringbean Coffee (a name his sister came up with to honor both his musical and coffee-lovin' sides), at farmers' markets, retail stores and events around the city of St. Louis, with the goal of supporting and integrating into the community fabric.
Now, 'Stringbean Pete' and his beans have made their way out to St. Charles County stores.
"It's a labor of love," Cohen said. "I do all the roasting, packaging and delivery myself."
Admittedly "anti-corporate" at times, Cohen prefers dealing with mom-and-pop stores to large grocery chains any day of the week.
"I really like itty bitty cool shops that are independently owned. That's who I like to partner up with," Cohen said.
His coffee, which is made with fair trade certified and/or organic beans as much as possible, can now be purchased at places like Mannino's Market in Cottleville and Flint Hill, and Old Friends Vintage Guitars in Wentzville. "I love those communities," Cohen said.
He's even in Lake Saint Louis' Greene's Country Store, which normally sells mostly landscaping, animal and agriculture products.
Cohen's not planning on slowing down anytime soon. He recently collaborated with Brian Pelletier, owner of Kakao chocolate to produce a white chocolate bark with Cohen's Red Eye espresso beans on top, available at the Maplewood Kakao location. Cohen calls the pairing "the perfect yin yang combination."
Look for Cohen and his coffees at the Chandler Hill Winery Farmers Market in southwest St. Charles County every Sunday from 12:00pm to 4:00pm starting May 27.
You won't be sorry you did.
"I love chatting with folks and giving samples," Cohen said. "I'm just so excited that people are digging my passion for this crazy idea that was a hobby and turned into a business. I'm doing what I want to be doing, and it's so awesome."
Stringbean Coffee roasts include:
- Red Eye Roast - a bold espresso blend
- Midnight Run - medium bold blend, earthy and balanced
- Sumatra - medium bold, smokey
- Good Vibes - light roast
- Medium Bold Decaf - swiss water method, which uses water to remove the caffeine instead of chemicals
You can also find Stringbean at: