The Stephens Family
Griffin, Railey, Carley, Elyce, Hanley Kemdyn & Nate
We're the Stephens family: proprietors of Joyful Beans LLC, and proud owners and operators of Mudslingers of Tyler.
Greetings from the Inland Northwest
With the exception of Miss Hanley, we're all transplants to the great State of Texas. We moved to Tyler from the Inland Northwest (Eastern Washington | Northern Idaho | Western Montana) in February of 2019.
Nathan grew up in Oregon, and Carley in Washington. We met in the city of Spokane, were married in 2012, and proceeded to move to Montana, Idaho, and back to Washington before deciding to pack up and head to Texas for a chance at a better life.
Coming to East Texas
A decade into his occupation as a Landman, Nathan asked his family to relocate in hopes of furthering his career. We have a distant cousin in Van, and we were enamored with the city of Tyler that we had heard about from Nathan's Grandmother's trips down to visit. The Stephens clan went with God's grace and, after a short stint of renting, we found a home in Flint.
The community in Tyler has been nothing short of amazing. Though the pandemic has slowed our attempts to begin growing roots in the area, we've been blessed to find and join a wonderful church, and to get our children involved in some of the sports and activities that the cities of East Texas offer. We count ourselves immensely blessed to have found our way here, and we sincerely look forward to the adventures that await.
Mudslingers Drive-Thru Coffee
While it was opportunity in oil that beckoned the Stephens Family to East Texas, the opportunity to serve by way of a coffee drive-thru has made itself apparent. Long waits in drive through lines and - if you can believe it - a sold-out Starbucks, clued us into the city's desperate need for takeaway coffee service. And, now that Tyler is seeing a boom in Starbucks locations opening up, it's clear that we're not a moment too soon.
We sought out assistance from Mudslingers after months of independent research and work with individuals within the SBDC of Tyler's SCORE Mentoring program. We found out that attempting to open a 'mom and pop' business, especially a novel concept that is not well-tested in the area, is hard. The brand name has opened doors, and working with an outstanding licensor like Mudslingers has allowed us to realize the full scope of our vision: a fast and friendly coffee kiosk to serve Tyler with delicious, local coffee.
Mudslingers may be a national brand, but its core appeal for owner/operators like us is the flexibility we're given to make our own choices in directing our business and its vision. Given the overwhelming presence and expansion we've seen from Starbucks, a monolithic, multinational corporation, we have chosen to focus as much of our efforts as possible into giving back to the local economy.
In picking vendors, we've vowed to look for local first. So far, we've partnered with an amazing local roaster - Calidad Coffee - and found a local baker - Great Harvest - to augment our snacks menu. American Graphics / Embroidery supplied our uniforms and most of our merchandise. And we've only just begun! We look forward to adding more partners in the future.
In our giving, too, we have it planned to give back to some of the organizations that have we've enjoyed participating in, like Rose Capital Little League, The Caldwell Zoo, and Discovery Science Place. We are so excited to unlock the ability to give charitably to other organizations in East Texas that touch our hearts and help/serve the community.
Thanks for listening to our story!
We look forward to seeing you at the window.
The Stephens Family