When layoffs started in the oil field last year, Dani and Fred Heslip of Roosevelt felt the unease along with everyone else. Fred worked in the oilfield and while his job remained intact it was his first time experiencing the fear of downturn. “Fred is from Seattle,” explains his wife Dani, a Basin native. “When we moved here he asked where the places were for families to hang out and I explained that with our up and down economy it is difficult for businesses to keep going. Fred just looked at me and said, ‘Well what are you going to do about it?’” With that, the vision of Beans and Bites was born. “We wanted to bring back the feel of going home again but also bring in something new,” says Dani. “You could say Beans and Bites has small town charm with a big city feel.” As plans came together on the coffee shop, Fred reached out to oil field workers who had been laid off. “A lot of our workers had never even stepped foot in a coffee shop or worked in a restaurant,” says Dani. “We took one guy who worked in construction his whole life and turned him into our donut maker! He says he really enjoys baking now and never knew he had that side to him.” The Heslips utilized the state BEAR program to train the employees. Professional bakers from Oregon and Salt Lake traveled to Roosevelt and trained the staff to make everything from scratch. The Heslips then partnered with the UBATC culinary students to help develop the menu. They’ve also established relationships with Vocational Rehab and Union High School for students to come into the shop and job shadow. Helping struggling families and providing a place to gather as a community has remained the Heslip’s primary focus since opening last January. Beans and Bites has even offered an entirely new aspect to the local music scene with live musicians performing in traditional coffee shop style. “We just want every aspect of Beans and Bites to be utilized so it gives back to the community,” says Dani. In times of feast or famine, boom or bust, it’s good people like the Heslips that make the Basin a wonderful place to live through it all.
Beans and Bites is located in Roosevelt at 82 North Main Street