LITTLE CURRENT— Loco Beanz owner Shannon Cranston celebrated her business’ 10-year anniversary last Friday surrounded by staff (present and past), customers, friends and family—the people that she attributes to Loco Beanz’ 10-years of success.

“All the cards and well wishes I’ve received about the anniversary have all included ‘and staff,’ and that’s because they have played a huge role in Loco Beanz since its doors opened in 2005,” shared Ms. Cranston. “Our customers have also played a big part in helping support and shape the business—we couldn’t have gotten to this point without them and the wonderful support of the Island community over the years.”

Staff at the Loco Beanz anniversary party
Staff at the Loco Beanz anniversary party

“It has been a lot of hard work to get to this point and I couldn’t have done it without my parents, my husband and the support of my friends and family,” added Ms. Cranston.

Rewind to 2005 when Ms. Cranston was exploring opening her own business.

“I knew I wanted to start a business, but I wasn’t sure what yet,” Ms. Cranston told The Expositor. “Someone came to me with a brochure from a coffee place and that got the ball rolling.”

With a background in business, Ms. Cranston had a strong foundation to open her own store, but needed to grow her coffee knowledge.

“I was lucky to partner with an amazing company earlier on and they provided me with a lot of training,” she explained. “Their outlook was that if I was successful and grew my business, they would be as well.”

The name ‘Loco Beanz’ was inspired by Ms. Cranston’s travels and a brainstorming session with her aunt in Ottawa. Her iconic logo was the work of Sandra Meneray of Legendary Sign Works in Mindemoya.

By April 2005 Ms. Cranston had secured a great location downtown on Water Street in her home community of Little Current and officially opened the business on June 19.

“We had a small menu at first, mostly drinks, three paninis and a few pastries,” Ms. Cranston continued. “As our customer base grew, so did our products. Loco Beanz really grew through our customers—what products they wanted, what worked for them.”

Ms. Cranston said her vision for the coffee house was to be customer-focussed and offer good quality products. Throughout the years, Ms. Taylor has strived to maintain her original vision, balancing quality products and service while creating a business that has become a staple in the community. Not only does Loco Beanz have a big Manitoulin customer base but, as evidenced by the stars littering the large world map in the store, Loco Beanz has fans around the world.

Two years after opening, the success of the store led Ms. Taylor to consider expanding the business to other areas of the Island.

In 2007, Leanne Bell opened the second Loco Beanz location through a licencing agreement with Ms. Cranston.

In 2010 Loco Beanz grew even further, with Annette Virtanen opening a third location in Manitowaning.

“I can’t believe it has been 10 years,” said Ms. Cranston. “I can’t wait to keep going and for another amazing 10 years.”