U.S. Senate committee names Dry Ridge cafe business of the week

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Beans Cafe and Bakery in Dry Ridge was recognized last week as ‘business of the week’ by the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the ranking member on the committee, selected Beans.

“Mr. President, as Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, each week I recognize an outstanding Kentucky small business that exemplifies the American entrepreneurial spirit,” Paul said. “This week, it is my privilege to recognize Beans Café and Bakery of Dry Ridge, Kentucky, as the Senate Small Business of the Week.”

According to the Senate committee’s website, each week, a member of the Senate honors a small business from their home state.

Paul referenced owner Richard Hayhoe’s story. Hayhoe and his wife moved to Northern Kentucky from Canada in 2010, and had no intention to open a cafe. In 2011, Hayhoe saw a struggling doughnut shop with a big “For Sale” sign posted and decided to act.

Beans Café and Bakery was born.

“Opened in late 2011, Beans Café and Bakery offers some of the finest confections available in Kentucky,” Paul said. “Between fresh donuts, muffins, and a variety of other pastries, customers are not left wanting, as his store provides just about any morning pick-me-up one could hope for.”  

Beans defied orders of Governor Andy Beshear during efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, continuing to host indoor dining in 2020. Its food license was taken for a period and criminal charges were filed. Later, the license was returned, and the charges were dropped. 

“We have received many emails and requests from others that appreciate our standing up against the business suffocating dictates coming from Governor Andy Beshear’s office,” the restaurant’s GoFundMe request said at the time. “Beginning Friday, Nov. 20 at 5pm our indoor dining room was no longer allowed to be used to eat in. I could, however, purchase tents, heating equipment & lighting and simply seat people outside. The irony of seating people inside a tent that is outside is not lost on the common sense of regular thinking, but that is the ridiculousness of the rules we must follow!”

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The GoFundMe was used to raise funds for the restaurant’s legal fees, and they were defended by local attorney Chris Wiest. 

“When addressing COVID-19, action is unpopular, but inaction is deadly,” said Gov. Beshear at the time to LINK nky’s content partner LEX18. “It’s time to do what it takes to finish this fight.”

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