FAQ

If you have questions, we have answers (maybe). Folks often ask about our menu, music sales, heart pine floors etc. Check out our answers.

IS THIS A COFFEE SHOP?  A GUITAR STORE?  A MUSIC SCHOOL?  A LIVE MUSIC VENUE?

We are a music school with a full-service espresso bar.  We occasionally open at night for live music events and we often rent the store for parties, showers, meetings and the like.  We carry a cool (though not exhaustive) inventory of new, used, vintage and antique music gear for the beginner or the old-school musician.

HOW IN THE WORLD DID YOU COME UP WITH THIS CRAZY IDEA?

The vision for Beans & Strings was brewing (pun intended) in owners Eric and Vanessa Foster-Whiddon for several years before the opening of the store.  The common thread through all of the aspects of Beans & Strings’ model is community around shared interests, whether that rallying interest be coffee, encouraged loitering, apprecation for live local music or the adventure of music education.  Eric got his first guitar for Christmas when he was fifteen and began taking lessons at Pitts Music, a Moultrie music store owned by Jamie Pitts.  Already an avid music fan (indie music snob, to be honest), he stumbled into a whole new level of community that included hanging out at the music store, playing in and with local bands and eventually the creation of a musicians  co-op at college called Fed People Music.  Not satisfied with practice for practice’s sake, he and his bands saught out venues where they could perform.  Playing everything from bars to youth groups, he found that his favorite venue was a coffee shop.  After graduation from undergrad in 2001, he began teaching guitar lessons and grew his student roster into a full-time job.  When he and Vanessa met, their friendship and dating life involved regular trips to their favorite coffee shop, Sojourners, in Valdosta.  In fact, their engagement pictures were taken in front of the store with mugs in hand!  Over the years, Vanessa and Eric have watched coffee shops and music stores struggle in small towns and felt that the Beans & Strings model could work.  And it has.

ARE  YOU A FRANCHISE?

No (for now).  This store is the idea of Colquitt County natives & owners Eric & Vanessa Foster-Whiddon and downtown Moultrie is the home of the very first one.

WERE YOUR HEART PINE FLOORS ALREADY IN THE BUILDING?  IF NOT, WHO PUT THEM IN?

This question probably gets asked more than any other.  Our main room is floored with true 100-year-old reclaimed heart pine.  No, these floors are not original to the building.  We bought the boards from our friends David and Virginia Acord at Southern Heritage Woodworks in Sylvester, GA and we installed them ourselves with the help of some hard-working, true blue friends.  Southern Heritage Woodworks does quality heart pine flooring (ours is actually the bottom of their line… if you like it, you should see their other stuff!) as well as Americana, frontier and cabin-style furniture also made from reclaimed pine.  Their products are such high quality that they were chosen by Ideal Magazine and House Crashers (DIY Network) to be featured in their project homes.

WHO DID YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN, GRAPHIC DESIGN AND SIGNAGE?

Eric has a considerable amount of experience as a graphic artist (formerly working as Hyphen Design) and with the aid of his wife, Vanessa, chose the colors for the store, designed the store layout and created the logo and all of the signage for the store. Eric frequently calls on his friend Keith Warburg (graphic designer on staff at Valdosta State University) to apply his design skills to special projects at Beans & Strings. Keith designed the logos for the summer camp series, workshops, private-labeled coffees and this website!

DO YOU PLAN ON OPENING MORE STORES?

Maybe, but it’s all one step at a time.  The extension campus in Adel is Beans & Strings’ first attempt at expansion into a new community. However, it offers lessons only… no lattes yet!

WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR BEANS?

A wide-eyed college freshman exploring Athens, GA, Eric stumbled upon a legendary little coffee shop across from The Grill by the name of Blue Sky Coffee. Living on the cheap, Eric would hang out and take advantage of free refills on a wide selection of drip coffees. He found that his favorite was the one with the crazy name, “Dancing Goats.” Fast-forward just over a decade and Eric is buying freshly-roasted beans every week from his friends at Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters. These are the “Dancing Goats” guys… they’re responsible for the Dancing Goats blend and the super-cool Dancing Goats Coffee Bar. These guys are a nationally-known leader in the coffee industry and the quality of their product speaks for itself.  When opening Beans & Strings, Eric sought the advice of his long-time friend and coffee guru, Jason Dominy. Come to find out, Jason was on staff with Bardorf & Bronson at the time. His helpfulness along with the quality of Batdorf & Bronson’s product and customer service caused Eric and Vanessa to choose B&B as their roaster. Batdorf & Bronson has roasters in Olympia, WA and Atlanta, GA. Logically, our beans come from the Atlanta location… when we receive them, they are super-duper fresh. Try a B&B single origin brewed manually with the Clever Dripper. Ask Eric or Robbie for their recommendations; they live off the stuff.

WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH ESPRESSO?

Espresso is the coffee base that’s used to make your favorite creamy coffee-shop drink (like a latte, macchiatto or mocha). Espresso is not a particular blend of coffee or a certain roast; any coffee of any roast can be used to make espresso. What makes espresso different is the manner in which it is produced. Instead of being brewed in a slow, drip method like traditional American coffee, this intense little cup o’ java is made by pulling shots when very hot water is forced through the compacted coffee grounds under a large amount of pressure.  These shots are concentrated coffee but, contrary to popular belief, contain less caffeine per ounce than drip coffee because the drip brewing method causes much more of the caffeine in the coffee grounds to transfer to the brew.  For more information, check out the Wikipedia article on espresso.

WHY DON’T I SEE MY FAVORITE DRINKS FROM THE BIG COFFEE CHAIN ON YOUR MENU?

Our menu is a classic coffee shop menu that displays the basic forms of the drinks and allows you to customize as you like.  There are a bazillion different ways to make a latte, macchiatto or mocha… if you want a white chocolate mocha or caramel macchiatto, we can do that.  In fact, get creative and mix them up!  Try a white chocolate macchiatto or a caramel mocha.  Our regulars often experiment until they find an original drink that they like.  For instance, try Sarge’s Complicated Cublacchiatto.  Maybe you’ll have a drink named after you someday, too!

WHAT BRANDS DO YOU CARRY?

Our inventory line is expanding and currently features such brands as VHT, Recording King, AXL, Jasmine, Johnson, Savannah, Old Soul, Guardian, Kyser, Shubb, Elixir, D’Addario, Fender, DR, Ernie Ball, Martin, Red, Dunlop, etc.  We also pride ourselves in a quality selection of consignment gear that includes locally owned & loved high-end equipment.  We have a great community of musicians who support our store and they liquidate their stuff with us, so you’re likely to find several vintage collector’s pieces in the mix.  Consignment brands often include Fender, Gibson, Epiphone, Ampeg, Hohner, Ovation, etc.  By the way, our goal is to grow our string selection to carry everything from the most common brands to those you’ve heard of but have never seen.  Let us know which brands and gauges you play and we’ll see what we can do to keep them in stock.

CAN YOU SPECIAL ORDER?

Yes.  In the accessories department, just ask and we can likely get it.  Regarding guitars and amps, if we can’t get the brand or model you’re looking for from a distributor, we may know someone who has it and wants to liquidate it.  We’ll put the power of community to work to help you find the gear you want.

DO YOU SELL EQUIPMENT ON CONSIGNMENT?

Yes.  In fact, we love doing consignment sales because you never know what some local guitarist may bring in that’s been hiding in the closet for 30+ years.  We have a great community of musicians who support our store and they liquidate their stuff with us, so you’re likely to find several vintage collector’s pieces in the mix.  Consignment brands often include Fender, Gibson, Epiphone, Ampeg, Hohner, Ovation, etc.  If you have something you want to sell, bring it by and let’s talk.  You’ll find that our rates are competitive and we have considerable success moving cool consignment pieces.  Between our live music and our student community, we have people looking over our inventory all the time.

DO YOU TAKE TRADES?

Yes, depending on the piece.  Bring your potential trade by and let’s talk.

WHAT DAYS AND TIMES DO YOU TEACH?

That depends on the location. In Moultrie, we teach Monday through Friday from 2PM (or earlier if the student’s schedule allows) until 7PM.  Some of our instructors are willing to teach one lesson after we close (7-7:30PM).  Give us a call at (229) 985-0093 or come by and see us and let’s compare schedules.  We’ll do our best to make a lesson fit within your schedule. In Adel, call and check to see what days we’re teaching… things are growing over there.

DOES MY STUDENT NEED TO OWN A GUITAR/BASS/DRUM KIT IN ORDER TO TAKE LESSONS?

The ideal situation is for the student to own his/her own instrument so practice can happen at home between lessons.  If you don’t want to invest in an instrument just yet, see if you can find a friend or family member who will let you borrow one for a month or two.  Beans & Strings also has a rental program that could help you.  Drum students often begin without their own kit and are welcome to come by the store during times that our drum studio is not in use in order to practice until they acquire a drum kit.

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