Michiana's Menu: The Mean Bean Bistro and Brew

BREMEN, Ind.--According to the National Restaurant Association, only 6% of restaurants are Black owned in the state of Indiana.

Though there are many in Michiana!

This week, Michiana’s Menu stopped at one in Bremen, The Mean Bean Bistro & Brew.

Owner Kim Wilcox says she wanted to bring fresh food to the community.

“I just wanted to bring fresh food, and homemade food, from scratch food to a small town, and so I decided to open here,” said Wilcox.

The Mean Bean is one of very few Black women-owned businesses, making up less than a percent of all US businesses. As a Black woman myself, I was intrigued by her story.

“I like that as Bremen grows, there’s more diversity happening,” said Wilcox. And I like that, there’s one girl who I’ve known since she was 3, but she’s mixed, and she sees me in a position that she can be when she gets older. Growing up we didn’t have too many people in power.”

Wilcox has lived in Bremen for most of her life. It’s her home, a town she loves and she shows her affection the best way she knows how.

“My love language is food,” said Wilcox. “I like to feed people. And, so to have a community that I know, that I grew up with come in and they like my food and that’s enough for me. Luckily I get to do something that I love.”

Since April 2015, Wilcox has served her community delicious cups of coffee paired with a rotating, seasonal menu with fresh salads and hot sandwiches. Through staffing shortages, construction and COVID-19 restrictions, the bistro and brew will not only celebrate its eight year anniversary this April but will do so in style with a newly-opened and renovated downstairs area for work and celebrations, a thank you to the customer support!

Barista Aleandra Walters says her favorite part of the job is getting to know new people.

“What we all love about this place is the customers. It’s the main reason we like to be here,” said Walters.

 “So, we go to the Mean Bean because it’s a great stop here in Bremen.”

The food speaks for itself, like the “big daddy”--a heap of breakfast foods including hash brown casserole, bacon, ham, homemade gravy atop a biscuit made from scratch!

Plan your visit here.

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