Friday, December 02, 2022

Marty's Dream of Coffee


This is my friend, Martin Grams, Jr.  I first met him at the Cincinnati Old Time Radio and Nostalgia Convention way back when. I bought a book he had written about one of my favorite radio series, THE ADVENTURES OF SAM SPADE. When I met him, he looked all of 16 years old. 

Since that time, Martin has written and published dozens of books on various aspects of American pop culture--radio, television, movies, etc.  It has been my pleasure and privilege to be involved behind the scenes of a number of them, notably the ones seen here, doing research, proofreading, editing, or even writing segments on occasion. 


 Along with writing, Martin has for many years been a successful collectibles dealer, published various mags and newsletters, and created and runs what must surely be the smoothest nostalgia convention in the country--the annual Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Expo.


 Martin Grams, Jr. is my hero. For much of my life my dream was to be as successful as Martin doing the very things Martin does. But here's the deal! In the tradition of the grass being greener, Martins dream is something very different. Martin wants to run the best coffee shop ever!

The Screaming Bean is coming in 2023 to Martin's native Maryland and right now he's in the waning days of a Kickstarter campaign to allow him access to the best possible equipment. Here's what Martin himself has to say about The Screaming Bean: 

From the outside, The Screaming Bean may appear to be just another coffee shop but once inside you will be greeted by upbeat employees who prove that coffee and friends make the perfect blend. Our mission statement is "Where Community Happens." This is where the business deals are made, first dates occur, and The Screaming Bean will be a beacon for local fund raisers and charities. This will be a coffee shop representing Main Street, not Wall Street. And if recent events have reminded us how important it is to support local businesses, supporting a new one is equally important

 The Screaming Bean will be located at the community crossroads of easy-access convenience, on Churchville Road, right off I-95, literally sight distance from Ripken Stadium. This has been five years in the planning stages, including traveling across the country to work in the trenches to understand every aspect of the craft. We know the difference between drip coffee vs. hand crafted coffee. With the contracts signed, we are almost there but we could use that extra nudge and assistance.We partnered with a local coffee roaster who has been in business for decades, who mastered the art of yielding an even roast with no "tipping" of the bean (the charcoal color on the tips of some roasted coffee). We brought on board consultants who own and operate their own local coffee shop in Portland, Oregon, (highly regarded as the home of craft coffee), and they polished the menu ala chef style with farm fresh produce. It took years for them to figure out what worked best in their shop, and on their menu, and they are carrying that over to The Screaming Bean. Summed up, when we open the doors in April, we will not learning through trial and error like many new start-ups... we will be opening with the advantage of decades of experience.


Martin has always been praised for his research skills and he has literally spent years researching coffee. Just listening to him discuss and write about the subject, I have learned more about coffee than I ever knew...AND I DON'T EVEN DRINK COFFEE!!

Wait, what? So why am I pushing for Martin's coffee shop to be a big success? I turn 64 next month. While I have become somewhat successful as a writer in the past decade or so, I am resigned to the fact that the moment has passed for my dream of actually being able to survive and thrive on writing books. But Marty is still young and he's long since proven himself at everything he's ever set out to do. His life has been my dream, but HIS dream is not mine. HIS dream is the Screaming Bean...and I ask you to consider a contribution to his Kickstarter to prove to him, to me, to all of you, too...that dreams can still come true!


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