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Economy Creams Coffee House

The oldest coffee shop in Temecula closed its doors today due to slow business and a disagreement with a landlord.


After 22 years in business, Sweet Bean, Temecula's oldest coffee house, closed its doors today.

People crowded into the shop on Rancho California Road for one last latte and a slice of cake during a going away party at 4 p.m.

Though the owners declined to comment on why it was closing, a note taped to a counter near the register explained it was due sluggish business and a disagreement with the landlord.

"We cannot talk about (the closing) as there may be legal matters pending and our attorney has informed us not to discuss the relationship with the landlord," the note read. "We are closing due to high rent and we have not had sufficient business to support the operation for some time."

Customers milled around sipping their drinks and eating cake, and a white poster board sat on one of the cafe tables covered in loving goodbye messages.

Sweat Bean may have been one of the last four independent coffee houses left in the city. Only Olivera's Coffee & Juice Bar, Ryan's Brother's Coffee and California Tea and Coffee remain. Another independent coffee shop, , closed only a few months ago.

RELATED: Temecula's independent coffee houses have been dropping like flies in the last few years.

A group of regulars sat outside enjoying one last cup of iced tea as the party drew to a close.

"I physically don't know what I'm going to do on Saturdays," said Jessica Kolski, who has been going to the coffee house with a few friends for several years each Saturday after a power walk. "The only thing that gets us up the hill is knowing we have tea and toast coming."

One woman remembered going to Sweat Bean three years ago and meeting the co-owner, Debbie Johnson. "I said, 'I need runners toast,' and she said, 'Oh, you're pregnant.' And I was," said Tara Fox and she sat in the patio cradling her baby.

The place will be greatly missed, said Sonya Collins. "On Saturday, when we saw that note (on the door saying the store was closing), and we said, 'Where are we going to go now?' and nobody knew," Collins said.

Mike Mueller April 21, 2012 at 10:54 PM
Stay strong Diane, you also have a great shop. Ill be in to enjoy a coffee tomorrow.
Mike Mueller April 21, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Ha Ha Ha - As you type your comment on a computer made over seas.
Mike Mueller April 21, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Spot on Sandra. Great Comment! Starbucks is not to blame, and they were 1 tiny coffee shop once too.
jolt April 29, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Mike, I think you might just have the wrong opinion, of whose actually making money in a small business, for sure it's in most cases, probably not the owners. Most small business owners would beg to differ with you. Yes, I'm sure there are some at the top of the heap but sadly most are struggling from day to day. You ask why then do they do it? They are all probably asking themselves on a daily bases this same question. Answer might be trying to chase that all mighty American dream of owning something and working themselves to death to try to achieve it. Barely making enough to squeak by, I am sure that is why most of us do not chose to do this. I don't know about you but I would not like to have all my time and days accounted for just serving others, treated by some poorly, yelled at about just about everything, and really unable to please most . Yeah that sounds like the dream job that's why only some can do this kind of work too bad its only for the wonderful comments left on a page like this. Go on and support those small local chains now that's what Temecula is really built on!
Ashley Thompson June 11, 2013 at 07:43 PM
I was born and raised in Temecula, and moved up to Seattle about 7 years ago. I still went to Sweet Bean every time I was in town, and they still knew me by name and drink. I miss their IBMS and cinnamon coffee cake muffins. Definitely took a little bit of the home out of going home to visit.

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