Quantum Bean’s hand-selected, fresh-roasted coffee comes with a shot of tradition.

Samuel and Susan Bonasso are trying to be patient. For months, the sign in the window of their future South Park coffee roastery has read, “Coming Soon!” Several times they have predicted an opening date for the Kingwood Street location; each time they’ve pushed it back. But they believe Quantum Bean will be worth the wait.

Truth be told, Quantum Bean’s coffee bar has been in the works since Samuel roasted his first beans on a perforated baking sheet in his home oven more than three years ago. After graduating from WVU, he lived in San Diego and New York, cities that honed his taste and passion for coffee. He progressed through a series of equipment upgrades, refining his techniques and preferences. Meanwhile, the Bonassos began selling at farmers’ markets in Bridgeport and Morgantown.

While Morgantown has several roasters, Quantum Bean will be the only one with a specialty coffee bar. This has quite a few people eager for the doors to open—perhaps none so eager as the Bonassos themselves. The delays center around their desire to source just the right materials as locally as possible. The shop’s main counter—built from Namibian desert leadwood by Longing Woodworks, near Pittsburgh—is itself a functional piece of art. They are currently waiting on walnut tables from a Fairmont carpenter. “We could go with pine and have it done tomorrow,” Sam says. “But we’re trying to balance keeping things local and getting things done on time.”

Samuel is bringing tradition from his Italian heritage into the shop. While Americans tend to get comfortable with their laptops at coffee shop tables, Italians often don’t even sit. They stand, talk, and sip at “leaning bars” for 10 to 15 minutes before going about their days. The Bonassos are waiting for a leaning bar with an unmilled “live edge” from a woodworker in Bridgeport.

The Bonassos also hope to instill something beyond aesthetics. The beans roasted at Quantum are hand-picked by farmers, chosen by themselves personally, and purchased directly, in order to keep the profit with the farms. “We want to bring the Morgantown community closer to the journey of coffee,” Samuel says. “The people making your drink are the same people who directly traded with the farm to buy that coffee, who tested that coffee. It’s farm-to-cup.” 258 Kingwood Street (soon), quantumbean.com, @quantumbeancoffee on Facebook

written and photographed by J. KENDALL PERKINSON

Pam Kasey
Written by Pam Kasey
Pam Kasey has traveled, brewed, farmed, counseled, and renovated, but most loves to write. She has degrees in economics from the University of Chicago and in journalism from West Virginia University. She loves celebrating Morgantown and West Virginia as executive editor at New South Media.