Inside the Coffee Shop with the Creators of Bean There Done That

I sat down with Wini Bettenburg and Ellie McConville to get the inside scoop on their coffee blog and caffeine journies.


Photo taken by Sadie Grunau

Sadie Grunau, Staff Writer

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with two of Visitation’s very own juniors, Wini Bettenburg and Ellie McConville to discuss the art of coffee. In December 2018, Wini and Ellie created a VSCO photo blog called “bean-there-done-that” to chronicle their explorations of coffee shops around the Twin Cities, rating each one based on price, coffee, and photo opportunities.

The idea bloomed after Wini purchased a “coffee passport” at an art fair in St. Paul. This passport awarded Wini a free drink at various coffee shops around St. Paul and Minneapolis. Canon Camera in hand, Ellie and Wini began testing out these coffee shops, and they found that this experience connected them with an amazing community of people, and they wanted to get others involved in the same beautiful community.

They realized that they could help people step out of the chain coffee shop techno routine of placing mobile orders with little to no human interaction, and step into the experience of having coffee. The girls began taking pictures, printing them, and placing them in a journal in which they would write their opinions about many different aspects of the coffee shop. They would then photograph the journal page and publish it to their VSCO account. They also utilize the “Journal” portion of VSCO, typing their  reviews and giving even more information about the shop, accompanied by their amazing photos.

Wini and Ellie’s goals in starting their VSCO blog were to help people step out of their comfort zones, support local businesses, and recognize the beauty in a cup of coffee and the conversations that a cup of coffee can spark.  The girls want others to understand that coffee can be an art form and a creative outlet in which people can express themselves in different ways. In the future, the Ellie and Wini plan to set up a website to further expand their estimated following which currently consists of about 75 people. They want to continue the account as long as they are in the Twin Cities to keep pushing people past the confines of a conventional coffee shop.

Wini and Ellie say that so far the Bean Factory, located in Saint Paul, is their favorite coffee house. The Bean Factory may not have the cutest backgrounds for photos, but as they explained, the sense of community there is like no other, and the baristas are so kind and know the girls by heart. And their favorite part of the VSCO blog? They say it’s being able to meet so many people and becoming so much closer with others simply by inviting them to come along as they try a new coffee shop.

Ellie and friend Sarah Gimpl at Bean Factory

Wini, Ellie, and I went to Botany Coffee in Minneapolis and had amazing coffee and even better conversations. They were right about how the experience of coffee gets lost in the hustle and bustle of today’s society, so getting to sit down with them and really enjoy both the people and the environment was an eye-opening experience. The two girls want to encourage others to step outside the Starbucks box and invite a friend or acquaintance out for coffee, support local businesses, use their VSCO guide to find the perfect place to go, and have an inspiring and meaningful conversation that brings the experience back to having a cup of coffee.


Ellie and Sadie at Botany Coffee












To take a peak at Bean There Done That: