Our Story

Travis & Katy McCabe

Owners of Greenbean Coffee House – Altoona, PA

Travis & Katy McCabe

Owners of Greenbean Coffee House – Altoona, PA

The Real Deal

First of all, let’s get real for a moment. Although our coffee is amazing and we truly think we’ve created the perfect brew, NONE OF US are perfect. In this digital age of Instagram-perfect pics, photo filters, and carefully curated social reputations, it can be easy to lose sight of this simple fact.

Greenbean Hot Drinks

A Business Philosophy Based On Integrity

As business owners, we realize that there can be a certain push to maintain an illusory and unreal image. This may be based on pursuing strength to have power over others, to cater to a certain group or type of people to the exclusion of others, to create exclusive business partnerships, or even nurture relationships we do not agree with to further our own self-interest. While the old business philosophies may be effective, they are based on inaccurate presumptions that have been proven time and again to be detrimental to both business and society. Therefore, we reject these outdated notions – and condemn them.

The Light From the Fire

In reality, we all have weaknesses and vulnerabilities. There is not one of us who is better than another. Most importantly, we understand that we cannot make our own light shine brighter by blowing out someone else’s candle, but by combining our fire. That is exactly what Travis and Katy did.

Meet Katy McCabe

Katy McCabe

Co-owner, Greenbean Coffee House

Originally from The Bronx, New York, Catherine “Katy” McCabe grew up in an unstable home environment. After experiencing the loss of her mother at a young age, she spent many years on her own. Without structure and family support, she struggled with burdens including never feeling like she belonged to a specific place or community. As a Hispanic American, she also experienced the bitter cruelty of racism. As she grew in life, Katy found comfort in coffee (a staple of her childhood), music, the arts, and theatre.

Click Here to see Katy's Story

Meet Travis McCabe

Travis McCabe

Travis McCabe

Co-owner, Greenbean Coffee House

Travis McCabe was born in Hollidaysburg, PA, and raised by a single mother. Early on, he faced the struggles involved with growing up in a financially underprivileged home. When he became a father, he, too, spent many years as a single dad.

The challenges Travis endured while growing up, and those involved with working hard to provide for his own child, left an indelible impression on him. Struggling to create a better life for himself and his child provided an in-depth understanding of the physical, mental, and emotional tolls that are often involved for those facing financial hardship with inadequate support. There were times he was barely able to hold life together and make it work through the intensity of those trials. It was then that he made a promise to himself. If he was ever able to rise above his own struggles, he would be the source of help that he desperately wished for.

Travis always felt like there was so much he wanted to do to help his community, but he was never in a position where he was able to follow through. Over time, his hard work and perseverance began to pay off, allowing more time for reflection. He never forgot where he came from – and the promise he made to himself during one of the more challenging periods of his life. Eventually, he manifested the means to put his thoughts and plans into action. Since then, Travis has spent much of his life donating time and energy to assisting those currently less fortunate than himself.

The Greenbean Is Born

Established 2017

When Travis and Katy met, they fell in love. Together, they forged a strong blended family. With a home where they both felt like they belonged and the support of each other and the family they created, the McCabes decided they wanted to extend that sense of belonging to the wider community – and anyone seeking it. This is the reason they opened Greenbean Coffee House!

KAty's Story

It Is Always Darkest Before Dawn

From her worldview to the business philosophy behind the Greenbean, Katy’s experiences throughout life held significant influence. As a child, she felt she had to hold everything inside. It was only recently that Katy was able to truly open up and begin healing – and she wants to empower others who are ready to do the same. She invites you to experience the good that can come from even the darkest night. Read her story detailing how she took back control of her life.

From Surviving to Thriving

Katy is a survivor. As a teenager whose family transplanted from The Bronx, New York to Blair County, she found herself on a rough, difficult path that included not making the best decisions. Katy forged her way to become a strong, confident and thriving person, a successful businesswoman, entrepreneur, and owner of several local businesses, including Greenbean Coffee House.

Chaos at Home

Although she believes her parents did their best with what they had to work with, and her mother tried to be the best mother she could be, Katy endured a difficult childhood. The struggles involved with undiagnosed / untreated mental trauma led her mother to self-medicate with alcohol and her father to become distant and, at times, abusive, toward the family. This led to a strict and often chaotic upbringing. Dealing with life in an unstable household involved getting little sleep – and even less support. As her parents battled their own demons, Katy was often left to her own devices. With inconsistent guidance and the freedom to choose at such a young age, she did not always make the best choices. In fact, as a teen she made just about all of the wrong decisions a teen could make.

Hopelessness Creeps In

From age 11 onward, Katy barely attended school. After too many nights of dealing with her parents yelling and fighting, it became too difficult for Katy to get up in the morning. She felt unable to put on a smile and pretend she was enjoying the same type of life she believed her peers enjoyed. When she did go to school, it was only as a means of escape from her chaotic home life – not to focus on learning and preparing for her future.

Giving Up

School officials advised Katy that if she didn’t plan to attend, she should just sign herself out. And that is exactly what she did. Her father signed her out of school and she took on a job at McDonalds. With her father seldom home, Katy was left on her own. With no one to answer to, she began staying out late. She continued making poor decisions and gave up on the hope of achieving a better life.

A Moment of Realization

At age 15, Katy’s mother passed away, leaving Katy a small life insurance policy. With these resources, she was able to realize what life could be; however, as those funds quickly dwindled, she also realized she had no means to achieve her goals in life and had little to offer. Desperation crept in.

California Dreamin’

At age 17, Katy was contacted by her brother who was stationed in the military in California. He confronted her about the stagnant state of her existence and invited her to move to the West Coast. Feeling hopeless and with nothing to lose, Katy threw everything she owned into two garbage bags and drove straight to California – every teenager’s dream, except for one thing: she had no money. While living in California, Katy took on a job working at Blockbuster Video. She began attending night school and was able to obtain her high school diploma.

Taking Destiny Into Hand

At age 20, Katy was living in San Diego when she gave birth to her first child – a baby boy. She faced extremely high living expenses with a newborn in tow. While facing the prospect of raising that child without a clear sense of the future or where she was going in life, Katy knew she had no choice but to take destiny into her own hands. Katy returned to Altoona.

Opportunity Presents Itself

Armed with only her high school diploma, Katy took work with Merry Maids in 2001 as a part-time cleaner. After about one month with that company, Katy realized that the company was led by ineffective management. Turnover was high and no one really seemed to want to work there, but Katy understood what needed to be done and had a few ideas. She saw an opportunity. At the time, Katy told her partner, “Someday, I’m going to own this business.”

The Slow Climb

For years, Katy poured everything she had into her work at Merry Maids. Although it was not easy, she persevered. At times, it was downright difficult for her to keep silent when she saw things that she knew needed to be changed. For four long years, she scrubbed and cleaned – and did as she was told.

Driving Change

When an opening finally became available in 2005, Katy took it. She became the manager of Merry Maids – and completely transformed its business philosophy. With the power to make change finally in her hands, Katy focused on ensuring the company consistently delivered on its promised services with integrity. As a result, the company’s reputation grew and grew. This became a source of pride for Katy, as well as her fellow employees. She did not become complacent. She continued doing her best and giving her all.

Katy McCabe: Small Business Owner

By 2010, Katy realized her potential – and worth. She desired to be more than a company manager. She put it all on the line. Katy approached the then-owner of Merry Maids with a proposition. She offered to buy Merry Maids – or she would leave to establish her own cleaning company. The owner agreed that the time would soon come to sell the business – and that Katy was the right buyer. In 2012, Katy bought the ServiceMaster portion of the business.

Katy Purchases Merry Maids

Unfortunately, by the time Katy was in a position to buy, the Merry Maids portion of the business had dissolved. She was not dissuaded. Katy knew how successful the business could be with the right leadership and believed she could provide it. Katy contacted the ServiceMaster Corporation in Memphis, Tennessee. She told them that she wanted to buy a Merry Maids franchise for the Blair County, PA, area. In 2014, Katy became the owner of her own Merry Maids business.

The Missing Connection

In 2015, Katy spoke with Travis about several things that had been weighing heavily on her heart. Despite having a loving family of her own and being the owner of two successful local businesses, Katy still found herself feeling like she did not belong – and that she was never going to belong – in this world. Having no sense of direction from such a young age, and for so long, had left a hole in her heart that was only compounded by being uprooted from her home in New York and the loss of her parents’ support. What she was missing was a true sense of belonging and a real connection with the wider community. As it turned out, Travis felt the same.

A Space to Belong

Taking a nod from her previous experiences, and success as an entrepreneur, Katy knew that the only way she would find a place where she belonged was if she created that space herself. She also knew she was not the only person who felt this way – and that these feelings could be especially challenging for displaced teens. Katy decided to build a space where not only she belonged, but where everybody belonged. The only question left was, “What could bring everyone together?”

Finding the Key

Coming from a Puerto Rican and Italian background, Katy remembered that when there were good times in her life, these were always spent around her mother’s kitchen table. There was talking, laughing, and sharing delicious pastries, breads – and . . . coffee. She realized that it was coffee that had become her comfort (and that was the likely reason she almost always had a cup in her hands).

Comfort & Belonging

Katy decided she would create a coffee house – a place that no matter who you are, no matter what you’re going through, and no matter what life has handed you, you BELONG here. The idea of this space of comfort and belonging was what led Katy and Travis to create the Greenbean Coffee House. In August of 2017, the doors of the Greenbean opened and the rest is history.

“My main goal is for people to understand, and know, that it doesn’t matter who you are or what’s going on in your life, that there is, ultimately, always some place to go. They just want to belong someplace. We are that place. The Greenbean is here as a beacon for people who feel like they want to be accepted.”