Company Timeline

Hover over a date to learn more about us!

2005

In 2005, Thad left to purchase his first Golden Corral franchise in Winder, Georgia, becoming the youngest Golden Corral franchisee in company history. He conducted a massive remodel and became the first franchisee to ever win the National Sales Volume Increase award in back-to-back years and winning the Franchisee of the Year award in 2006.

2008

In 2008 Thad began consulting for The Bridge Learning Center and focusing on building a platform for franchising. This early consulting relationship was the foundation for his entrance into the childcare space through the eventual purchase of all Bridge Learning Center locations forming a parent company Scallions Childcare Management.

2013

In 2013 Scallions Childcare acquired Sunbrook Academy and Sunbrook Academy Franchising, a 12 unit preschool brand in Atlanta, Georgia.

2015

In 2015 Scallions Childcare sold The Bridge Learning Center and Sunbrook Academy businesses to a national private equity buyer. Thad began speaking nationally on the value of brand design and operations improvements as a key driver to business success.

2016

In 2016 Better Beans Branding was born to address the need for a turn key provider of brand development, interior design, and signage services to support restaurants, childcare, and retail clients in their need to refine and enhance their facilities and branding.

2017

2017 Better Beans has served fifteen clients in its first two operational years.

2019

In 2019 Better Beans has served more than eighty locations across multiple industries across the U.S. helping to add financial value, increase team morale, and deliver impactful  beautifully designed spaces.

2020

In 2020 Better Beans updates their logo and website.

Meet the Beans

Thad Joiner

Chief Executive Officer, Managing Partner
  • Hometown: Lilburn, GA
  • Lives in: Braselton, GA
FAVORITE BEAN:

Despite my desire to be a fordhook, I am without a doubt a coffee bean: morning man who gets 90% of his work done prior to noon, full of energy, and packing a big punch whether you want it or not.

ABOUT:

Thad was born and raised in Gwinnett County, Georgia, and still lives there with his wife, Emily, and two children, Trace and Mia. He served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves while attending Valdosta State University.

Thad founded his first company, TS Express, and bought his first restaurant at age 21. It quickly grew and he sold to partners after just one year.

After selling in 1997, Thad moved back to Atlanta and began his career with The Winston Group, a Golden Corral franchise group. There he served in many roles, opening seven locations over nine years and winning many awards, including the National Sales Volume Increase award three times.

Jordan Woodruff

Vice President of Design, Managing Partner
  • Hometown: Wichita, KS
  • Lives in: Athens, GA
FAVORITE BEAN:

Jelly Bean. They are colorful and every single one is different, like our clients and design choices.

ABOUT:

Jordan’s passion for great design comes through from the start of a project and will live on for years to come. Jordan’s attention to detail and skill for bringing great designs to life has made an impact on both residential and commercial projects from her work in the restaurant and hospitality sectors, in preschools, and in healthcare to her work in custom multi-family residential builds and custom luxury homes. Jordan dreams about compelling design and enjoys working with business owners whose vision and voice can be shared through her work. Jordan has been managing construction and delivering great interior design for almost twenty years.

When she isn’t drafting renderings and managing construction projects she’s busy being the mom to Denley and Ivy and wife to world-traveling classical guitarist, Dusty Woodruff.

Neel Sengupta

Chief Operating Officer, Managing Partner
  • Hometown: Utica, NY by way of Waterloo, Canada
  • Lives in: Lilburn, GA

Ted Wilcox

Vice President of Signage, Managing Partner
  • Hometown: Fitzgerald, GA
  • Lives in: Lawrenceville, GA
FAVORITE BEAN:

Navy Bean. The Navy Bean is a main dish at my family barbeques. It’s a time to enjoy the ones you love.

ABOUT:

Over the last twelve years, Ted’s work providing graphic consultation and signage for business, industry, and even the U.S Armed Forces has taken him across the United States. Ted’s sign packages and graphics work can be seen in college and professional sports stadiums and retail stores like Tiffany & Co, Mizuno USA, and Burberry. If you visit Atlanta, a trip to any of the local sports stadiums like the Falcons former home football field or the Atlanta Braves stadium could be a walking tour of Ted’s creativity with his design and creative stamp on many of the graphic displays and signs. But his work isn’t restricted to sports stadiums—he has designed and installed full signage packages for multi-unit preschool operators, office complexes, and even fleet vehicles. Ted’s experience with graphic design and installation lends very well to his successfully managing the municipal permitting phases of construction and installation. He appreciates the fact that quality branding and great signage are a by-product of successful collaboration.

When he isn’t creating graphics and signage, Ted is the father of three boys, TJ, Trenton, and Treston, and husband to Nikita, a third-grade school teacher.

KatieLea Conwell

Director of Creative Operations
  • Hometown: Austin, TX
  • Current town: Atlanta, GA
FAVORITE BEAN:

Mexican jumping bean

ABOUT:

KatieLea discovered her passion for collaboration early in life one day during Mrs. Chatham’s 5th grade social studies class. The assignment was to create a story about a dog with magical powers – the ’90s were weird. After about five minutes of working quietly at her desk, she couldn’t keep quiet anymore and began excitedly brainstorming all of her story ideas to her tablemates. It wasn’t long before her tale had captured the attention of the class and the teacher asked that everyone return to their own work. Slightly defeated, but energized with fresh ideas, KatieLea got back to penning The Great Blue Dog Adventure, quite certain a Nobel Prize in Literature would soon follow.

Alas, most adult projects don’t involve magical dogs, but KatieLea still brings the same level of excitement to managing the process of every creative project she signs her name to. While KatieLea could happily talk about the algorithms and automations of operational systems with anyone who’s interested (spoiler alert: it’s not most people’s jam), her favorite part of the job is figuring out how to make large, convoluted processes run more effectively by strategizing with the people who are involved in the process.

Niasia Ferguson

Interior Designer
  • Hometown: Lynchburg, VA
  • Current town: Atlanta, GA
FAVORITE BEAN:

Vanilla Bean. While it was a tough fought battle between the Vanilla Bean and Cocoa Bean, the classic Vanilla Bean wins it for me any day of the week.

ABOUT:

Niasia began developing her interest in design and other creative outlets at a young age, primarily fashion design. One would either find her designing new clothing lines, perfecting her drawing and painting skills, and more often than not, rearranging her bedroom furniture at 3 am. It wasn’t until later on when she began binge-watching HGTV with her mom that Niasia rediscovered her love for design and shifted her focus to interiors. Her real passion is in helping clients create beautiful and functional interiors that will serve them for years to come.

When not living. in her dream design world, she enjoys cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs as a proud UGA alum, spending great, quality time with her friends and family, and getting her hands on a new design book.

Savannah Fordham

Graphic Designer
  • Hometown: Alpharetta, GA
  • Current town: Alpharetta, GA
FAVORITE BEAN:

Vanilla bean. Classic and sweet, the vanilla bean is a foundational flavor in most all of our favorite treats and comes from a beautiful orchid flower.

ABOUT:
Growing up with a love for drawing, Savannah has cultivated her artistic passions and gone on to pursue graphic design, branding, editorial design, and illustration. Savannah’s love for design has shown through a number of projects in a range of industries such as fashion, law, restaurant, and non-profit. Whenever she is taking on a project, Savannah likes to strategize new ways to rework the problem at hand and use design as a solution. Most of all, Savannah enjoys using design as a platform to share stories behind brands and people in a compelling and universal way.
Whenever she is in need of some inspiration, Savannah enjoys hiking in North Georgia, mastering a new yoga pose, or consulting a new book.

Keira Douget

Project Management Assistant
  • Hometown: Atlanta, GA
  • Current town: Atlanta, GA
FAVORITE BEAN:

Robusta Coffee Bean: This is the kind of coffee bean they use in espresso. It reminds me of warm spring mornings, productivity, and sparking creativity.

ABOUT:

Keira’s work has been wide in variety and culture. She loves immersing herself in new situations and finding solutions or more lucrative ways to achieve everybody’s vision. She has worked with many different types of projects spanning from Atlanta to Prague. ⁠⁠

For Keira, the magic is in taking a vision and turning it into a reality. She first discovered this passion when she was a child redecorating her bedroom. Keira would move the furniture, pull down her posters, and rearrange everything in the room to make a completely new space. This is when she realized that all you needed was a vision and the discipline to follow through. From here, she began planning, decorating her agendas, and keeping to-do lists. This has become a way of keeping herself feeling productive and empowered. ⁠

As she’s gotten older, she has begun to understand that most projects are much bigger than just rearranging her room, however, she still brings the same creative, optimistic, and determined energy to the table. Keira has come to recognize that by working with other people, collaborating, learning, and making visions come to life – her personal vision has come to life too. ⁠

Leah Wirtz

Interior Designer
  • Hometown: Gadsden, AL
  • Current town: Atlanta, GA
FAVORITE BEAN:

Lima bean

ABOUT:

While Leah has always had an artistic flair– she has a love of community theatre and marching band– her career has developed from broadcast news to consultancy and project management eventually finding her way back to her first love: design. She has a passion for creating a well-thought-out environment that accomplishes her clients’ needs as well as showcases their crafted aesthetic. Given her diverse background, Leah provides a unique perspective for the design process with her experience in corporate settings, as well as medical and financial interiors. When not in the studio, you can most likely find Leah gardening or lost in a book.