Daytonians of the Week: Josh Stucky and Brent Johnson

It is hard to think about Joshua Stucky without thinking about Brent Johnson.

The dynamic duo founded and sold Therapy Cafe and built an empire that now includes seven Square One Salon locations.

The Dayton couple of more than 25 years also co-owns the retail shop Agnes & Orson and are members of the Rubi Girls, a Dayton-based comedy drag troupe that has raised more than a $1 million for gay causes and AIDS and HIV in its 30-year history.

It seemed more than appropriate that this influential pair would be co-Daytonians of the Week. 

Josh Stucky and Brent Johnson (Staff Photo by Amelia Robinson)

What superpower would you love to have?

BRENT:  If I could have any superpower, it would be the power to heal. There is so much pain and hurt in this world, and I just wish I could take some of it away sometimes. There are endless types of pain, not just physical, that people have to carry with them day in and day out.

JOSH: I would like to possess the power to read minds. I would love to know what people are REALLY thinking.

How did you get involved with your work?

BRENT:  I've always had a passion for small business. Why, I don't know but it is in my blood. The first day I worked in a salon was November 1999, when we opened 506 E. 3rd St. I believe the business type itself is secondary, it's the customer/staff connection I crave. Business is the building of relationships and trust.

JOSH:  I got into doing the Rubi Girls as a way to help those affected by HIV. I lost a significant other on 9/3/93 to AIDS, and I knew I wanted to do something to help people. I opened Agnes and Orson as a creative outlet after retiring from teaching for 25 years!

What do you love about life in Dayton?

BRENT:  I love the ease of life in Dayton. I love living close enough to walk to work (at least some locations).  I can run on bike paths, through tree lined streets, through UD and downtown. I can walk to Ben and Jerry's, for coffee, or to grab a bite at Coco's or Pine Club. I love the caring friendly, open-minded people of Dayton.

What would you do on a perfect date in Dayton?

BRENT: A perfect date in Dayton includes a walk with my dogs in one of the many great places in Dayton, dinner at one of the many locally owned restaurants and a movie at The Neon Movies of course. 

JOSH: I like going to local restaurants on dates with Brent. I know how much it means to local business owners to have local dollars coming in. I also love to sit on patios and drink with Brent!

What's one word you think people would use to describe you?

Josh Stucky and Brent Johnson (photo submitted)


What would you change about Dayton? 

BRENT:  If I could change anything about Dayton, it would be our low self-esteem. My friends that visit from across the country are amazed at the variety of arts, parks, architecture and restaurant choices we have at such a low cost of living and so quickly accessible by car etc...

Luckily, I think we are starting to embrace our "cool" factor.

JOSH: I think one thing Dayton can change is the idea that we are not world-class... we are and we need to behave like it!! I would love to see more events in the downtown area... it just keeps getting better!

What do you think Dayton will look like in 10-15 years?

 BRENT:  I think Dayton is going to be the envy of all in 10-15 years, with awesome housing options, activity along the river, low cost of living, great colleges with walk-ability between neighborhoods and entertainment.

What's your favorite spot in Dayton?

BRENT: My favorite spot is Woodland Cemetery. I love the history, the green space and the architecture of the monuments. Such a beautiful place year-round to see a great view of the city.

JOSH: My favorite spot in Dayton is Riverscape on a cool, crisp morning walking my doggies, Agnes & Uncle Arthur. I don't know if people realize how relaxing that really is!!

What's your guilty pleasure?

BRENT: Ice cream. Because I don't feel guilty about having a drink, but I do about ice cream.

JOSH: My guilty pleasure is Ben and Jerry's hot fudge sundae with a banana while watching 'The Real Housewives' of some city. 

Why did you decide to settle in Dayton?

BRENT: I settled in Dayton because I grew up just South of Dayton, and it was affordable. My first apartment was in the Oregon District on Hess Street. I've always been a fan of the city. Of a mixed bag of people and experiences. Dayton provides that. I call Dayton the land of opportunity. I couldn't have done what I've accomplished in any other place!

JOSH: I live in Dayton because I honestly love what it has provided me. I am grateful to this community and its people. I want to give back as much as I can.

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