An independently owned coffee shop is gearing up to open in Huber Heights this summer in a historic brick farmhouse built in 1850 and once owned by a prominent local legislator.
Build-out and renovation of what will be The City Coffeehouse coffee shop is underway at 4940 Chambersburg Road near Old Troy Pike. The 1850 farmhouse was once owned by the late Clara Weisenborn, a community leader, journalist for The (Dayton) Journal Herald, and Republican state legislator in the Ohio General Assembly for 20 years. Weisenborn died in 1985 at age 77.
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“We are hoping to open early this summer, possibly June,” Whitney Caudill, co-founder of City Coffeehouse, told this news outlet.
Huber Heights Assistant City Manager Scott Falkowski said the city “is excited to see the opening of The City Coffeehouse, embracing the history of the area, converting the old Weisenborn farmhouse into a coffee shop. The mission and the drive of the owners really shine. They are very community-minded and will be a big asset here.”
The coffee shop is expected to seat about 50, and plans call for renovating an attached garage, which would add about 30 more seats, Caudill said. The shop also will have three large outdoor patios. City Coffeehouse is accepting email resumes from those who have coffee shop experience at infothecitycoffeehouse.com.
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Here is a Q&A with Whitney Caudill about The City Coffeehouse:
What prompted you to open a coffee shop?
I recently founded a non-profit in Dayton called Her Story, Inc., which is a temporary housing program that helps women detox from drugs and connects them to quality treatment centers. I worked on a big project in January 2018 with Danius Williams, founder of Ignite Our City in Columbus, regarding the drug epidemic and that is actually when we first met. We worked really well together and when I was presented with the opportunity to open a coffee shop, I knew who I wanted on my team.
When we met up to brainstorm about this coffee shop, we had two major things in common. First, we knew we wanted to serve each guest with the utmost care and hospitality in a space that was created to feel like a home away from home. Second, we wanted our passion for love and justice to come to life by partnering with local nonprofits who are helping create positive change in our community. When we agreed on those two things, we were confident that this would be a good partnership.
What did you like about that location?
We knew we wanted a unique space that had the potential to feel like a second home to people. We also knew that we wanted to host small events and City Music Nights, where our musician friends and local artists could come in and perform. There were a couple locations downtown (Dayton) that we looked into and one in Centerville, but they ended up being way too big and were not in a reasonable price range.
After a few disappointments, I jumped back online to look for available properties. I didn’t type in a city. I just skimmed over hundreds of properties until one jumped out at me. When I came across this house, I was intrigued. It is a beautiful 1850s original brick house, sitting on almost 2 acres, with 17 parking spots. I thought, oh my gosh, how is this still on the market?!
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Truthfully, I didn’t know much about Huber Heights at all. My friend Donnie Raye Evege was a Wayne High School grad and one of many to move on to Ohio State University to play football. That’s all I knew. Wayne High School has the best football players. After more research, I was a bit discouraged because there seemed to be a stigma on the city. Some people said there isn’t much going for it and that they don’t want small businesses coming to town. Like I do with most challenges, I accepted. When I see potential, I can’t leave it alone. That credit goes to God.
I called my Dad and we drove to The Heights to check it out. Wow! After walking the property, inside and outside, I called Danius and was like, D, I think I found our Coffeehouse. She came to see it, loved it, and also accepted the challenge.
We put in an offer with a contingency on it getting rezoned and approved for operating as a coffee shop. It all worked out great! It was a pleasure working with the City of Huber Heights! They were incredibly supportive and lived up to their motto, Come Grow With Us! We have quickly come to love the city of Huber Heights and are honored to serve the people here and throughout the Dayton area.
What else do you want your future customers to know about you at this point?
We love coffee and we love people. We want to get to know our customers and create a culture of belonging. We know there are many distractions happening in the world today and it can be difficult to slow down and just be in the present with yourself and the people around you. While we want to be known for our excellent coffee, we also want to be known for taking care of our customers. When they walk through our doors, we want them to feel like they are a part of our family.