Source: Kamron Taylor, Staff Writer

Boston Stoker to serve food from Lily’s Bistro on Jan. 20

Just when we thought two Dayton staples couldn’t get any better, they go and form a partnership.

Yes, Boston Stoker on Second Street in Dayton and Lily’s Bistro have joined forces.  The Dayton coffee shop has tentatively set a date to serve Lily’s breakfast and lunch starting Jan. 20 right after a soft sample day on Jan. 19.

We met with Emily Mendenhall, co-owner of Lily's Bistro, who spoke about the new partnership. She even revealed some tasty new menu options coming to the coffee shop.

What food options will be available at Boston Stoker?
One of the biggest things we are offering to the Boston Stoker location is that nothing is ever frozen -- never frozen ingredients, and it will be very fresh. Another reason why I think we worked out is that we are literally located around the corner. So even though the Oregon District and downtown seem far away at times, you can get Lily's at two different locations now. 

For food, it was all about maintaining the spirit of Lily’s, but in a package that is friendly to folks who are on the move and looking to grab and go. I am really excited about this Waffle Breakfast Sandwich with sausage patties and cheddar cheese. We will be offering it with a little side of local maple syrup form Flying Mouse Farms outside Yellow Springs. It’s a very sweet and savory combo. 

We will also be doing some quiches, and all of our eggs are local and free range. These options will be mixed up all of the time. There will be different soups all of the time, different quiches all of the time and I think we will want to standardize some of the other menu options. 

>> Lily's Bistro reveals Boston Stoker menu 

What was the inspiration for the partnership?
I think that Boston Stoker has been looking to expand their food options for a little while. I learned about Boston Stoker when I moved back to Dayton from Louisiana, and I felt that it would be a good fit for Lily’s because they share the same commitment to quality ingredients and quality products, but still being very welcoming and accessible to people. So I think that the partnership really makes sense.

We’ve been using Boston Stoker at the restaurant since we opened two and a half years ago. As I got to know the Henry (Dean, the President of Boston Stoker) a little bit more, I learned about the company and that food is not what they do, and they were looking for a partner who could provide that same quality product and the same customer service attitude.

What do you like about Boston Stoker as a brand?  
Mendenhall: People should remember that Boston Stoker is a family-owned business. I think there are about 10 different locations right now, and they’ve been around since around the 70’s.

Meeting Henry socially, I learned that his mother does the bookkeeping, just like my mom does the bookkeeping for Blind Bob’s and Lily’s. His father started the company and a lot of people have heard the name Boston Stoker, but they are a Dayton company through and through. They are a Dayton company that has worked very hard for people to have these multiple locations. They have two locations in the airport, so it’s kind of like a hello and a goodbye from Dayton. They’ve worked very hard in recent years to elevate their product. Henry travels to the countries where they source their coffee. He meets the growers. Their single origin coffee has really shown that they put a lot of focus on their product.

What will Lily's be able to offer Boston Stoker?
Mendenhall: The Boston Stoker product is more than just your standard little cup of coffee. One of the big things Lily’s will be able to offer Boston Stoker (is) we work a lot as a regional restaurant focused on Midwestern cuisine. We work really hard with local farmers and local purveyors. In the items that we are doing with Boston Stoker, you will be able to see a lot of that focus.

We do a chicken salad sandwich, which Boston Stoker has done for a long time. However, we will be providing local free-range chickens from Farmer Dean, who you can see from Second Street Market. We will have croissants from Ashley’s Pastries in Oakwood. When you go into Boston Stoker you’re in a local business, you’re supporting Lily’s which is a local business, and by proxy all of the local vendors that we work with -- which I think is kind of cool.

What are you most excited about with this partnership?
Mendenhall: The spirit for collaborations. I think it’s great when you see companies working together and find how their products enhance each other.