For Roasters & Retailers

From engineer to coffee shop owner in Erie, Pennsylvania


Hannah Kirby is a 30-year-old resident of Erie, Pennsylvania, originally from Waynesburg. She first came to Erie to earn her engineering degree from Gannon University and later got an MBA. She got a job as an engineer at a manufacturing company in town, but eventually realized she wanted something else: to open up a coffee shop. She studied coffee, visited roasters across the country, and now Kirby owns Ember + Forge in downtown Erie, the only coffee shop within the city limits besides Starbucks. The following is an edited transcript of Kirby discussing how the coffee shop came to be and how she hopes it will contribute to Erie’s growth.

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