In the span of an hour on Friday afternoon, three different passersby stepped through the door of a new coffeehouse downtown, adorned with a bold sign that simply reads, “COFFEE.” Inside, they found Noah Walkup and Jared Wesbecher, working hard on the shop’s final touches.
“Are you open?” each passerby asked.
“Not yet, but you can pop in and look around if you want!” Wesbecher exclaimed.
The new shop is called Purebred Coffee Co., located at 110 E. Main St. in Troy.
Its soft open is set for Wednesday, Nov. 8, and Walkup, Wesbecher, and the rest of the staff have been eager to offer glances into what they’re building for the community.
Noah Walkup and his wife, Meggin, co-owners of Purebred Coffee Co., are no strangers to local business ownership.
“My wife’s been in the restaurant business for 18 years,” said Walkup. “I started a lawn care company right out of high school, which I later sold to Green Tech. I had an outdoor lighting company after that, which was sold to Green Tech as well. I’ve been working as a youth pastor in Troy for the last five years, but my wife and I have always wanted to start something together.”
It was Walkup’s position as a youth pastor with True Life Community Church in Troy that led he and his wife toward their interest in coffee.
“I started hanging out in coffee shops a lot, just from working with the youth,” Walkup said. “I just loved the culture, and I love what coffee does. The atmosphere creates a lot of positive interactions and helps to build relationships. It’s a cool avenue to meet exciting and interesting people.”
Originally planning to start a CrossFit studio, Walkup realized that a coffeehouse would be his course of action after discovering Purebred’s location on Main Street.
“The owner showed me this space, and I instantly knew it would be perfect for a coffee shop,” Walkup said. “I started casting the vision to family and friends. I knew Jared was in the coffee world, and I loved his personality and what he could bring to a coffee shop. I only started drinking coffee a year ago, and I was limited on knowledge, so bringing our skills together has really allowed this project to unfold as we’ve built relationships locally.”
Jared Wesbecher, lead barista and head of training at Purebred Coffee Co., considers coffee as much a hobby as a profession, and was glad to follow the Walkups on the journey.
“I started talking to Noah in April when he and his wife began pursuing this,” Wesbecher said. “I was at another local coffeehouse at the time, and it had always been my dream to have an independent coffee shop. I got into coffee as a means to manage time while pursuing my degree in psychology. It’s a fascinating industry, because people will come in and talk to you about whatever problems they have. There’s not enough support sometimes for those experiencing poor mental or emotional health, and I love being in a position to build people up and support them on that front.”
A primary objective in Purebred’s business model has been to coordinate with others in the Miami Valley to provide the highest-quality ingredients available.
“We’re in business with Deeper Roots Coffee out of Cincinnati,” said Wesbecher. “There’s an entire coffee co-op those guys sponsor out of Guatemala. They worked closely with the village there, and have now branched out to other locations around the world since their organization has grown. I got a chance to go down there in early 2016 to see the whole process. It really brings coffee to life when you get to pick the cherries off the plant yourself and meet firsthand with the farmers, who do this every day and make their living this way. It makes me want to be a better barista to showcase the hard work others are doing.”
“We are partnered with Farmhouse Bakery, who are providing all of our daily baked goods,” Walkup said. “They’ll be doing all of our syrups and sauces as well. Our dairy is all out of Jeffersonville. The goal is to be all-natural and stay as local as possible. We’re trying to stick to the name ‘Purebred,’ in getting the best ingredients and providing the most heightened experience.”
The road to Purebred’s opening has had its challenges, but according to Walkup and Wesbecher, the process has been made significantly easier by those who have stepped up to volunteer.
“A lot of friends and family have supported us through our Kickstarter campaign,” said Walkup. “We’ve managed to do most of the build-out ourselves. One friend did the tile. Another friend put in the bar. A lot of friends and family have come in to do flooring and painting and hauling and clean-up. Whatever we’ve needed, people have been there.”
Moving forward, the Walkups and the rest of the staff are excited to share what they’ve learned from the start-up experience with the public.
“When we started getting into coffee, we went to home-brewing classes and things, and there’s just so much to know,” Walkup said. “Not all coffee is created equally. We experienced the coffee coming out of all different regions — Brazil, Burundi, Colombia, Ethiopia — and the process of how farms dry coffee cherries, pull different flavors, and create different roasts. We’re excited to bring that education to the consumer here in Troy. A lot of regular coffee drinkers may love the product without knowing of its complexity. Once we’re more established, we’ll be having some brewing classes, cupping classes, and other events that’ll allow us to share what we do.”
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