We opened the doors in Squirrel Hill in May of 2010, but the opportunity didn’t come from us planning retail growth into Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh came looking for us. A wholesale client ran a cafe in the space, and after learning they wanted to sell, we truly thought we couldn’t do it. But at the time, a friend and employee needed full-time work, and with the help of friends (and Andre, Phil and Brad) we had an address in Pittsburgh.
Being in Pittsburgh was an exciting thought for us at that time. We had wholesale clients that were in the city who would drive to Indiana to receive training at our roastery at that time. Suddenly, we were with them and they could come to our shop. And with an address in Pittsburgh, suddenly opportunities we didn’t dream of having in Indiana opened up for us. We employed more people, grew our wholesale, and make friends and connections in the city.
It was also our first store front. Those that have visited the Indiana shop know that it is tucked away and hidden from street view. But the Squirrel Hill shop sat on Forbes, a busy street with a window that looked out onto the community.