By Kalea Hall
Vindicator, Youngstown, Ohio
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Twins Emily and Levi Smith turned their love for coffee into a thriving business. The siblings are not only coffee entrepreneurs, but sophomore students at Youngstown State University.
It’s one hot Monday afternoon at the Coz Coffee Bar when Emily and Levi Smith come out of their barn-turned-coffee shop.
Outside, the trash can is filled with coffee cups. It’s been another busy day for the twin 19-year-olds. Still, the duo is excited to discuss how their love of coffee formed a business.
“We are big coffee nerds,” Levi said.
The coffee nerds were turned entrepreneurs right after they graduated from Western Reserve High School in 2015.
They were picking blueberries and strawberries at White House Fruit Farms when they heard of the opportunity to open a coffee shop inside White House, 9249 Youngstown-Salem Road.
In May, Levi and Emily pitched the idea of them opening the coffee shop to White House owner Debbie Pifer, a cousin.
“We thought it would give us a whole new dimension that we couldn’t do ourselves,” Pifer said. “It was a great marriage of two small businesses.”
Levi and Emily were given the OK, and White House gave a starting investment to help get the new business off the ground.
Emily and Levi did their research, and by September of last year, they were ready to open.
Levi had worked as a barista before, so he had the knowledge of how to make a great cup of coffee. From there, it was a lot of reading and reaching out to other coffee shops for advice and information on where to source coffee beans.
“A lot of it is experimenting and seeing what we could do to get different tastes,” Levi said.
Levi and Emily found a variety of roasters to get their coffee beans.