Local coffee shop leans on community support throughout pandemic

Local News

Culturehouse Coffee on Youngstown's north side has had to adapt its business model during the COVID-19 pandemic

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s no secret that the pandemic has left many small businesses struggling to survive. Yet, a local coffee shop on Youngstown’s north side has been selling out of coffee weekly after expanding its online platform.

Valley natives Stephen and Mary Protheroe opened Culturehouse Coffee Company nearly seven years ago. It’s been a coffee shop centered on building relationships and a sense of community, so when social distancing and face masks became the new normal, Stephen Protheroe said he was nervous about what was ahead.

Though they had an online presence before the pandemic, the storefront mainly did the heavy lifting for the business.  

The shop tried to make up for that loss by moving the business online, which included expanding its variety of coffee, adding a five-pound bag of beans available for purchase and launching a new subscription service.

Stephen said although times are tough, the community has always been there to help them keep going.

“We’ve had a lot of support locally. If you have something good in Youngstown, people will find you. I find that to be true during this time.” 

Culturehouse also wanted to pay it forward. As a way to thank customers, owners offered 19% off all orders for a limited time. For front line workers, they donated five gallons of coffee to each of the Mercy Health centers in Youngstown and Warren.

They have recently reopened their indoor and outdoor seating. As Youngstown State University transitions into the upcoming school year, owners say they are excited to safely welcome the students back. 

Stephen said even though the past few months have been a challenge, he’s glad he’s still able to serve his customers, whether it’s online or in person.

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