Tell us a bit about yourself and your business.
After this past year of hard learning of how to be in business during a pandemic, the famous interview question of “where do you see yourself in five years?” comes to mind. I was asked that question roughly five years ago and never in my wildest dreams thought to answer, “I plan to be a franchise owner opening a business during a global pandemic,” but here we are!
My name is Whitney Wedding and I opened Winans Chocolates + Coffees in downtown Dayton across from the Day Air Ballpark about six weeks prior to the onset of the pandemic. Even though we had to learn very quickly how to navigate the unprecedented times, we haven’t let that stop us from bringing Winans’ handcrafted-quality chocolates and coffees to downtown.
What made you decide to open your own small business and how long have you been in operation?
I have always thought that someday I would be a business owner, but often lacked the confidence from dreaming of being a business owner to actually making it happen. I feel there are a lot of people that fall into this category, after all the fear of the unknown can hold you back… (again, the pandemic was never a fear I ever considered in my wildest dreams of things to worry about)
In the beginning of 2018, an opportunity presented itself to join the Winans family and purchase an existing Winans Chocolates + Coffees at The Greene Town Center in Beavercreek. After meeting with Laurie Reiser (the 4th generation Winan) I knew I found a company that truly valued their employees, their commitment to quality and their place in the community. She was inspirational and had a passion to grow her father’s company and it was right then that I knew that taking the leap of faith to be a franchise owner was the right decision.
After only a year of owning the Winans at The Greene, a fantastic opportunity arose to bring Winans Chocolates, Coffees and Wine to downtown Dayton. After seeing the proposed space near RiverScape and the Dragons’ field I knew it was where we were meant to be.
What do you enjoy about working in downtown Dayton?
Being in downtown Dayton is proving to be more than I ever expected it to be. The residents, the visitors, and businesses have all been truly amazing to us in our first year. We have made many new friendships with our customers, and we are continuing to build on that foundation daily. We are the neighborhood coffee shop that you can zip in and grab a latte before work, or sit with friends while enjoying chocolates for a pick me up after lunch to stopping by for a glass of wine after work. The downtown vibe lends itself to being community driven and we are super excited to be a part of it. And even more excited that this year will bring the return of baseball, festivals and new businesses to the area. It’s a fun place to be!
Tell us something about your business that may surprise people to learn.
I think our customers are surprised to learn that all of our handcrafted chocolates and fresh roasted whole bean coffees are made in Piqua, Ohio. Although they have made several improvements to keep up with demand, the chocolate factory still uses some of the original equipment. My favorite is the Hobart Mixer, it is one of the oldest still in production. It is dated between 1911-1913, verified by Hobart and is used to create two candies, marshmallow creams and cookie dough. Both are out of this world delicious!
How is your business coping with the pandemic and how can people support you now?
As I like to believe, everything has a silver lining and my version of a silver lining for this pandemic is that it has allowed us to dive deep and find the things that matter the most. People. People matter the most. We have struggled like every other business trying to navigate through all the mandates, masks, staying healthy, etc., and at the end of every day it’s the people that are pulling us through, from my fantastic manager, Rachelle, or my talented baristas, and of course my husband Tom and our family. We strive to meet the needs of the customers, the business, and the community everyday and your continued support (to the business and tipping baristas) is at the heart of our and their existence.
Winans Chocolates + Coffees + Wine
221 N. Patterson Blvd.
Social media: @WinansDaytonDowntown
Share this Post