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Home Home decor Kitchen Family bakery and coffee shop opens in town

Family bakery and coffee shop opens in town

CHILLICOTHE – A family-owned bakery and coffee shop has opened on the northwest side of town.

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Livy Cakes and Two Roasting Joes is owned and operated by Tom Johnson and his daughter Olivia Johnson. They offer custom cakes and freshly roasted coffee. Previously, they worked out of their home but have been operating out of their North High Street location since Jan. 10. 

Olivia began decorating and baking cakes and other pastries as a child in their home kitchen. Meanwhile, Tom has spent more than 10 years roasting coffee in what he affectionately calls the roasting shack which was adjacent to their house.

Tom fell in love with coffee roasting and gradually found a way to turn it into a business. He started selling his roasts at the local farmers market where he sold directly to the customer. He eventually moved on to wholesale at smaller grocery stores.

“I say it’s a hobby that got out of control,” he said.

When Olivia was 13 years old, she knew she wanted to start selling something at the farmers market that would complement her father’s coffee. She walked around the market to learn what other stands were selling and found what was missing. Olivia decided to offer biscotti — the perfect treat to go with a cup of joe. The experience taught her how much goes into creating a product and how to earn a profit, according to Tom.

“She learned how hard it is to make money,” he said. “But here she is anyway.”

Olivia went on to attend Hocking College for pastry and culinary arts. After she graduated, she worked a few different jobs before realizing she wanted to be her own boss. Tom and Olivia always knew their passions complemented each other and decided to go into business.

“Coffee and baked goods just go well together,” Olivia said.

Livy Cakes is different than other bakeries in town because they offer products you can’t find elsewhere, according to Olivia. The shop doesn’t just focus on cakes but other tasty treats like cannolis and cheesecakes. There is also a selection of signature products like no-bake cake and Joe Go Crunch — a take on the classic puppy chow but dusted with espresso powder. Olivia uses base recipes that she learned in school and adapts them to achieve her desired result. This leads to original recipes based on new additions and changes.

“I didn’t want to create competition for myself by selling products other shops had,” she said.

But Olivia isn’t the only one offering unique products at the shop.

Tom is dedicated to providing his customers with the best product at Two Roasting Joes. Most people don’t realize what goes into making the perfect cup of coffee, according to Tom.

“Most people are disconnected,” he said. “They’re just attuned to the final product.”

Two Roasting Joes roasts all of its coffee beans inhouse which produces the freshest product. They also offer customization of coffee like grinding, based on the customer’s needs. But for Tom, it’s all about finding the best bean which is what separates his java from the rest. There are currently 25 flavors, 5 blends and 15 single origin options but that’s expanding rapidly.

“The quality that you start with affects the end product,” he said.

The staff at Livy Cakes and Two Roasting Joes is growing, too. At first, it was just Olivia and Tom running the shop. But they soon realized the two of them weren’t able to operate the business alone. They hired 10 additional people to help: five working the front end, three to help in the kitchen and two to assist with coffee roasting.

Before the shop was a bakery, it was a convenience store. The lot was vacant for three years before the Johnsons moved in. The community has been supportive of a new business coming in and the neighbors are excited to see the lot filled, according to Tom. 

“There’s this resurgence of people wanting to support small and local businesses,” he said.

Feeling connected to the community was an integral part of the business’s layout. When you walk in the doors, you’re greeted by quirky decor, bright colors and an open floor plan. Customers are able to see exactly what’s happening in the kitchen and roastery. The openness of the site helps the employees and customers feel connected, according to Tom. It shows the customers that they’re in the shop and available to assist them. 

If you’re stopping into Livy Cakes and Two Roasting Joes, try the signature no-bake cake and grab a cup of the longtime favorite Chillicoffee blend. The shop will have its official ribbon cutting ceremony on Feb. 4 at 9 a.m.


Read or Share this story: https://www.chillicothegazette.com/story/news/2019/02/04/family-bakery-and-coffee-shop-opens-town/2704958002/


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