Coffee Shop Success Story: Sandstone Coffee Shop in Amherst, OhioFebruary 24, 2023 (Published: February 4, 2023)
The heart of downtown Amherst, Ohio, has a new hot spot for locals to get together over amazing coffee and delicious eats!
Sandstone Coffee House at 254 Park Avenue invites guests to enjoy a cozy, home-like atmosphere, award-winning coffee and a growing menu of breakfast and lunch food options.
Meet Owners Sean and Stephanie Miller
Sandstone Coffee House represents a homecoming for Lorain-area natives Sean and Stephanie Miller.
It’s also their second coffee restaurant. In 2019, they opened Coffee in the Valley at 6663 Center Road in Valley City, Ohio.
Their idea of owning and managing coffee shops began as a ‘someday’ dream, according to Stephanie.
“I was an elementary school teacher, and my husband is an accountant. How did this lead to a coffee shop?”
While walking through Valley City one evening, they noticed a building for sale. It was a former bank with a drive-thru lane.
“We joked around about buying the bank,” she said. “Little did we know, a few short months later we would be on our way to opening Coffee in the Valley!”
Learning to Open Their First Coffee Shop
To achieve their dream and learn how to open a coffee shop in Ohio, the couple turned to our 7 Steps to Success coffee shop startup program.
Our program guides aspiring owners of independent coffee shops from dream to opening and beyond. Our coffee shop startup consultants become partners in their success, helping them build their businesses.
“Without Crimson Cup, we would have struggled getting started,” Stephanie said. “We knew nothing beforehand about making coffee and espresso. We were just following a dream.”
Expanding to a Second Location
After three successful years at Coffee in the Valley, the Millers learned a building in downtown Amherst was available.
“We both grew up in the Lorain area, and this is home,” Stephanie Miller said. “It’s good to come back to our roots.”
At Sandstone Coffee House, she plans to duplicate many of the features that have driven Coffee in the Valley’s success.
“We’re known in Valley City for our top-notch coffee, friendly service and varied menu,” she said.
“In Amherst, we’re planning to have pastries, breakfast and lunch options, sandwiches, soups, and more.”
Crimson Cup’s Hands-on Training Promotes Consistency
Stephanie sees consistency as the key to her successful expansion. “We make sure we’re consistent with staffing, policies, the owner’s time in the shop and making sure the staff at both locations feels supported.”
Crimson Cup’s hands-on training, held at each shop the week before opening, has helped her baristas deliver espresso-based drinks that consistently taste great.
“One customer commented that our drinks taste the same at both shops, always, and she loves that!”
Both shops have a comfortable, home-like feel. “We like to offer a variety of seating choices and warm and bright lighting. And our staff at both shops is amazing!”
Expanding to Two Locations Creates Challenges and Opportunities
“I run around like crazy now, and our staff was a little concerned at first about not getting enough of my time,” she said.
“Just figuring out how to keep everything supplied and on a schedule was a challenge, but now we have backup inventory if we run out of supplies at one store.”
“Plus, we have so many more opportunities to invest in our communities and get to know so many people! We open for events, even if they are on days we are closed or after hours. We also display local high school art, host poetry readings, and support school and community events.”
Visit Sandstone Coffee and Coffee in the Valley
Sean and Stephanie Miller invite everyone in Northeast Ohio to visit their coffee shops in Valley City and Amherst, Ohio.
“Make sure you bring a friend, or a book,” Stephanie Miller said. “You are going to want to stay for a while. We can’t wait to serve you!”
Sandstone Coffee House is open Monday through Saturday at 254 Park Avenue. Follow the shop’s Facebook page for news, featured drinks and other updates.
Coffee in the Valley is open Monday through Saturday at 6663 Center Road in Valley City, Ohio. Follow their Facebook page for the latest news.
Thinking About Opening Your Own Coffee Shop? Sandstone Coffee’s New Owners Have Some Advice.
As the proud owner of two independent coffee shops, Stephanie Miller has this advice for prospective coffee shop owners: “I would highly recommend Crimson Cup. Without them, I am not sure we would still be open – let alone opening a second location.”
Crimson Cup’s Customer Growth team has helped her solve problems and brainstorm opportunities for both locations.
Her favorite part about working with Crimson Cup? “They have an amazing staff that’s extremely supportive and responsive. Our orders come on time and have had almost no mistakes in our three and a half years of working with the company.”
If you’re an entrepreneur who’s passionate about coffee and business ownership, opening a coffee shop could be the perfect opportunity for you!
To get started, call our 7 Steps Coffee Shop Startup Team at 888-800-9224 during regular business hours. Nights and weekends, you’re welcome to fill out this form, and we’ll get back to you within one business day.