A & B Coffee & Cake Co.
by: Betsy Ward, co-owner with Aaron Ward
Welcome to The A & B! We are excited to provide the community with exceptional coffee and cake creations. We would like to share a little bit of how this new chapter in our lives originated.
About one year ago, after the birth of our third son, we started talking about doing something for our family that we truly enjoyed. We had both worked in corporate America and weren’t 100% happy going to a “job” every day that wasn’t exactly fulfilling to us. We had also come to the realization that we were missing too much of our children’s lives. Having both been born and raised in Darke County, we appreciated it’s quaintness as the best place to raise our family and knew we wanted to stay here.
We have always enjoyed the small town atmosphere – namely, the less-than-five-minute commute to work and the opportunity to have lunch together every day. We are very much a team and try to build upon our relationship at every moment. Some very close friends taught us the importance of staying in love throughout our marriage. So the obvious solution was to go into business together. We are very family-focused and community-minded. We wanted to build a successful business in the community which supports us and within a community we can give back to as well.
I have been decorating cakes for ten years in my kitchen. Business has exploded and we have outgrown my kitchen production space. Four years ago, I shared lunch with Sharon Deschambeau regarding finding baking space downtown. She connected me with the Small Business Development Center at Edison Community College which helped me establish a business plan. The right seeds were planted, then, and it just took finding the right timing and space for me to expand.
Recently, we found that space! Consciously considering the idea of additional cash flow, we knew we needed some daily draw beside cake. Specialty coffees, teas and smoothies are a great compliment to cake, so we researched the coffee industry and found that Crimson Cup had exactly the high-quality product for which we were looking. So, at the beginning of August, we walked to the edge of the cliff, clasped hands and jumped. We said, “Goodbye”, to corporate America and began the creation of our beautiful space.
Seven weeks of tirelessly working on rebuilding 2,200 square feet of retail space (many days of which were twenty-hour days), plus one get-away weekend later, here we are! The A & B Coffee & Cake Co. is a warm, inviting place to sit and stay awhile while enjoying superior quality coffee or tea drinks and perhaps nibbling on a sweet treat from our bakery.
Above all, we still have a small commute to work, will still get the opportunity to have lunch with each other every day, and most importantly, we have physically illustrated our dream and have the freedom to be more involved with our sons.
Aaron & Betsy Ward