Fifth Street brewpub founder moves into coffee

Published: Friday, April 21, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

            A family photo of the Barista Cafe product. SUBMITTED.
A family photo of the Barista Cafe product. SUBMITTED.

Brian Young, president and co-founder of Dayton’s Fifth Street Brewpub, has been working on a new coffee product that has boosted manufacturing locally and is being launched nationally.

The product is flavored latte foam. It’s basically a bottle of barista-style latte foam that anyone can put in their coffee at home.

Young lives in Dayton, but the company that created the product, international food and beverage products company Frutarom, has a facility in Butler County’s West Chester Twp., off Commerce Park Drive. Much of what the company makes, including flavorings, goes into other companies’ foods or products.

Young is national sales manager at Frutarom USA.

The flavored latte, Barista Café, is presented as a line from Sebastianos Brands.

The formulation was developed some three years back, but the company hadn’t been able to sell any of it, Young said in an interview Thursday.

The product needed marketing, a new look and a new approach. That’s where Young and Oregon District firm Folio Design came in.

Young said he and Folio Design “made a brand out of it basically.”

“I didn’t invent the formula, but I helped patent it,” Young said. “It had no patents on it when I got here. I put new packaging together along with putting it into a family (of brands).”

The result?

“It’s doing real well,” Young said. “It had not sold a package before I got here but then we put a new (production) line in because of it — a multi-million dollar line just to keep up with (demand).”

Frutarom — which has about 125 workers in Butler County — has invested more than $2 million into production of Barista Café. The company sold the product to Walmart, as well as some private-label iterations that can be found at Bed Bath & Beyond, Jordan’s Mixes, T.J. Maxx and elsewhere.

Unrolling the product meant new packaging and a new name. It also meant new flavors. Christmas flavors are on tap, including peppermint mocha, gingerbread and pumpkin spice.

“No one else in the world has this type of product; it’s only us,” Young said.

The idea is to pump one to three dollops into a cup of coffee and get an authentic latte coffeehouse experience, he said.

“To froth milk or to steam milk, no one has that kind of equipment, and even if you do, it’s very difficult to clean and to keep sanitary,” Young said. “I thought it would be kind of neat to make a coffee into a nice latte — and we’ll flavor it.”

This kind of thinking — seeing the potential in a neglected idea — helped make the Fifth Street Brewpub a reality, he agreed.

In 2010, Young and his fellow brewpub founders persuaded 32 neighbors in the St. Anne’s Hill neighborhood and beyond to get together to buy a house at 1600 E. Fifth Street. The neighbors formed an investment group, bought and improved the building.

“The brewpub started out as a neighborhood project,” Young recalled. “But you needed vision. You needed things that could help people see the final light.”

“It’s difficult to sell on concept all the time,” he added. “But we did a nice job of that.”

A video on the product can be found here.


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Overheard while Thanksgiving shopping: ‘Your dad is going to kill me’

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 10:28 AM
Updated: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 10:31 AM


Eager shoppers trickled in and out of the aisles of retailers like Meijer, Kroger and Cabela’s early Thanksgiving morning. With friends and family, people in the Miami Valley loaded their carts with oversized TVs, food for Thanksgiving dinner and toys for Christmas.

Our reporter walked the aisles, too, listening to what you had to say during your shopping expeditions. Here’s what we heard:


6 a.m.

“No wait on Lane 2!” a Meijer worker announced over the store intercom. Shoppers sauntered through neatly stocked aisles, browsing deals and picking up items.

» Thanksgiving, Black Friday shopping: Best deals we found today

6:30 a.m.

Shoppers were out for Black Friday on Nov. 24, 2017, throughout the Dayton area. KARA DRISCOLL / STAFF

“Sorry, we’re out of that,” an electronics worker told a customer waiting in a short line in the back of Meijer.

“Oh well, that’s $400 we didn’t need to spend.”

7 a.m.

A mother and her son load a TV into a cart packed with other items.

“Your dad is going to kill me.”


8 a.m.

Less than 10 cars and pick-up trucks sit in the parking lot of Cabela’s in Centerville, which opens at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving. Customers head into the store to scope out deals.

“Does anyone really need a meat slicer at home though?”

Shoppers were out for Black Friday on Nov. 24, 2017, throughout the Dayton area. KARA DRISCOLL / STAFF

» Thanksgiving shopping: Stores open early today for Black Friday deals


11 a.m. 

At least 100 customers wait in line to receive free gift cards of various amounts at Elder-Beerman. As customers filed in the store, they found “Buy One, Get Two Free” deals on men’s apparel, low-priced drones and cookware on sale.

“I need to get Laura that shirt that says, ‘I’m the reason we’re always late.’” a woman said, as she tugged at a sweatshirt.


2 p.m. 

Hundreds of people line up outside of J.C.Penney near the Mall at Fairfield Commons to get coupons before they shop. Workers at the door tell customers to go to back of the line.

“You have to go to the back of the line. There’s people waiting.”

“*&^%$ I’m in line with these people. I’m not cutting.”

» RELATED: 17 retail horror stories that show working Black Friday is the worst

2:45 p.m. 

Shoppers were out for Black Friday on Nov. 24, 2017, throughout the Dayton area. KARA DRISCOLL / STAFF

Shoppers crowd clothing sections of the J.C.Penney, which is offering discounts on top brands like Nike.

“Are you going to this register?” a woman said to a friend.

“I don’t care. Let’s just get the hell out of here.”


5:15 p.m. 

Hundreds of shoppers line up outside of Target in Beavercreek before the doors open at 6 p.m. Costumers bundled up in hats and coats, huddle underneath blankets with friends and family.

“It’s too cold. You’re not dragging me out to do this tomorrow.”

Shoppers were out for Black Friday on Nov. 24, 2017, throughout the Dayton area. KARA DRISCOLL / STAFF


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Austin Landing draws first out-of-market office tenant

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Budget projections for 2017 have board members of the Austin Center Joint Economic Development District planning to disperse $900,000 between Miami Twp., Miamisburg and Springboro. STAFF PHOTO
Budget projections for 2017 have board members of the Austin Center Joint Economic Development District planning to disperse $900,000 between Miami Twp., Miamisburg and Springboro. STAFF PHOTO

Austin Landing has hit a new milestone, attracting the first out-of-state business to the office park south of Dayton.

With more than 300,000 square feet of office space almost full and the shops and restaurants almost all built out for the first phase, there are now about 2,600 people employed at Austin Landing and more than $100 million in property value has been created.

But the success of the 142-acre development has not been without controversy. It’s accused of helping gut downtown Dayton and shifting businesses from around the region to its office center instead of attracting more businesses to the area.

RELATED: Austin Landing South development could spur $350 million in investment

Officials with the township and Austin Landing said the development filled a demand for new office with modern layouts and helped retain jobs that might otherwise have left the area, drawn to similar centers in Greene or Butler counties.

“We understand the discussions and concerns,” Chris Snyder, Miami Twp. community development director, said. “We’re certainly not trying to pull people’s businesses away, but we’re certainly glad to have been able to keep them in Montgomery County in our community.”

Larry Dillin, president of VisCap Development, said Austin Landing has become “a regional connecting point” to population centers in the north and south and the surrounding area was underserved both from an office perspective and retail and restaurants.

“The goal is to make a difference growing the Greater Dayton region. Great cities are made up of a collection of great communities. We believe (Austin Landing) contributes to the rise of the region,” he said.

RELATED: Development to move across Austin Boulevard into Springboro

When it comes to trying to attract an out-of-region tenant, Dillin said leasing office space is different than retail.

“Office use has different drawing drivers. Quality of life and convenience to amenities like restaurants and services-oriented retail are important characteristics for companies looking to recruit or relocate important staff positions,” he said.

SMITH, a Seattle-based digital commerce company, is aiming to open a 4,500-square-foot office in Progress Park Tower late December or early January, and will be the firm’s first office in Ohio.

CEO Tony Steel said when the company was looking for the right space, the location was a good fit to recruit the kind of tech talent it wants.

“There were many different choices, but quite honestly Austin Landing was probably the most consistent with our brand,” Steel said. “We’re all about building for the future. We’re all about giving the greatest experience. We liked the environment at Austin Landing and the all inclusive-set of services that it provided.”

RELATED: What’s next at Austin Landing?

It wasn’t a given that Austin Landing would have the success it has had attracting a steady line up of professional office tenants. Austin Landing’s original developer RG Properties took a gamble when it first pieced together while the region was still in a recession.

The development aided by limited other local newly built office competing, as well as the township investing $24 million into the project and then another $5.9 million.

The development also had the help of an attractive tax structure for office tenants where only first floor tenants, mostly retail, pay income taxes and upper floor tenants, mostly business offices, do not pay income taxes.

RELATED: Springboro council traveled to Toledo area to tour example of developer’s work

Dayton has a 2.5 percent income tax, after raising the rate last year from 2.25 percent in what was the city’s first income tax hike in more than 30 years.

From its early days, Austin Landing has continued to bring in businesses that had been in Dayton, particularly from its downtown, taking with them the city income taxes that their employees had paid.

Midmark, a medical equipment company, just announced it is moving its headquarters from Dayton to Austin Landing.

Brady Ware, Clark Schaefer Hackett and Thomson Hine were also among companies who moved from Dayton to the new office center.

The Austin Landing offices let businesses be closer to the Cincinnati to help draw talent in from the south.

Dave Dickerson, Dayton market president at Miller-Valentine Group, which represented SMITH in its lease deal at Austin Landing, said companies that are planning to move are often looking for new office with modern layouts and enough space on each floor for companies to fit more staff on the same floor, which Austin Landing provided.

RELATED: Midmark Corp. moving headquarters from Dayton

“What you’re seeing from a lot of companies is that they like to be strategically between Dayton and Cincinnati and can tap into both labor markets, and in many cases don’t want to have multiple offices in both markets,” Dickerson said.

Dickerson noted that when Dayton got a new office option recently at the Water Street District, while it wasn’t wasn’t closer to Cincinnati, it had new layouts and quickly filled up.

“The office market over the last few years has been very competitive,” said Sandy Gudorf, president of the Downtown Dayton Partnership. “There has been a great deal of new office product on the market not only at Austin Landing but other places in our community.”

But, as Austin Landing has filled with tenants, downtown has also been coming into its own.

MORE:Christmas comes to Austin Landing

The vacancy rate remains high — hovering between 27 percent and 31 percent depending on the report — but its added shops, restaurants and housing and has been carving out a niche with creative firms, startups, and companies looking for unique space that fits into their culture.

While both Austin Landing and downtown are billed as “live, work, play” environments, downtown advocates proposition the city’s center as the authentic option.

“We acknowledged certain years ago that we needed to take certain steps that we need to be competitive, whether with Austin Landing or something else. … I think as a downtown community, we have strengthened our value proposition,” Gudorf said.


This news organization is committed to bringing you in-depth coverage of commercial and retail development in the region — work made possible by your subscription.

Wright-Dunbar clinic seeking funding for expansion

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 10:01 AM


There’s a need for expanded clinical space in a Dayton neighborhood, according to Wright State University’s School of Professional Psychology.

The school is seeking $750,000 to aid a $1 million expansion of the Duke E. Ellis Human Development Institute, which is at the entrance to the Wright-Dunbar neighborhood.

RELATED: Millions in federal funds sought for job-creating projects

The proposal is among dozens of local requesters that want the Dayton Development Coalition to lobby for federal funds for their projects.

The Priority Development and Advocacy Committee released the list of applying projects Tuesday that it will sort through to make a prioritized list of what to ask for in Washington, D.C.

Wright State is proposing renovating the 8,700-square-foot unfinished basement of the institute offer greater clinical service.

Services at the center are covered through medicaid and there’s a sliding scale for others seeking service, with no one turned away for an inability to pay.

But the university stated in its proposal that a lack of space caps the number of people it can serve and to develop new service model programs.

RELATED: First they OD. Then they fail at treatment. Then they come here.

“Expansion is a must if the Ellis Institute is to house the faculty and staff necessary to implement increased services for an ever-expanding community patient base and evolving behavioral health needs,” it stated.

Some examples of what the expanded clinic could support includes post-detox services, outpatient services for children on the autism spectrum and services for older adults with memory and cognitive difficulties.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office submitted a letter of support for the project. The letter from Major Matt Haines, county jail administrator, said the expansion could make way for the school and the jail to collaborate more, like with more access to opioid addiction treatment and further post-incarceration support for women arrested for prostitution related-crimes.

RELATED: Local jails overcrowded, failing safety standards

Wright State said its best estimate is that the project would create 26 to 50 direct jobs in the next two years, and over the next decade it overall would create 51 to 100 jobs if including indirect job creation.

Podcast by well-known Centerville family member has new home

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 10:38 AM
Updated: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 10:41 AM

            Ryan Hawk, creator of The Learning Leader podcast, and Doug Meyer, managing director of business advisory firm Brixey & Meyer. Hawk has taken his podcast and his curiosity about leadership to Brixey & Meyer. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF
            Thomas Gnau/Staff
Ryan Hawk, creator of The Learning Leader podcast, and Doug Meyer, managing director of business advisory firm Brixey & Meyer. Hawk has taken his podcast and his curiosity about leadership to Brixey & Meyer. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF(Thomas Gnau/Staff)

The Learning Leader has a new home.

Since the spring of 2015, Ryan Hawk, of Washington Twp., has interviewed more than 250 leaders in business, sports and other arenas for his podcast, The Learning Leader Show, which can be found at

The 36-year-old interviews athletes and authors, coaches and chief executives, gleaning from them insights on leadership, inspiring the best in others and excellence in all forms.

With 439 reviews, the show boasts a full five-star rating at the iTunes store.

RELATED: ‘All-inclusive’ office plans downtown party

Hawk has always produced the podcast in addition to his work as an executive with Lexis Nexis/Elsevier — until just recently. Today, he is developing the podcast full-time with business advisory firm Brixey and Meyer, as practice leader of the firm’s leadership advisory work.

“It feels like my life’s work,” Hawk said last week in an interview from Brixey and Meyer’s Newmark Drive offices.

Hawk is a familiar name in the south suburbs and beyond, especially in Centerville. He’s the older brother of NFL linebacker and Super Bowl winner A.J. Hawk, and he played football himself in Centerville from the second grade on.

From Centerville High School, the elder Hawk went to Miami University — at the same time as another collegiate quarterback named Ben Roethlisberger, a 6-5 standout from Lima.

RELATED: Businesses plan nearly 550 new jobs in Dayton area

After that, Hawk followed what he saw then as his best option, heading to Mid-American Conference school Ohio University in Athens.

While he had stints in the Arena Football League’s developmental league and the Canadian Football League, it was a regional sales job at LexisNexis in Miami Twp. that launched his professional path.

Hawk steadily rose to a management position, leaving Lexis Nexis as a vice president.

But early on, it was a conversation with Todd Wagner — partner of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban — that turned Hawk’s head to the possibilities of podcasting.

“Todd shared just great insights and great stories,” Hawk said. “It was incredible. I just wish I had caught it on tape. That kind of was the impetus for me.”

The Learning Leader was born. He has interviewed former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel; Steve Wojciechowsk, head basketball coach at Marquette University; Navy SEAL Jason Redman and many others.

RELATED: Growing firms seek dollars to add 230 new jobs in Dayton area

The show was born of a desire to create a “leadership development” program that could help not only himself but others, Hawk said.

“I started it out of my own curiosity, to seek out mentors, thought leaders, people who I thought could help me develop as a leader much quicker,” he said last week.

Doug Meyer, managing partner and co-founder of Brixey & Meyer, found the podcast compelling.

Before a business meeting one morning, Meyer decided to listen to Hawk’s podcast while working out instead of hard rock music.

That turned out to be a good choice.

”It was pretty impactful,” Meyer remembered. “There were a few takeaways I heard that I was able to take to the group immediately.”

Brixey & Meyer principals like to say their company is more than an accounting firm. Its Dayton area home, with 70 employees, is its largest, but the firm also has offices in Cincinnati and Columbus.

“One of our core values is to treat our client’s business as our very own,” Meyer said. Bringing Hawk on board demonstrates that, he believes.

“Those services continue to evolve over the years,” Meyer said. The firm was born in 2002 and strategic planning, leadership succession planning and other services have been woven into the firm’s offerings, along with tax and accounting work.

RELATED: Growing firm lands work with SpaceX

Said Meyer: “Ryan’s skill set is a natural fit.”

Now that his job and his passion are one, Hawk finds himself in a new place. And he thinks he’s ready.

“It’s not a bad thing,” he said. “I’m thinking about work 24-7 now. I was thinking about this all the time, but I wasn’t doing it all the time.”