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Published: Monday, June 19, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
— We caught up with Bill Miller, the Dayton native and founder of online coffee and tea retailer Grind House Coffee and Tea Co., to find out more about him and his company. Miller lives in Franklin, and his roasting and packing facility is located in Fairfield.
How did your business get its start?
Grind House Coffee and Tea Co. has always been a dream of mine. My family has had a love for coffee and tea that started with my great-grandfather. My mother knew I had always wanted to open a coffee shop and encouraged me to start looking into it. When my mother passed away in 2015, it was my father who told me to get up and follow my dreams. I started Grind House in November of 2015. I literally was sitting in a Starbucks during lunch and asked myself, “What are you waiting for? You could do this with your eyes closed.” Since that day I haven’t looked back.
What the response has been?
In the beginning the response was very slow. I had to build my customer base and conversion rates in order to get the word out. With the help of social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), our customer base has grown. Our customers really like the flavored coffees as well as our loose leaf tea blends, and our merchandise sales are increasing.
Tell us about your background.
I was born and raised in Dayton. The neighborhood I grew up in is Ridgewood Heights but better known as Crown Point, near the VA Hospital. I’m a product of the Dayton Public School system. I attended Miami Chapel Elementary, where I started playing the cello in the third grade. I attend Stivers Junior High and then Colonel White High School for the Arts, class of 1993. After high school, I attended Northern Kentucky University.
How did you get into the coffee and tea business?
My family has always imported beans from other countries. We would experiment mixing different beans together and see what worked and what didn’t. When I was older I learned how to create flavored coffees and how to blend teas.
What your plans are for the company?
My plans for Grind House is to simply grow it into a company that our customers can rely on to serve quality coffees. I want our customers to know that they can expect the same quality coffees that they order online, in our coffee shops, which are coming soon!
I want to open a chain of coffee shops in the Dayton area and then expand to the Columbus and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky markets. Eventually, I’d like to expand to the East Coast — but that’s the 10 year plan!
RELATED: Winans Coffee + Chocolates replaces Saxbys in Centerville (March 2017)
Who are your customers?
My customers are from all over the United States, and I do get the occasional international order. I’ve gained a lot of attention in the Online Coffee Clubs and Groups, friends of mine on Facebook and Instagram, family and word of mouth. I’ve done a lot of farmers markets and craft shows in the Cincinnati area in the past couple of months.
Where do you ship?
I ship anywhere the U.S. Postal Service will deliver. And I only use the USPS.
Is it all direct to consumer?
Everything is shipped from our roasting facility directly to the customer to ensure their coffee is FRESH!
RELATED: 7 things you need to know about Winans Chocolates + Coffees (March 2016)
Do you sell to restaurants and other retailers?
In the past I’ve tried to get into some local restaurants but failed because they have contracts with their food supplier. There are some local Hair Salons in Englewood and Miamisburg and Centerville that serve Grind House coffee as well as a Boutique in Miamisburg. But our main focus is our online sales and opening up the first coffee shop in Dayton, Ohio. We are looking at multiple spaces in the Oregon District, Downtown Dayton, Miamisburg, Centerville, Springboro, Franklin and Middletown.
Tell me more about your coffees and why they’re worth seeking out.
I think we offer an eclectic selection of single origin coffees from almost every part of the globe. There are people out there that never realized that you could flavor coffee beans with chocolates and vanilla’s and bourbon! My goal is to fill the room with the delicious aroma of the flavored coffee once you open the first bag.
Published: Sunday, February 25, 2018 @ 12:10 PM
— Today is the last day to look at rugged trucks, SUVs, family-friendly crossovers and minivans at the 2018 Dayton Auto Show, which continues today at the Dayton Convention Center, 22 E. Fifth St.
You’ll see not only great vehicles but may win something worth upwards of $9,500, plus possibly T-shirts, trinkets and gift cards for gas and merchandise from various contests.
The event is presented by the Dayton Area Auto Dealers Association. Show sponsors are the Dayton Daily News, Springfield News-Sun, Miami Valley Chevy Dealers and Dayton Area Toyota Dealers.
The perennial best-seller in the U.S., the Ford F-150, is at the Dayton Auto Show in the form of an F-150 4X4 SuperCrew, with a total MSRP of $65,350.
2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 offerings include regular cab, double cab and crew cab body styles – all offered with 4WD. Here is the 1500 Z71 4WD LTZ Crew.
The GMC Sierra’s available EcoTec3 6.2L engine is the most powerful gasoline V-8 in its class, GMC says. Here is the Sierra 1500 4WD Crew Cab SLT, with an MSRP of $56,815.
The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara is manufacturered just up Interstate 75 in Toledo.
The 2018 Nissan Titan’s 5.6-liter V8 pumps out 390 horsepower and 394 lbs.-ft. of torque.
A special Night Edition options package gives this RAM 1500 Crew Cab (MSRP $57,525) its dark good looks.
Subaru brought its 2019 Ascent, the largest Subaru ever, to the Dayton Auto Show. It offers room for up to 8 people.
Chrysler estimates that owners will spend an average of $900 in fuel costs annually with this 2018 Pacifica Hybrid.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is being celebrated for a quarter century of being on American roads.
HOW TO GO TO THE 2018 DAYTON AUTO SHOW
Today at the Dayton Convention Center, 22 E. Fifth St.
Feb. 25, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
ADMISSION: $8 for adults at the door, $6 online at https://www.tix123.com/tix123/eTic.cfm?code=DAS18. Children ages 9 and younger are free when accompanied by a paying adult.
PARKING: Available in the Transportation Center garage, one block east of the Dayton Convention Center on Fifth and Jefferson streets. There is a covered skywalk on Level 1 that will bring you to the third floor at the Dayton Convention Center facility. $5 flat rate
Published: Sunday, February 25, 2018 @ 9:41 AM
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — A squirrel became an unwitting Olympic participant on Saturday when the furry rodent dashed onto the parallel giant slalom snowboarding course and barely missed being run over or sliced in half by Austrian snowboarder Daniela Ulbing.
WATCH OUT SQUIRREL. pic.twitter.com/rtQ94MQeDj— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 24, 2018
Unfortunately for Ulbing, she wasn’t quite as lucky as the squirrel. Though she won the heat that was almost thwarted by the squirrel, she fell in the next round to Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic.
But, Ulbing can’t be too disappointed with her loss to Ledecka. The Czech snowboarder is a regular winter games sensation. At only 22 years old, she made history at the 2018 games by becoming the first female athlete to win gold medals in different sports — she won the gold in alpine skiing last week.
After a fun and freezing few weeks, the winter games are finally preparing to wrap up. At the moment, the Norwegians are at the top of the pack with 13 gold medals and 38 total. They’re followed by Canada and Germany. The Americans are in fourth place with nine gold medals and 23 total.
And, while the sports and squirrels were fun, this year’s games also had a lot of diplomacy going on in the stands and around the venue. Vice President Mike Pence kicked off the games with his visit to South Korea where he sat only feet away from the sister of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un during the opening ceremony. President Trump’s daughter and special adviser, Ivanka Trump, is in South Korea now for the closing ceremony.
Watch Olympic snowboarder nearly collide with squirrel on the slopes https://t.co/GkOeR2nSSK— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) February 24, 2018
Published: Sunday, February 25, 2018 @ 9:45 AM
PARKLAND, Fla. — The mother of Florida school shooting survivor David Hogg is speaking out after her family received death threats because her son and another survivor were accused of being crisis actors.
Hogg and fellow students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, have made frequent media appearances to call for action on gun control after police say Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people and injured more than a dozen others in a Valentine’s Day massacre.
The students have since become the center of a false conspiracy theory claiming that they are actually actors who are coached before television appearances.
Rebecca Boldrick, Hogg’s mother, told The Washington Post that her family has received death threats since the conspiracy theories started surfacing, saying, “I’m under so much stress.”
“I’m angry and exhausted,” she added. “Angry, exhausted and extremely proud.”
The student has said he's not a “crisis actor” but rather someone who witnessed a tragedy.
Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 6:30 AM
— The Ohio EPA and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base only learned this month that test results showed the city of Dayton’s firefighter training center on McFadden Avenue was a potential source of groundwater contamination, state and base officials say.
The disclosure comes as the city is trying to pressure Wright-Patterson to act more quickly on preventing contamination to city water supplies.
Dayton has asked the Air Force for nearly $1 million to reimburse costs for environmental testing and studies to track the contamination, which the city believes is caused by firefighting foam contaminants on the base. The city is worried the contamination will impact the Huffman Dam well field, which is about a half mile away from Wright-Patterson.
Base officials did not know until earlier this week that the city has had concerns about contamination from its firefighting training center, base spokeswoman Marie Vanover said.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency says it was also unaware of the contamination levels. The EPA says it only learned at a meeting with the city on Feb. 16 that sampling results in monitoring wells at the Tait’s Hill well field showed high levels of a substance known as perfluoroakyl substance (PFAS), a contaminant found in an old formula of aqueous film-forming foam that was used as a fire-fighting retardant.
PFAS substances are also found in consumer products from clothing to cookware.
The Tait’s Hill well field, which is adjacent to the city’s firefighting training center at 200 McFadden Avenue, is part of the much larger Mad River well field, which supplies water to a broad section of the region.
Both the EPA and the city say the water distributed to customers is safe.
Until the Feb. 16 meeting, the EPA believed Wright-Patterson was the “only known source” of contamination caused from firefighting foam contaminants in the Mad River well field, according to Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler.
The EPA this week ordered the city to track and mitigate potential contamination from the firefighting training center and determine the source of a small level of PFAS contamination at the city’s Ottawa treatment plant in the Mad River well field.
RELATED: Dayton urges communities to push Wright-Patt for action on waterPFAS contamination, at certain levels, can cause major health concerns. According to the U.S. EPA, human epidemiology and animal testing studies indicate high-level exposure to the contaminant may lead to testicular and liver cancer; changes in cholesterol; low birth weight in newborns; liver tissue damage; and effects on the immune system and thyroid.
The retardant that produces PFAS was sprayed at both Wright-Patterson and Dayton’s firefighting training center.
The city has been meeting with base officials over water contamination for roughly two years. In a Feb. 7 letter, the city asked local communities to join with it to pressure Wright-Patterson and the Air Force to act more quickly to prevent the potential contamination of Huffman Dam production wells closed last April. Dayton sent a second letter two weeks later notifying city managers in the region about concerns tied to the Dayton firefighting training center.
Michael Powell, the city’s water department director, said in an email that Dayton will meet all the requirements the EPA demands and attributed the delay in telling the state about sampling results to an “internal miscommunication.”
The city closed drinking water wells at the Tait’s Hill well field next to the training center about two years ago. A May 2017 test for PFAS detected in groundwater monitoring wells at the well field found at least one sample registered 1,260 parts per trillion, according to the city.
RELATED: Dayton: Contaminated sites could pose risk to Mad River well fieldsThe U.S. EPA has set a health advisory threshold level of 70 parts per trillion for lifetime exposure to drinking water.
In a Feb. 21 letter that the EPA’s Butler sent to Dayton, the director wrote the state agency was “disappointed” the city had not shared the information with the state about sampling results at the fire training center before mid-February. The letter does say EPA officials are confident Dayton officials will act to address the contamination.
“It is more critical than ever that Dayton be more forthright with the sampling results and data as this investigation progresses to ensure Dayton’s drinking water is protected,” Butler wrote.
RELATED: 3 things to know about Dayton, Wright-Patt and drinking waterIn his email, Powell said the city shut down the production wells at Tait’s Hill prior to the water sampling because of how close it was to the firefighting training center.
“Two sampling events were subsequently conducted by Division of Environmental Management staff, but the City’s management was not aware they had been done until last Monday,” the email says. “As soon as City management became aware of the data, we notified Ohio EPA and met with them to review the information. We now have a process in place to prevent this internal miscommunication from occurring in the future.”
The closed production wells at Huffman and Tait’s Hill have not yet been sampled, acccording to the city.
RELATED: Dayton demands Wright-Patt act on groundwater concernsWright-Patt spokeswoman Marie Vanover said in an email the base continues to study the extent of contamination and is committed to identify and mitigate any groundwater contamination that resulted from activities on base.
“We will continue to evaluate potential impacts to the drinking water and will work with our local and state partners to develop defensible work plans to do so,” the email says. “The Air Force is committed to protecting human health and the environment and we are working aggressively to ensure our installation and supporting communities have access to safe drinking water. “
RELATED: Wright-Patt treating tainted drinking waterDayton officials say they detected less than 10 parts per trillion in the raw water intake of the Ottawa water treatment facility. The substance has not been detected in treated water, city officials say.
This newspaper provided the first, continuing and most complete coverage of concerns about contaminated groundwater at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and now the city of Dayton, work made possible by your newspaper subscription. Count on us for continuing coverage of this key environmental issue.
The Ohio EPA director has instructed the city of Dayton to take several actions in response to testing results showing high levels of contaminants in monitoring wells monitoring wells at the city’s Tait’s Hill well field. They included: