LIMA — After two years at its Eastown Road location, Coffe Amor is finding plenty of coffee drinkers in Shawnee Township.
Growth has been steady and gradual for the local coffee shop since owner David Tilton took the leap as a professional roaster. Recent years have continued those trends, as more and more people try out the new business and keep coming back to 435 S. Eastown Road, Suite B, Lima.
The quality of Tilton’s roast is one draw. Originally influenced by a mission trip to El Salvador when he took a crash course on coffee roasting from those who grew the bean, Tilton returned to his hometown and began roasting in his parents’ kitchen.
“The quality comes from how you roast it and the natural colors of the country where it’s from,” Tilton said.
His coffee started getting attention not long after, and the business eventually expanded into a location at 7 N. Water St., Wapakoneta, in 2016. The cafe in Lima opened in 2017, and today, Tilton and his wife, Gabrielle Tilton, are involved in opening a third location as part of the Wapakoneta YMCA’s expansion.
But while Tilton’s coffee products have plenty of fans, he said that it’s the coffee experience and the sense of community that really keeps bringing people back.
The cafe’s baristas, who Tilton calls “mixologists,” are part of that community success. Employees are regularly encouraged to become skilled at putting together some of the complex coffee creations available at the cafe, and simple flourishes, such as latte art, can create memorable experiences for customers.
Tilton also credits his wife, Gabrielle, for being able to create welcoming yet unique spaces at both of their locations. For example, Wapakoneta’s roastery and cafe has a more modern “Scandinavian” feel that welcomes people to sit and spend some time in the cafe. In comparison, Lima’s space is a little smaller, and while there is sitting room available, the design is more reminiscent of an Italian espresso bar. Either way, customers should feel welcomed, as if they just received “a virtual hug” when they enter the door.
“She tells me what she needs, and I go do it. I’m the muscle,” Tilton laughs.
As for Coffe Amor’s future, there are a few projects on the back burner. Some customers have asked for extended hours, which Tilton said is in development. Another future project is setting up a soccer scholarship for students at both Wapakoneta and Shawnee school districts, which would be in line with the monetary donations the business sends to soccer programs in El Salvador and Bolivia.
Tilton said the couple is also looking at creating a new menu for Wapakoneta YMCA’s space, which will be more health-focused than other locations while maintaining the cafe’s coffee notes.
“We’re very thankful and humbled by the Shawnee community,” Tilton said. “Our customers are awesome.”
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.