WAPAKONETA — Amy Ambrose and her husband, Stephen, have been working to get their Winans Chocolates and Coffees store at 24 E. Auglaize St. open for more than a year and are finally close to making it happen.
“Renovation starts in January,” Ambrose said. “We spoke to the contractor, and he said he would try to have us open by Easter but couldn’t make any promises.”
Ambrose and her husband moved to Wapakoneta four years ago, she said.
“When we moved to Wapak, we moved here for my husband’s job,” Ambrose said. “It left me without something to do. I had the interest in opening a coffee shop. Being here in Wapak, I saw a need for a place for people to socialize and have a sense of community.”
Ambrose was familiar with the Winans company, contacted the owner and met with him to discuss what it took to run a coffee shop, she said. After that meeting, she began working at the company’s Piqua store to learn everything she could about the coffee business, Ambrose said.
“This has been a long process,” she said. “I’ve been working for the business for two and a half years now with the intention of bringing it to Wapak. It’s been a long journey but a good one.”
Though the grand opening is a few months off, Amy and Stephen Ambrose have been doing pop-up shops, selling some of their merchandise since Easter. Wapakoneta residents may have seen them selling merchandise outside their storefront during the Great Race event this past summer.
They are continuing the pop-up shops at the store this holiday season. Winans will be open for holiday shopping 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 23, Ambrose said.
“We can do custom business orders,” she said. “We can do anything from a few employees to hundreds. They (customers) can order online, WinansChocolatesAndCoffees.com/Wapakoneta. They can have free shipping to Wapak.”
Ambrose said when the renovations are complete, there will be seating at the front of the store looking out at East Auglaize Street and seating in the back of the building looking out over the Auglaize River. There will also be a bar where people can sit and drink their coffee. There will be a downstairs room that can be used for meetings.
“The community has been very supportive,” Ambrose said. “There’s a lot of people anxious for us to get open.”
Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362