By Sydney Fairbanks
A new Youngstown-based coffee joint, Trek Coffee House, opened shop at 1588 Mahoning Avenue with a grand opening weekend beginning Jan. 13.
Opening events included a ribbon cutting ceremony followed by a workshop on the coffee bean roasting process. At the ceremony, Trek had a variety of hand-crafted coffees, pastries and bagels from Youngstown-based Mamalagel’s Bagels for sale.
In the evening, the shop held a discourse coffee throwdown where baristas competed in designing lattes.
Trek started the day Jan. 14 with yoga, a latte class and a coffee-tasting flight so attendees could try different types of coffee.
Levi Smith, owner of Trek Coffee House, said the shop is meant to bring the Youngstown community together through coffee.
“Our goal has always been, with a coffee shop that we have, to build community. Coffee is something we do and we’re really passionate about, but community is the thing that brings it all together,” Levi said. “There’s no coffee if there’s not people trying to get together, coming up with new ideas, meeting each other, and having friendship and fellowship time to hang out.”
Trek began as a coffee bar called Cozé in 2015. Levi and his sister, Emily Smith, opened the bar at White House Fruit Farm while they attended college.
Emily has since taken over Cozé as a seasonal outpost. Levi said they plan on opening more outposts and shops in the future.
“We’ll continue to work on opening more Trek Outposts and Trek Coffee Houses, but this is the first brick-and-mortar, seven-day-a-week, Trek Coffee House we have open,” Levi said.
Levi originally bought the building next door to expand Trek’s roasting and production operations. Upon discovering the two buildings come as a package, Levi decided to expand the shop.
Besides opening up more shops, future plans for Trek include incorporating more food such as soups, salads and wraps. Levi said they are also working on a stage in the back of the shop to host live music events.
“It will be a small venue — 50 seats or less [with] local and regional acts. The hope is to have multiple [shows] a night, markets, all that kind of stuff back there right off campus,” Levi said.
Levi encourages YSU students to visit the shop to study or take a break.
“Our goal is to create a space where the community, students, whomever can come and kind of like disconnect from everything else,” Levi said. “Whatever that might be, we want to create that space and make that available to people.”
Trek is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.