Charles Nick wants to introduce you to the perfect cup of coffee.
He founded The Wright Cup, a Dayton-based startup that mails craft coffee samples to your front door. The startup boxes and delivers samples of coffee from Ohio roasters. The roasters hail from cities like Dayton, Cincinnati, Cleveland and even Newport, Ky.
Nick wasn’t always a coffee connoisseur. After high school, he entered the aviation industry and spent early, frigid mornings outside working on airplanes. The warm sensation of a steaming cup of joe kept him going through the brutal weather. Then he moved away from Dayton, and took a job at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
“I liked coffee, but I didn’t really love it,” he said.
Eventually, he transitioned from working on planes to writing technical manuscripts for airplanes. The job gave him the opportunity to work virtually wherever he wanted — he chose coffee shops. When he moved back to Dayton, his brainchild of coffee exploration and delivery was born. He wanted Dayton residents to be able to find the “Wright” cup.
“As I started to discover really great coffee, the model kind of popped out from wanting to share that experience,” he said. “You’ve had those cups of coffee where you’re like, ‘Man, that’s so good.’ But you haven’t been able to duplicate it.”
The entrepreneur says the model also promotes Ohio roasters, by spreading awareness of local coffee.
Nick says the company is just now getting out of the incubation period, and intends on entering the acceleration phase now — meaning, he’ll search for more capital. He bootstrapped to get the startup off the ground, using his own money.
According to the National Coffee Association, consumers spent $74 billion on coffee in 2015, and the total economic impact the coffee industry was $225 billion that same year.
Nick said the Dayton entrepreneurial community is innovative and embraces new ideas. He often works out of Nucleus CoShare, a communal working space in the Historic Oregon District.
“It’s 100 percent about finding the right people to ask the right questions to. Dayton has so many people like that,” he said. “I really stumbled into being part of the start-up crowd here. They’re going to help me and be honest. Don’t find yes men. Find people who will give you good healthy feedback.”
Nick hopes to continue expanding the startup while “propping up Ohio coffee and helping roasters find new markets.” His favorite local coffee right now? The Rwanda Peaberry by Dayton-based Twisted River.
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