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Activator Update: Sara Aschliman of Wyoming Community Coffee (WyCoCo)

Sara Aschliman

Owner and CEO, Wyoming Community Coffee - crafting coffee and to create community


Talk about letting out a joyful noise. 

“I remember getting the email that we were approved,” recalls Sara Aschliman about her reaction upon hearing her business, Wyoming Community Coffee, was receiving a $30,000 Main Street Ventures Leap Grant back in 2022. “I was in the shop and literally screaming out loud, but I was smiling and happy, so my staff didn’t get scared.”

Now, as her business prepares to celebrate its sixth anniversary in March 2024, Aschliman is smiling with every cup of coffee she serves. 


Aschliman, a professional architect by trade, founded Wyoming Community Coffee – affectionately referred to as “WyCoCo” for short – which is located on Springfield Pike in the Cincinnati suburb of Wyoming. Main Street Ventures would come into the picture in 2022 when she applied for and received a grant. The centerpiece of that grant? “Pearl,” a.k.a. the 430-pound San Franciscan Roaster Company machine capable of roasting up to 6.6 pounds of green coffee per batch. 

The grant also helped pay for the time necessary to have an expert train WyCoCo staff on proper use of the machine, which Aschliman says has proven worth the investment. 

“Seeing where we're at and what we had learned from that is almost priceless – a lot like the parable about giving a man a fish versus teaching him to fish,” she says. “Now we have the skills to use this machinery in the café and learned how to create the coffee ourselves; that is a skill our staff is going to have forever.”

Much like Main Street Ventures itself, authenticity and supporting others are top priorities for Aschliman, both of which she says have been bolstered by the roaster’s arrival. WyCoCo serves a variety of its own original coffee blends, the beans of which come from Café Femenino, the ethical sourcing collective founded by Peruvian women in 2023. 

Up next for Aschliman? Continued growth of WyCoCo and The Work+Shop, her event space located next door. The space is intended to provide “creatives, entrepreneurs and community members” a place to “host or attend events, discover and support local small businesses through co-working, makers markets, community classes” and more.

“Not only are we sourcing from where we want to source – and we're very choosy about that – but we are creating our own recipes in our own blends, which gives us a lot of freedom and individuality,” Aschliman says. “It’s also given us some heft in the Cincinnati coffee community as we can say ‘We know our stuff.’”


If entrepreneurs are looking for an organization that knows their stuff when it comes to helping them achieve their dreams, Aschliman says it would be wise to consider Main Street Ventures.

“In my design business, I've learned from working with inspectors and people that you need to get approvals from is that they really want to help you – being intimidated, adversarial or scared is not helpful. Asking questions and trying to be collaborative is the best way to approach it, and that is absolutely true with MSV,” she says. “They want to get you to a point where your business plan, pitch and idea are valid. It's always worth applying for a grant because if it's not quite there at first, they have resources that can help refine your application and improve your business, so the idea is more viable and fundable … There are friendly people on the other end of this experience.”


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