The Ohio State University at Lima

Education alumna spreads the cheer and the chocolate all year long

December 21, 2022

Amy Ambrose in her store Winans Chocolates+Coffees in Wapakoneta

As the franchise owner of the Winans Chocolates + Coffee in Wapakoneta, Amy Ambrose (Education 2003) has holiday cheer in abundance and she likes to share it with her customers, her employees and her community.

Ambrose’s first job out of college as a youth pastor brought her to the hometown of Winans Chocolates+Coffees. When her husband’s job brought them to Wapakoneta, Ambrose transitioned from enthusiastic customer to employee to learn more about the business. Today, she is a franchise owner with young employees to train and new franchisees to help onboard.

“Our vision from the beginning is that our business is a place of peace. We love it when people just step in the doors, breathe in the delicious smell of chocolate and coffee, and then do our best to brighten their day. In a world of chaos, we want our business to be a place where people can forget about that, even if only for a few minutes.”

Tell us about your path to the chocolate and coffee business.

As we fell in love with the small town of Wapakoneta, we noticed that there seemed to be lacking opportunities for people to connect with each other and just enjoy time together. My husband and I both love coffee shops and we began to think – maybe we could open up a coffee shop. From there, we began walking it out. I went back to Piqua and got a job for one of Winans’ local stores as a barista. I absolutely fell in love with it, but most importantly fell in love with serving other people. It was after my first Christmas with Winans and seeing all the joy that people received from their chocolates that we knew we wanted to bring this back home. Three years later from the date I started as a barista and after being turned down by four different banks for a small business loan, we opened up our doors in Wapakoneta on April 18, 2018! Now, we are about to celebrate our fifth birthday and we are so thankful for the opportunity to serve others locally.

What is it like in your store this time of year (December)?

This time of year is very, very busy and our business sells a higher percentage of chocolate than they do beverages this time of year. We also enjoy a lot more fun this time of year because we have the opportunity to help people with their gift giving. Chocolate and coffee is a gift that can make anyone smile! We begin preparing for the season in October. It takes us two months to box all the chocolate that we will need to sell in December. We also work with businesses and organizations to try to help them take care of their employees and our team does the best job we can making it as easy as we can on the businesses.

What is your favorite part of your business or what it allows you to do?

My favorite part of the business is helping our guests. I love this time of year because I absolutely love working the floor and helping people with their Christmas shopping! Being able to help them choose the perfect gift within their price point and knowing that someone will be smiling once they receive the gift is the best satisfaction I can receive as a small business owner.

Amy Ambrose in front of the coffee wall at Winans Chocolates+Coffees in Wapakoneta

Amy Ambrose pulls some chocolates for a customer at Winans Chocolates+Coffees in Wapakoneta.