When Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear first began ordering the closure of restaurants and businesses in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Tiffanie Ricewick (04) had just opened the second location of her coffee shop, Pour House Coffee, at King’s Daughters Medical Center in Ashland. While the pandemic has caused Ricewick to close the second location and modify the way she does business at her flagship store in Russell, she says the support of the local community has helped her business stay alive in a time of crisis. Despite the closures due to COVID-19, Ricewick’s business is seeing an increase in drive-through and curbside customers.
“We know small businesses are struggling, and we’ve been very blessed,” Ricewick said. “We’ve got a lot of new customers who want to support local businesses, and even in this pandemic, we’ve got them wrapped around the building. Without the support of the community, we’d never make it.”
When Ricewick first decided she wanted to open her own business, she was working at King’s Daughters with her friend and business partner, Kim May. Following a round of layoffs at the hospital, Ricewick said she began to research successful business trends and decided a coffee shop would be the right choice. She reached out to Morehead State’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which helped her get her idea off the ground.
“They basically held our hands until the business was going,” Ricewick said. “It really helped us to lay a good foundation so that when we opened the doors, we had no overhead, and they helped us to plan that. It was an awesome help and we couldn’t have done it without the SBDC.”
Ricewick earned a bachelor’s degree in business from MSU. She said those who want to start their own business should go for it, but they should also be aware of the commitment required.
“If you have a passion for it, do it, but know it’s going to be a lot of blood, sweat and tears,” she said, adding she is grateful for the support of her business partner and long-time friend. “Without her, I couldn’t have done it, and I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else. We’ve been best friends for 20 years.”
Ricewick said, once business restrictions are lifted, she will reopen the location at King’s Daughters, and has plans to open a third location later in the year.