CoffeeProps.com Connects Coffee Lovers

BOARDMAN, Ohio – A new website aimed at connecting coffee lovers around the world, CoffeeProps.com, has been launched by local businessman Scott Couchenour and features several area cafés.

The website features a news feed for members, forums to discuss “information on any topic in coffee-related culture,” Couchenour says, and a locator to find locally-owned coffee shops recommended by users. Website members can share information on everything from roasting techniques to home brewing.

“It’s sort of like a Facebook, though I hesitate to use that,” the website founder says. “It’s taking a worldwide interest and creating a platform for them to come into one place.”

Among the local shops featured on the website are Branch Street Coffee Roasters in Boardman – where Couchenour will be Friday morning to discuss the website – High Octane Coffee Co. in Canfield, Stonefruit Coffee Co. in Boardman and Generations Coffee in Columbiana.

The website was born out of an Instagram account – CoffeeProps – that Couchenour created in 2014 to catalog information on small coffee shops around the world. As a hobby, he would browse through posts from shops he followed and when he found something he liked, he’d take a screenshot and share it to his followers, giving “props” to the original poster. The social media account now has more than 77,000 followers.

“It really was a hobby. It was 15 or 20 minutes of zoning out. It gave me something to do other than the pressure I was facing,” he says.

Couchenour was the CEO of Cogun Inc., a church design-and-build company in North Lima. When the construction market started to slide during the Great Recession, he turned to coffee to relax.

The website is subscription-based — membership costs $8 per month with a two-week free trial — and a portion of membership fees are donated to Water4.org, a charity that teaches entrepreneurs in impoverished areas how to drill and maintain clean water wells.

Water4 also partners with mixed martial arts fighter Justin “The Big Pygmy” Wren’s foundation, Fight for the Forgotten, to build wells for pygmy people in Congo.

“The reason we’re partnering with anybody is because I feel a sense of stewardship with this global body of people who have a shared interest,” Couchenour says. “I figured that has to be something that we can do to change the world, make it better.”

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.