ASHLAND -- When Josh Coffy began renovating the building at 43 West Main Street in Ashland two years ago, the Ashland native and local business owner envisioned a busy coworking space complete with multiple desks, shared meeting space and all the amenities he didn't have when launching his first business.
This vision came to life Thursday as the Ashland community gathered to celebrate grand opening of Coffyspace Coworking with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
"I looked back at a sketch from two years ago, and it looks like just as I imagined, down to the details, the entrance, the desks and minus a ping pong table," Coffy said.
The ping pong table was the only detail that didn't fit in the final design of the co-working space's first floor, but the builiding's second floor renovation is expected to begin within 18 months and will offer further potential. Coffy is considering conference space for upwards of 20 people in the additional space.
Coffy calls the first floor at 43 West Main Street the "Port." The 4,600 square-foot space is an extension of what he's informally operated as a coworking space previously at 12 West Main Street, which also offers desks and amenities.
Coffy has decided to rename this other space the "High Rise." It will continue to operate as a coworking space, too. It's already occupied by Vinyl Marketing and several other small businesses, including Coffy's own Flight Media.
Together the buildings offer a variety of flexible options intended for entrepreneurs and small organizations, including shared desks, dedicated desks and private offices. The amenities associated with the workspaces include high speed internet, professional reception and lobby space, private business mailboxes, access to meeting rooms, a full-kitchen with unlimited micro-roasted coffee, 24/7 access and a discounted rate to the Coffy’s vacation/company retreat cabin in Gatlinburg, TN.
Each has unique details that fit its respective theme. The High Rise features bright, bold colors with a modern flare, while the Port has a rustic charm with exposed brick walls, hardwood floors and chalkboard art.
"The purpose was really to create a flexible, affordable workspace for business professionals, entrepreneurs, growing teams that had all the amenities you could ever want -- the highest end amenities possible -- because to me the environment you work in plays such an important role in how you think and how you work," Coffy said. "For me, the colors of paint matter, the comfortability of the chairs, the height of the desk."
The ceiling at the Port is painted with a color called "steamed milk," and the beams are stained "espresso." Anyone who knows of Coffy's admiration of quality, small batch coffee would find this as fitting.
In describing his business to the crowd gathered Thursday, he likened growing a business to growing coffee. It takes the right environment to turn out just right, he said.
"People can get accustomed to really, really bad coffee, and they don't know how good it can be with the right coffee and water ratios actually weighed out and you have the grind to a particular setting, a particular fineness," Coffy said. "When you have the right chemistry, you'll have the best cup of coffee."
Working from home can be "comfortable," he said, but he hopes to cultivate an environment where entrepreneurs and businessmen and women can be productive and feel a part of a community.
Coffyspace was set to hold its grand opening in April, but the celebration was delayed until July due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I'm interested to see how it all plays out. Yes, there are people that want to stay home, but there are other people where their work has permanently transitioned them to remotely, and they're saying, I need a place to go," Coffy said in an interview last week.
Ashland Mayor Matt Miller, executive director of Main Street Ashland Sandra Tunnell and Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce interim president Amy Daubenspeck each spoke at the ribbon cutting ceremony to congratulate Coffy.
"Two words come to mind, energy and momentum. I'm so excited about the energy and momentum you two have and are bringing to our downtown, in our city," Daubenspeck said of Coffy and his wife Kelsey.