ASHLAND -- Renovating a business along Ashland's Main Street takes passion, vision, time and for local business owner Josh Coffy, often a cup or two of his favorite pour-over coffee to kickstart his mornings.
In September 2018, the Ashland native and founder of Flight Media, Coffy, bought and began renovating the 4,600 square-foot building at 43 West Main Street, which had been vacant for more than two decades. He set out to open a co-working space, where new business owners and freelancers could thrive in shared office space with shared amenities for a fraction of what it'd cost to open on their own.
It'd be called CoffySpace -- a name that includes his own family's name, but also alludes to his drink of choice.
A self-described coffee-fanatic, Coffy has his own coffee roasting nonprofit. And though he's a frequent visitor of the Downtown Perk, Coffy often starts his mornings with his own freshly roasted and ground blend. As he prepares his coffee from his office at Flight Media, he can look directly across the street from the soon-to-come co-working space.
"Business, it's like coffee. If we don't have the proper environment, we can die. If we don't have the proper care, we can die," Coffy said. "To make it, they (businesses and coffee beans) have to go through a process and be in the right environment with the right sunlight, the right water and the right conditions."
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20 percent of small businesses fail within their first year, and about 50 percent fail by their fifth year.
Co-working, Coffy believes could help Ashland start-ups beat the odds.
His start-up company, Flight Media, began out of his bedroom.
"I experienced the pain of not being able to afford it, and then, I found something that worked," Coffy said.
He was "blown away" when seeing a co-working space in New York City and remembers that it even had a cafe inside.
"Everyone communicated together and thrived together," Coffy said. "I don't care what anyone says you think differently when you work from home, when you work remotely. When you're in a professional environment especially with other people around, you think differently."
Flight Media currently runs out of a "less intentional" co-working space on the second floor of 12 West Main Street. The spaces at this location will be a part of what CoffySpace offers, too, but the new space is being designed more purposefully for co-working.
There will be at least two meeting pods, the coffee station, several dedicated desk spaces and backpack memberships for those who might only come by occasionally.
The Coffyspace is expected to open in 2020.