By Spencer Curcillo
Pressed, a new coffee shop, opened its doors on Friday, Feb. 6 in the building that once housed Youngstown State University’s go-to coffee shop The Beat.
While still very new, the business has had no problem attracting customers.
Pressed is co-owned by three people: spouses Frank and Amy Tuscanno, as well as Pamela VonBergen.
Amy Tuscanno said she was surprised by the customer volume during their first week.
“It’s been insane and amazing,” Amy Tuscanno said. “Even yesterday, a Sunday, there were plenty of times throughout the day the whole place was filled, not one seat left empty.”
Frank Tuscanno credited a number of factors for the business’ success so far.
“We have a really relaxing atmosphere,” Frank Tuscanno said. “Students can come and study or hang out with friends. They can spend their time between classes. We have excellent food and there’s something for everybody on the menu. … Also, our coffee is top notch. It’s good quality, and I think everyone is liking it.”
Amy Tuscanno also pointed to the importance of atmosphere.
“We wanted to create a comfortable environment,” Amy Tuscanno said. “We realized we’re on campus. We knew from our past experiences, when you’re studying you want somewhere nice and cozy.”
VonBergen also owns the Subway and Hot Head Burritos franchises on campus. Pressed, as it is not a franchise property, allows the owners the freedom to grow the business by their own standards.
“In a small business, you have more freedom to do the things that you want to do,” VonBergen said. “You can go buy the food you want. You don’t have to buy specific foods or follow rules and regulations chains put forward, and there’s no franchise fee of course.”
VonBergen also said she understands the importance of working with the university. In her previous business ventures, she has formed connections with various parts of the university and its students.
“We’re going to become very involved with the university,” VonBergen said. “You support them and they support you back.”
Pressed plans to allow customers to use Pete’s Points as soon as possible, but given the approval process it won’t be until next semester.
Frank Tuscanno said the building is 105 years old, and it reflects its age in its architecture. He used the buildings age to give the shop a distinct look.
“We tried to mix contemporary style and original architecture,” Frank Tuscanno said. “We preserved a lot of the original architecture.”
More recently, the historic building served for nearly 20 years as the home of YSU coffee shop The Beat. As such, the building became a local staple as a coffee house. The owners of Pressed said they would strive to live up to that reputation.
“A lot of people say this coffee house is one of the staples of YSU, and it’s cool to be a part of something that someone takes so passionately,” Amy Tuscanno said.
While little has been done as of yet in the way of advertising on the part of Pressed’s staff, word has been spreading through social media and word of mouth.
The owners of Pressed will hold an official “grand opening” on March 2.