Contemporary cupping

Coffee business is a ‘dream come true’ for Wright State alumna

Many say it is a beautiful thing when a plan comes together. For Wright State University English alumna Mindy Hoffbauer, this entailed collaborating with her family to bring a longtime dream to fruition.

Hoffbauer envisioned owning her own business for years. Her husband, Greg, was seeking another venture in retirement, and her son, Andy, a college student, was struggling to identify his passion. She had always loved coffee, and her son shared this interest.

“Our respective skills complement each other,” she said. “I have been drinking coffee for 40 years. My son did a lot of writing about coffee in college. It just got to a point that this was a good idea to pursue.”

After more than a year of planning, Hoffbauer, a two-time graduate of Wright State, and Andy opened ContempoRoast in Centerville. The coffee shop values sustainability and education while focusing on a modern approach. While working with family can pose challenges, Andy said the process has been smooth.

“We balance each other well and do a good job of leveraging strengths and weaknesses,” he said. “Quick solutions have been developed for most of the challenges we have encountered, and we move forward with confidence.”

Mindy Hoffbauer earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in English from Wright State in 1997 and 1999, respectively. Her background in technical writing and communication is a fit for spearheading the business’ marketing, website and social media efforts. Andy, who previously helped establish another coffee shop near his former college in Arizona, focuses on the product, procedures, and managing and training staff. And Greg’s business skills are an asset to the daily operation.

“It started with spreadsheets, Word documents and shared files because Andy was in Phoenix at the time,” Mindy said. “Now we are operating this coffee shop we have been dreaming about. It truly is a dream come true.”

Two-time Wright State graduate Mindy Hoffbauer and her son, Andy, opened ContempoRoast coffee shop in Centerville.

Together, they strive to provide a unique experience for coffee lovers that differs from chain businesses. Andy said drinking coffee is a personal experience, and ContempoRoast wants to be as welcoming as possible to all community members. Mindy added that this separates their business from competitors.

“We roast our own beans here and make sure they are sustainable,” she said. “This is a family-owned, independent business with a mission to create a wine bar atmosphere and coffee culture. Our team can share details about the entire process and the individuals involved.”

Hoffbauer credits her Wright State University experience for preparing her to be a business owner. As a student, she discovered her true passions were technical writing and owning a business. She said Wright State allowed her to customize a program that steered her in the right direction.

“Carol Loranger was one of my favorite professors, and she granted my request to develop a website. That gave me real-world experience because I was interested in technical writing,” Hoffbauer said. “I also took an MBA course because I wanted to start my own business as a technical writing consultant. That freedom to personalize my curriculum was fantastic. The critical thinking skills that I acquired there have served me well throughout my career.”

As the co-owner of a coffee shop, Hoffbauer is living a dream.

“ContempoRoast is modern with a focus on coffee. It is not a restaurant with an extensive menu. We just want it to be one of the best coffee shops our customers will ever experience,” she said. “The community response has been tremendous. We want everyone to feel at home here.”

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