My name is Seth Feikert, my pronouns are he/him. I am from Wooster, Ohio, born and raised here.
What inspired you to open Boo Bears?
I really wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do after high school; however, I knew that college wasn’t really the choice for me. I kinda toyed around with the idea of opening my own business. I was working for somebody and just kind of decided that coffee was for me. At that time it was just a big hobby of mine. Trying all of the different coffees, making pour overs and doing stuff like that was a lot of fun for me. One thing led to another and I found myself doing pop-up events. I had a little traveling stand where I made pour overs and such. So then it just kinda happened and Boo Bears was created.
What is your favorite part about owning Boo Bears? Because you are in charge, correct?
That is actually my nickname, just a little fun fact there. It is something that I have been trying to reconnect with for the past six months. Biggest thing is hearing people talk about how much the space means to them. My goal has always been to create a space that everyone feels welcome in. And it really means a lot to me when somebody will actually tell me, “Hey, you know I really like coming into your coffee shop because it is just a warm and inviting space.” So I guess boil that down and it would be the people and creating a space for people to gather.
What is one thing you wished students knew/did while ordering or waiting for their drinks in Old Main?
We’re trying. This is us trying; we’re on a journey. There has just been a lot of learning going on here so patience is key. So far, I haven’t had a rude customer here, the College is a really nice place. Everybody is great; I love it.
If you were one of the drinks that y’all make what would you be?
Hmmm that is a loaded question, I have never thought about that. I’m an iced vanilla latte because everyone seems to appreciate my presence.
Is there anything that has really surprised you about working on campus/this new location?
How many people that are here. In downtown Wooster at Local Roots, we tend to see mostly locals. We’ve gotten quite a solid gathering of college students that go down there to get off campus, but the vast majority of Wooster does not realize how many people are concentrated on campus. It has been a real eye-opener for sure. We see a lot of wonderful faces.
What is your favorite coffee-based memory?
When I was in the process of setting up my first location, I had just gotten my espresso machine and I was so excited. It was all hooked up and ready to go. I was like, “I’m gonna pull an espresso shot.” And I had this little machine that automatically laid the beans for every espresso shot and I didn’t have it aligned properly, so it just kept dumping beans cause it wasn’t actually going where it was supposed to be. So I just had coffee beans everywhere. That was a fun memory.
If students are interested in working at Boo Bears in Old Main how should they contact you?
We have a Google Form on our website: https://www.boobearsbrew.com/employment. You can just submit an application that way. My big goal here has been to have two full time people that are shift leaders and then I have worked in college students, because I want to work around everyone’s schedules. You know, if they want an hour or two here or whatever. I definitely encourage people if they are interested to reach out. We have all sorts of hours/time slots.
Do you have any advice for other young entrepreneurs? You are kind of the gold standard—things seem to be going pretty well for you right now.
I like to tell people that the Chamber of Commerce wanted me to become a member but unfortunately, you had to be 21 to get into the young entrepreneur part and I was 19 at the time…so I didn’t sign up and still have not. For advice, have a solid plan in place. Planning is essential. Getting yourself organized beforehand creates a lot less stress. Definitely just stick to what makes you happy, because if you can find something that makes you happy it makes life easier, it is easier to go to work everyday, especially if you work seven days a week.
Alright that’s it, anything you want to plug/shout out/advice/wisdom you want to share?
Honestly, I am just so thankful for the college students that have started working for us, we have a wonderful team going. I love them.