With two small businesses, the Boehs family fulfills its community’s needs and wants. Boehs Building Supply offers high-quality building materials that satisfy the basic need for shelter, while 7th Ave. Roastery provides the warm cups of coffee that keep community members going. Hardware and coffee may not seem like a natural fit, but for the Boehs, both businesses embody family togetherness.
Located in northwest Oklahoma, Boehs Building Supply is a Do it Best Corp. member that offers everything from fireplaces to vinyl siding. The hardware and lumber store grew out of the family’s construction business, which began in 1976. Today, the retail business is owned by second- and third-generation family members, including Mahlon and Seth Boehs. These Boehs brothers are part of the third generation, working alongside their father.
It’s this father-son relationship that also led to the coffee business. Mahlon and Seth became interested in coffee at an early age thanks to their father. They recently turned that fascination into a burgeoning side business.
“Our dad has always liked coffee, so we grew up around that,” Mahlon says. “You know how things progress, you get deeper and deeper into it and you realize there’s more to coffee than Folgers.”
The Boehs brothers began buying fresh-roasted coffee from across the country. Then, they turned to roasting coffee themselves. They started with a small counter-top roaster, but they soon realized that wouldn’t get them very far. Eventually, they invested in a commercial-grade, 25-lb. roaster.
“It was more than we had bargained for at the beginning,” Mahlon admits.
Now, they seem to have it down to a science. 7th Ave. Roastery supplies coffee to local coffee shops and grocers, as well as shipping online orders across the country. Mahlon and Seth still work full time at the family’s hardware business, but they dedicate one day per week to roasting.
“We roast everything we need for the week in one day,” Mahlon says.
Although different, the Boehs’ family businesses complement each other well. “With hardware, you’re selling housing materials, things that people need,” Mahlon says. “Coffee is extracurricular. You don’t need it, even though some people think they do need it.” Mahlon admits he’s one of those people.
“To sell a product that people are beating down your door for is kind of cool,” he says.
All the while, the Boehs family gets to work together. “I love working with family because we know what each other is thinking usually, and we can always find the best solutions together,” Mahlon says.
For the community and for the family, the Boehs family proves that two businesses are better than one. For more information about Boehs Building Supply, visit www.boehsbuilding.com. For more information about 7th Ave. Roastery and to order online, visit www.7thaveroastery.com.