5 years and going strong … An interview with Todd Foresman, owner of Way Cool Beans Coffee Shop in the Pajama Factory

Who are you and what do you do here?

I’m a lot of things; a business owner, a coffee roaster, and when I came here I was a caregiver for my mother. So, my mother passed, but I’m still a caregiver. That’s just a part of my personality. I’m a people person, I LOVE people. Especially here [at the Factory], they’re so diverse. Having come here and been around such a wide variety of different people, I’ve become more open-minded toward different lifestyles. I try to work on being non-judgmental, the unlearning is the hardest part.

How long have you been with the Pajama Factory?

In a few short days, it’ll be five years.

Did ​you grow up in the area? If not, when and why did you move to this area?

I literally sleep in my childhood bedroom. I live in the house I grew up in, which is three blocks away.

What was your experience with coffee roasting before you opened your establishment?

I worked in a print shop, buying whole bean coffee from the coffee shop up the street, trying to figure out what I was going to do to retire, because the printing industry was changing. The coffee shop down the street that I went to every day was closing, so I decided I would make it myself. I did all the research and figured out how to roast my own coffee. I built my first roaster, and I really had no intentions of opening a coffee shop, but one day it worked. I looked at my brother and said, “I’m going to open a coffee shop.” And three years later – I was here. I started with a table and a tent and worked at music festivals, anywhere I could set something up. I never thought I had what it took to open my own business, and it definitely takes some discipline, but it’s fun.

Tell me the story of Way Cool Beans. Why did you open, and why did you choose to open here?

The completely honest answer is, I don’t know. I knew there was some stuff over here, and I was just kinda drawn to it. I wanted to be down where the woodshop is, or around the corner. I didn’t know anything about the building. Barb [Andreassen] and Mark [Winkelman] pushed this spot on me, because it had plumbing and gas and had been empty for some time. I actually said no three times until I finally decided to be here. After being here, it became really obvious to me why I wanted to be here. It’s partly because of the community, partly because people meet here, a lot of things happen in here. I’m kind of a facilitator, not really by choice, it just kind of happens. It’s just the energy of the place. For example, there was a lawyer sitting here and also a guy who wanted to start a music festival, but he needed a lawyer. And they just happened to both be here. I live in a constant state of amazement but I’m never surprised anymore. It’s amazing, but it’s common. These things happen all the time if you pay attention.

​What core value drives your business?

Getting people together. This is a great place for people to stop and breathe. Everyone is in a hurry, everyone has something to do. Everyone is goal oriented, which isn’t a bad thing, but if you’re so goal-oriented while you’re trying to get there, you’re missing life. It’s the journey, not the destination. It’s about the now. Everyone says the same thing to me: “The seats are so comfortable in here.”

​What do you love most about what you do?

I do it for me. I’m not working for someone else, [so] it doesn’t feel like work. I don’t feel like I need to retire. I hang out all day. That’s what I do for a living. I brew coffee, but for the most part, it almost never feels like work. Since my mother’s passed, my brother comes and has lunch with me every day here so we’ve gotten closer.

What are your hopes for the future of Way Cool Beans?

Actually, I hope to really keep doing what I’m doing, but more of it. My intentions for the physical part of the shop – I’d like to do a facelift. I’ve started some things cosmetically. I’m working on getting into a few more restaurants. I’m working on making deliveries. I’d like to put together a coffee trailer – like a food truck, but for coffee, so I can go to events and hang out. Hiring more employees is a goal in the future as well.

What’s your current go-to drink?

Believe it or not, I drink more water than anything. Sumatra is my everyday coffee. Probably my favorite is the Hawaiian Kona, but it’s expensive.

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Open your Heart to our Open Studios this February First Friday

This February First Friday, Open your Heart to our Open Studios at the Pajama Factory Experience our Creative Community in action.

Williamsport, PA, January 23rd, 2019  – Join us for Williamsport’s February First Friday event and discover our creative community. Tenants are opening their doors and sharing their hearts, and we’d love to see you there!

Starting at 6pm, Way Cool Beans (@ToddsCoolBeans) is celebrating 5 years of delicious, roasted coffee goodness (congratulations Todd!) and will host live music with Atom and Chloe.  Stop into Building 6 for a coffee, some tunes, and while you’re there – be sure to visit Pasta By Deb (@Pasta-By-Deb) down the hall in Studio 6-111.  Deb will be featuring heART you can eat and heART you can wear, so guests will want to check out her studio.  Across the courtyard, on the 2nd floor of Building 9 in Studio 10N, Factory Works Gallery (factoryworks.org) invites you to “Jonathan Preston,” an exhibition of street art influenced paintings by the Bellefonte / State College based artist. This is Jonathan’s first exhibition both at Factory Works Gallery as well as in Williamsport.

David DeFebo & Mary Woods owners of WholeheARTed Wholistic in Studio 7-240 will have Biocharger Demos every 30 minutes starting at 6pm with a presentation of the products and services they offer at 7pm.  Meet the artist in person! Todd Rice of Studio 7-243 and Barbara Andreassen of Studio 9-208 will each open their studios for guests to walk in, take a look around and discuss their work.  Paul Clacher of Studio 7-250 will also host an open studio and will be doing live watercolor paintings, while Pajama Factory owners, Mark and Suzanne Winkelman, will be opening their residential loft for visitors and friendly conversation!

This is only a sample of what will be happening around the Factory.  “February First Friday at the Pajama Factory has always been an opportunity for our community to welcome the greater Williamsport area community into what we do,” said Event Chair, Brian Spies.  “We can’t wait to have you see how our community continues to grow and thrive!” There is so much to see and do, so visit us and experience our Creative Community first hand.  And as we say around here: Dream it. See it. Do it. … at the Factory.

The Pajama Factory is located at 1307 Park Avenue, Williamsport, PA 17701.  The event will take place Friday, February 1st from 6pm to 9pm. Free admission.  Food trucks will be onsite. For more information about the Pajama Factory, please visit www.pajamafactory.net or email events@pajamafactory.net.

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About the Pajama Factory: The Pajama Factory is a community of artists, entrepreneurs, and local businesses who come together to build off of each other’s strengths and dreams in order to create something bigger than themselves. The Pajama Factory is a proud member of the Williamsport Business Association and the Williamsport Lycoming Chamber of Commerce, and is located at 1307 Park Avenue, Williamsport, PA 17701. To learn more, please visit www.pajamafactory.net.

Contact: Danielle Velkoff, Event Coordinator (570) 980-1452, events@pajamafactory.net

 

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Drag Bingo, a fundraising event for AIDS Resource, Friday, 2/8 in the Community Room

AIDS Resource, Inc., a community-based organization with offices in Williamsport and State College, announces a Drag Bingo Benefit at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, February 8, 2019 at the Pajama Factory Community Room, 1307 Park Avenue, Williamsport.

Advance tickets by credit card are $20 for 10 games by calling 570-322-8448 followed by option 1 then, ext. 10. or you may also email lizfink@aidsresource.com.  Tickets are $22 at the door.  The evening will feature prizes, 50/50 raffle, light snacks, and is BYOB.  Laurel Charleston, a State College based entertainer, will perform for the event.  All proceeds benefit the valuable programs of AIDS Resource.

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Happy Halloween! Congratulations to the WINNER of this year’s OCTOPAS!

Happy Halloween! Our funky, fall festival, Octofest, was a blast this year! We want to thank Bullfrog Brewery for joining us. We can’t wait to have them back for our Holiday Market on December 8!

Congratulations to our OCTOPAS prize winner, Sherry Hoovel! No tricks here—she took home some amazing factory-made treats from our tenants! This prize pack wouldn’t have been possible without generous donations from: Will Goddard, Steve Bower Studio, Rita Bower, Way Cool Beans, Paper+, Mark and Suzanne Winkelman, Our Generations’ Quilt Shop, Factory Works Photo Lab, Divine Qi, Jordan DeArment, and WholeHeARTed Health!

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KIDS DAY in the Courtyard at the Pajama Factory!

If you are looking for something FUN and FREE to do this summer with the kiddos, then join us at the Pajama Factory on Saturday, July 14th from 12-4pm for KIDS DAY!  A day full of kids crafts and activities as part of our Courtyard Series – free, community events being held in the courtyard off of the corner of Rose Street and Park Avenue.

Starting at Noon, the Pajama Factory’s Artist-in-Residency Program will be providing a series of creative activities including temporary tattoo style rubber eraser prints and a monoprint workshop. The Lycoming Arts’ Art2Go! Cart will be there as well, providing a series of projects for the kids to do. All activities include all the necessary supplies, and the kids can take them home when you leave.

Summer is in full swing and we’re sure your kids are looking for a creative way to spend an afternoon!

*This event is free and open to the public. In case of rain it will be moved inside to the Community Room directly adjacent to the Courtyard.  Photo courtesy of Kyle Huggins Design & Photography.

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Clear Sphere will be offering outdoor Yoga as part of the Courtyard Series!

As part of our Summer Courtyard Series, Annelise Latini of Clear Sphere Yoga will be offering two, different outdoor yoga classes this year!  Share in your connection to outdoors and to one another in these fun, summertime events.  Both offerings are FREE and open to the pubic.  ALL levels and ages are welcome!

  • Day Break Devotional Yoga, Thursdays at 6am (June)
    • Grab your mat and join other yogis in the Courtyard for this invigorating yoga class.  Start your day off right!
  • Fireside Yoga, Every 3rd Wednesday at 7pm (June – August)
    • LIVE MUSIC and teachers from Clear Sphere Yoga Studio will guide you through the breathwork, movements and meditation.

We can’t wait to see you in the Courtyard!

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Pajama Factory launches Summer Courtyard Series with a Community BBQ

Starting at 6:00pm on Friday, June 1st, The Pajama Factory will be firing up the grill for a community BBQ.  All are welcome!

Bring a dish of your own to share with the community and learn more about what we have planned for our inaugural Courtyard Series.  Events range from yoga and live music to a Kid’s Day full of crafts and games.  Winter is finally over so let’s celebrate with some delicious food and time with our friends, both old and yet to be made!

The Pajama Factory will be providing hot dogs, burgers, and buns (while supplies last) as well as plates, napkins and utensils.  All you need to bring is a meat, beverage, or dish to share and a desire to engage with our community!  See you there!

 

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2018 PA Wilds Annual Awards Dinner and Creative Entrepreneur’s Conference

Don’t miss the premier annual networking event in the Pennsylvania Wilds being held at the Pajama Factory Thursday, 4/26 and Friday, 4/27!

More than 250 businesses and community leaders from across the Pennsylvania Wilds, along with state partners and officials from Harrisburg will gather for the dinner on Thursday night and the first ever Creative Entrepreneur’s Conference on Friday to get an update on the state and local effort to grow the region’s economy and recognize award winner Champions of the PA Wilds while “Celebrating 15 Years – The Wilds at Work.”

With wonderful keynote speakers, insightful topics of discussion, and empowering presentations, this is one event you will not want to miss.  To learn more and register for this event, visit the link below:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2018-pa-wilds-annual-dinner-awards-and-creative-entrepreneurs-conference-tickets-42053962534

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Happy Valentine’s Day from the Pajama Factory Family

What better source of happiness can there be than the understanding that we are known and loved.  Finding your tribe, your community can be just that… a coming home of sorts.  That moment when you hear your heart in the voice of another person’s call – today, on this day of LOVE, we celebrate all the uniqueness that is our Pajama Factory community.

Maybe now is the right time for you to find your tribe, your home here at the Pajama Factory?  If it is, we are here – ready to welcome you with open arms.

“Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. … Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it… True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.”  

― Brené Brown, Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone

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Strong Moms Event … Restoring Strength and Health After Baby

UPMC Susquehanna is hosting a special Spirit of Women event just for you! Join us for an afternoon of fun, food, friendship, and knowledge. Learn about the numerous anatomic and physiologic changes the female body undergoes during pregnancy, delivery, and during the postpartum period. UPMC Susquehanna’s women’s health specialists Shari Berthold, DPT; Victoria Hurwitz, DPT, WCS; and Amy Vandermark, DPT, will teach you strategies to restore your body to strength and optimal health as well as understand how to prevent and treat issues including urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and pelvic pain.

Enjoy a glass of wine and delicious hors d’oeuvres while you mingle and shop with some of our favorite Spirit Business Rewards Partners. Bring your yoga mat to participate in group core strengthening activities and wear comfortable clothes that allow movement.

Don’t miss this Spirit of Women event in the beautiful Clearstory focusing on proactive health education for your generation! Space is limited and registration is required. To sign up for a free Spirit of Women membership and register for this event please call 1-888-720-8461.

Registration opens November 2.

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