Videography: Nicholas Gaietto, University of Toledo
"We started the business because we wanted to be a part of the community and we wanted to meet our neighbors." - Becky Ohm, Owner Flying Joe
Becky's initial vision of creating a safe, welcoming community establishment is something customers notice the minute they walk through the door. She or one of her baristas are waiting with a smile and a friendly greeting. For regulars, their drink is typically waiting at the bar and employees and customers alike greet each other by name. Becky is particularly proud of her staff, and tries to keep baristas for longer than the industry standard of 6-9 months. She does this by providing high quality training and a welcoming work atmosphere.
Beyond the atmosphere, the beverages are a work of art! Becky is proud to serve brand name “Actual Coffee,” where the roaster uses beans from origin and enhances their natural flavor with a light roast. Becky knows the flavor profile of the beans and shared that the profiles change based on the bean’s geographic origin. Her goal is to always focus on flavor.
“We don’t put a lot of syrups in our drinks because we don't want to mask the flavor.” – Becky Ohm
“I’m proud to say that we source local and that our entire pastry case is locally scratch-baked,” says Becky. As a small business, she believes in supporting other local entrepreneurs as much as possible. From in-house baking, to All Crumbs and Seventeen Second Cookies, the pastry case has something great for every taste bud. Becky also goes to the farmers’ market and sources eggs from Weber’s Ranch and Shared Legacy Farms. One of the biggest changes that Becky has made is with their milk source. She is thrilled that the Flying Joe exclusively serves milk from Hartzler’s Family Dairy, which is all non-GMO. Last year after overcoming significant personal health complications, Becky is committed to serving the healthiest options to her consumers.
Growing up, being an entrepreneur wasn’t necessarily Becky's first goal. In fact, in 1994 she became the first female fighter pilot in the State of Ohio. Becky joined the 180th Fighter Wing in 1993 as a student at Bowling Green State University. At the time she was going through the flight program there and learned from an instructor about the guard, which at the time was ‘a best kept secret.’ She says, “I knew I wanted to join the military, fly and fight for our country.” Her dream was to be a fighter pilot with the 180th, however in 1993 women were not allowed to be fighter pilots in the United States Air Force. Becky had two options – first, to stay at the 180th to see if the ban on women in combat would be lifted, or second, to go to Mansfield to fly in another capacity. Determined to fulfill her dreams, Becky stayed at the 180th as an airplane mechanic and in ’94 as soon as the ban was lifted approached her superiors to attend flight school. She remembers walking into the ops building, stating her desire to attend training and seeing the shock on the commander’s face – who eventually became her biggest supporter. Becky's dream came true and she attend training school and flew for the Air Force for 14 years. While in flight school in Missouri she met her husband, who flew A-10s. The dynamic pair opened the Flying Bean in 2007, now familiarly known as Flying Joe, as a way to ingrain themselves in the community.
Becky believes in fostering a culture of giving back. The Flying Joe can be seen at many 180th Fighter Wing events, and many nonprofit events throughout the community. While she can’t give to everything, she does her best to give back to groups that align with her personal and professional missions.
Becky is not a stranger to the resources offered by the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce, and we are thrilled to have her as a member. Several years ago she enlisted the help of the Toledo Small Business Development Center, and was impressed with the forecasting and consulting assistance that they gave her at no-cost. “If I were to go and pay for the assistance they gave me, I would still be paying it off. A lot of small business owners don’t have the money for that kind of assistance, so it is really nice that the SBDC is in our community as a resource.” Recently Becky was thinking about launching a new endeavor with multiple stakeholders. She went to the SBDC with her business plan and had them help analyze the entire deal. Ultimately she chose to table the idea. "The SBDC will sit you down, tell you the truth, and be honest with you.”
Stop by the Flying Joe to meet Becky and grab a cup!