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Fifth Street brewpub founder moves into coffee

Brian Young, president and co-founder of Dayton’s Fifth Street Brewpub, has been working on a new coffee product that has boosted manufacturing locally and is being launched nationally.

The product is flavored latte foam. It’s basically a bottle of barista-style latte foam that anyone can put in their coffee at home.

Young lives in Dayton, but the company that created the product, international food and beverage products company Frutarom, has a facility in Butler County’s West Chester Twp., off Commerce Park Drive. Much of what the company makes, including flavorings, goes into other companies’ foods or products.

Young is national sales manager at Frutarom USA.

The flavored latte, Barista Café, is presented as a line from Sebastianos Brands.

The formulation was developed some three years back, but the company hadn’t been able to sell any of it, Young said in an interview Thursday.

The product needed marketing, a new look and a new approach. That’s where Young and Oregon District firm Folio Design came in.

Young said he and Folio Design “made a brand out of it basically.”

“I didn’t invent the formula, but I helped patent it,” Young said. “It had no patents on it when I got here. I put new packaging together along with putting it into a family (of brands).”

The result?

“It’s doing real well,” Young said. “It had not sold a package before I got here but then we put a new (production) line in because of it — a multi-million dollar line just to keep up with (demand).”

Frutarom — which has about 125 workers in Butler County — has invested more than $2 million into production of Barista Café. The company sold the product to Walmart, as well as some private-label iterations that can be found at Bed Bath & Beyond, Jordan’s Mixes, T.J. Maxx and elsewhere.

Unrolling the product meant new packaging and a new name. It also meant new flavors. Christmas flavors are on tap, including peppermint mocha, gingerbread and pumpkin spice.

“No one else in the world has this type of product; it’s only us,” Young said.

The idea is to pump one to three dollops into a cup of coffee and get an authentic latte coffeehouse experience, he said.

“To froth milk or to steam milk, no one has that kind of equipment, and even if you do, it’s very difficult to clean and to keep sanitary,” Young said. “I thought it would be kind of neat to make a coffee into a nice latte — and we’ll flavor it.”

This kind of thinking — seeing the potential in a neglected idea — helped make the Fifth Street Brewpub a reality, he agreed.

In 2010, Young and his fellow brewpub founders persuaded 32 neighbors in the St. Anne’s Hill neighborhood and beyond to get together to buy a house at 1600 E. Fifth Street. The neighbors formed an investment group, bought and improved the building.

“The brewpub started out as a neighborhood project,” Young recalled. “But you needed vision. You needed things that could help people see the final light.”

“It’s difficult to sell on concept all the time,” he added. “But we did a nice job of that.”

A video on the product can be found here.


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