Owners Steve and Lori Roth have created the perfect blend at Deja Brew Coffee & Bakery in New Oxford with years of success, but soon they won’t be part of the daily routine.
The couple sold the business to Back Alley Ax owner Josh Keeney and Lily Medina. Their last day will be Sunday, August 14. Deja Brew Coffee & Bakery will be closed on Monday before the new owners open their doors on Tuesday.
From national attention to quadrupling sales in six years, 16 Center Square is the “busiest cafe in the Adams, York and Gettysburg area,” according to Steve.
Steve and Lori took over the cafe and bakery in 2016. The shop offers a variety of lattes, coffees and specialty drinks as well as nearly 100 daily baked goods, including at least 50 gluten-free treats, Steve said.
In June, the company was mentioned nationally in a brief segment on “Live with Kelly and Ryan” when people called with different words associated with “Deja.” Ryan Seacrest was holding an image of the Deja Brew Coffee & Bakery logo.
The company’s popularity and importance in the community is reflected in its sales, Steve said, adding that they have seen success throughout the pandemic.
“Our business has quadrupled sales in six years,” Steve said. “We never thought it would get this big.”
Lori said they started seeing growth in 2019.
In 2020 and 2021, the company’s sales continued to climb 46% from 2019, according to Steve.
“We haven’t missed a day or an hour because of staff or COVID,” Steve said. “We followed CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines and just had to perform. It didn’t hurt us. It took us the opposite way.
Over the past six years, Lori said staff have learned to be flexible, especially when it comes to supply chain issues.
“We’ve been extremely adaptable,” Lori said. “We overcame so many different things and continued the success.”
Deja Brew Coffee & Bakery was the first store in Pennsylvania to sell Chesapeake Bay Roasting Company coffee, Steve said.
“Of their 250+ retailers, we’re in the top 10 for sales,” Steve said, noting that the coffee company has markets in Baltimore, Washington, DC, Annapolis and Virginia.
Steve attributed the company’s successes to its “excellent location in New Oxford’s beautiful town center plaza”.
“Locals can walk up and tourists pass us by,” Steve said. “We are the gateway to many tourist attractions.”
Deja Brew Coffee & Bakery has also become the community hub for groups focused on running, biking, knitting, etc., Steve said.
He’s also been known to hold Coffee with a Cop events, where community members meet local police officers, ask questions, voice concerns, and enjoy treats at the cafe and bakery.
Steve, who graduated from New Oxford High School, was able to reunite with classmates and former teachers when they visited the company, he said.
“The kids are my little buddies,” Steve said. “That’s going to be the hardest part of not seeing the kids.”
From children to everyday customers in their 90s, Steve said they have developed special bonds with people in the community.
An older couple came in everyday and spoke with Steve, so he told them if they needed anything to call. They called to ask if Steve could cut a bush someday.
“I meant pie or coffee or something,” Steve laughed. “Since they called, I went out and dug the bush. These are the kind of friendships we have made.
The Roths had a 16-year plan to build a house in Florida and settle there permanently one day. After seeing the company’s sales soar, they knew it was the right time to start building their dream home and opened in December 2021 near Venice, Florida.
It was going to be their vacation home for the next two years, but talks with the new owner of the business happened unexpectedly, according to Steve.
“This company has definitely given us the opportunity to fulfill our dream,” said Steve.