When I hear the word “stoked” I instantly think of words like excitement, fun, energy, happiness. So it’s no surprise the first time I heard about Stoked Coffee here in the Mid-Ohio Valley, I was intrigued. My intrigue turned to curiosity and curiosity turned to action. I had my first Stoked Mocha years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. Stoked Coffee embodies everything their name stands for, and customers can’t get enough of their exceptional product.

Stoked Coffee opened its doors in Marietta, Ohio in November 2007. But how did this coffee gem of the MOV come into existence? I had the chance to talk with one of the founders and owners, Valerie Huck, to get the scoop on the Stoked in Marietta and also their newest addition in Parkersburg, W.Va.

Like many genius ideas, Stoked kind of happened by accident. Valerie and her husband, Duane, and their friends Travis and Angela Christman, had been thinking about a business venture. However, they weren’t quite sure what to undertake. Then, their answer came unexpectedly. A friend of the Christman’s had returned from a trip out west and remarked about all the drive-thru coffee shops he encountered in that area. Here was their answer. Travis and Angela began researching independent coffee shops. Upon their investigation they came across Crimson Cup, a Columbus, Ohio based company that helps independent coffee shops get started. The couples met with members of Crimson Cup and decided they did indeed want to open their own coffeehouse.

With the decision made, the business prospect began. Crimson Cup was there to help with everything. Valerie explains they helped choose the site location, shop layout and menu items. Crimson Cup also provided on-site training. With every detail in place, the Marietta location welcomed its first customers in 2007, and the response has been overwhelming ever since.

Upon the success of the Marietta Stoked, the business duos began toying with the idea of another location. Valerie says they always thought they might have more than one shop and they’ve looked at other buildings through the years. One day Travis and Angela were out Christmas shopping. They came across the old Rax building on the southside of Parkersburg, W.Va. and saw it was for sale. Once again, here was their answer. With customers clamoring for a Parkersburg spot, Valerie states the site was ideal and the timing was right. So, they decided to take the leap and open their second Stoked Coffee.

Just like the Marietta Stoked, the response to the Parkersburg Stoked has been tremendous. As of this interview, a grand opening announcement of the Parkersburg location has not even been broadcasted on the company’s Facebook page. But good news has a way of reaching the public and once it does, it doesn’t stop.  MOV residents have been flocking to the newest Stoked locale.

 So what has contributed to the success of both Stoked spots? Valerie tells me one factor is the quality of the coffee beans. “We only use the top five percent of coffee beans in the world. All our hot and cold drinks are started with the same blend for a uniform taste.” With a quality product as their base, customers can customize everything with their cup of joe. Stoked has over 50 flavors to choose from, and customers have the option of taking their coffee hot, iced or frozen. To make the decision-making process even easier, coffee goers can choose a pre-crafted drink from their Flavor Pairings Menu. Enjoy caramel? Try a Sticky Toffee Caramel Latte. Like peanut butter? Try a Buckeye. Craving fall spices? Indulge in a Happy Pumpkin. The flavor pairings are endless. Still not sure? Opt for their biggest seller, the Stoked Mocha, which consists of espresso, milk, white chocolate, caramel drizzle and optional whipped cream. Stoked also offers other beverages such as chai tea, smoothies, and hot chocolate for those desiring something other than coffee.

I asked Valerie what makes Stoked stand out from other coffee shops. One of the huge draws to both locations is the convenience of drive-thru service, which Valerie declares has “fueled the business.” But apart from the success of the drive-thru option and the overall tranquility of each locale, something much deeper drives the business. “We have three main goals: Provide quality products, great customer service and speed (with orders).” As a faithful customer, I can testify these three goals are met every time I visit Stoked. Valerie and her business partners have concocted a winning formula for running a great business and providing a palatable cup of coffee. Stoked Coffee is truly something to get excited for.

Check out Stoked Coffee at 302 Pike Street in Marietta, Ohio and 1606 Blizzard Drive in Parkersburg, W.Va.