Boardman business collaboration creates new opportunities - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Boardman business collaboration creates new opportunities

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BOARDMAN, Ohio -

It's a clothing shop inside a coffee shop that's unlocked the true spirit of working together in the Valley. A pair of companies with a passion for the area, trying to take each other to the next level.

Walk into Stone Fruit Coffee in Boardman and you can also buy a t-shirt from the Youngstown Clothing Company.

"Sometimes people come in here and they didn't know that the t-shirts were here, and vice versa as well. We'll send some customers here, and they're finding out about a great coffee shop," said Matt McClure from Youngstown Clothing Company.

Maybe on the surface, it seems like coffee and shirts don't exactly go hand-in-hand, but the connection is much deeper that brought these two together.

"They're paying homage to Youngstown. We do the same thing," said Josh Langenheim, the chief coffee meister at Stone Fruit. "This is where I'm from. This is where my family is. I wanted to make an impact here. I wanted to reinvest into this community, and we've been heavily rewarded."

It's a similar story for Matt, taking some of the things he loves the most around here and putting them all on a shirt.

"Just growing up here in this area I feel like is second to none. When we started we just kind of made an idea board and it just kept getting filled up, filled up, filled up with more and more things," said McClure.

It all boils down to a pretty simple concept: local companies working together to see each other succeed; not only for the sake of the companies but for the sake of the whole Valley.

"One of the things that we hear all the time is that there's no opportunity in Youngstown. Maybe sometimes you have to create that opportunity, and that's what we're trying to do here," said Langenheim. "We're trying to show that you can make a positive impact and you can have a great future here in the Valley."

Opportunities that can now be used to help others, as we see with the Youngstown Clothing Company's chari-tees program.

"We partnered with White House and Handels, and the way the program works is 10% of the proceeds go to a charity of their choice. So this past year we were able to raise over $5,000 for local charities, Second Harvest Food Bank and the Youngstown Air Force Base," said McClure.

Paying it forward, thanks to a little help from their friends right here at home.

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