Meet Laura – the co-owner of Steel City!
Laura’s diverse professional background includes real estate, marketing, and restaurant industry. In 2005, she owned and sold her own restaurant in downtown Philly while working full-time overseeing commercial and residential leasing as well as the marketing department for real estate developer Bart Blatstein. In 2008 she began a new position with Iron Chef Jose Garces launching his marketing and special events department.
In 2011, Laura moved to Phoenixville. While Philly had a very corporate feel, Laura immediately fell in love with the strong, supportive, and personal community of Phoenixville. Her entrepreneurial spirit led her and her husband, Ed Simpson, to Steel City Coffeehouse which originally opened in 1997 and needed some major revamping. Laura and Ed undertook the challenge and started reshaping it into the popular coffeehouse it is today. Not only were physical remodelings made, she also added major improvements to the menu to supporting vegan and gluten-free options. She, along with their creative baristas, introduced some of their signature high end drinks such as lattes, matchas, and kombucha. And, of course, her favorite dish hit the menu, the Poached Potato Bowl – a delicious medley of asparagus, scallions, potatoes, avocado and a poached egg. Through these menu revisions, Steel City proudly supports local brands such as Hobo Ed’s Coffee, Crust Vegan Bakery, Pure Joy Creamery, Baba’s Brew and so many more.
Since their grand re-opening in 2016, Steel City Coffeehouse has been in continual evolution. In addition to its extensive meal and drink options, a brewery was added within the past two months along with an expansion of events – from Thursday open mic nights to Saturday’s dinner and a show, they also have poetry slams and writing groups…all open to the public and for all ages. Also, reflecting Laura’s love for the Phoenixville, community is celebrated through various offerings. For example, they offer free wifi and encourage you to work remotely. In fact, they even offer a 10% off discount on breakfast and lunch as well as free drip coffee refills to those who do. Additionally, Steel City is the perfect place to stop in for a meal or drink on your next day shopping in Phoenixville – they will give you 10% off your purchase if you show a receipt from shopping at a Phoenixville store earlier that day.
On top of everything in works at Steel City Coffeehouse and now brewery, Laura and her husband also run their own freelance marketing business, Grassroots Marketer, helping many of the shops in Phoenixville.
As one is sure to notice by interacting with the staff of Steel City, hospitality is their top priority. Laura says the mantra among the workers is “no empty hands” – one should always be ready and actively serving the customer. She says Steel City is 90% hospitality driven as they seek to meet their customers’ desires.
Steel City has seen a beautiful evolution, and Laura looks forward to growth of the brewery and expansion of locations in the future.
Check out Steel City today! https://www.steelcitycoffeehouse.com