RENO, Nev. -- A bad economy slowed down local businesses in Reno, but there is a silver lining. A local photographer's hobby turned into a dream job despite the job loss.
A coffee junkie at heart, Jeff Blevins experimented by making his own all-natural blends and flavors.
"I wouldn't just go buy brand x off the shelf. I would buy whole beans and re-blend them to get different flavors," Blevins said.
In just ten months, he teamed up with his best friend, who had also lost his job, to turn Takoda Gourmet into a reality.
"No one else is doing it. It's something unique. It's low calorie, low carb, diabetic friendly, very important in this very health conscious world," Tim Oxenrider, Co-Founder of Takoda Coffee said.
Takoda comes from the Sioux tribe origin and means "a friend to everyone."
"They have a very natural attitude toward things so you know everything is good for you," Liz McDermaid, a Takoda regular customer said.
Health, flavor and taste are Takoda's main priorities, but coffee and tea aren't the only products Blevins and Oxenrider make.
"We manufacture over 40 different products and we even have our own line of spices which proved to be really popular which is kind of odd for a coffee shop, but we do different seasonings and blends," Blevins said.
All the products are 100 percent natural and the ingredients are hand-made by Blevins and Oxenrider.
"A product everyone can use because you can cook and bake with it...you can do marinades, and make martinis with them," said Oxenrider.
Now, their main focus is giving back to the community that helped them through tough times.
"We didn't get here without people doing us a few favors a long the way and we remember that...being laid off, the money's tight and you sell your vehicles and you give up your home and you downsize to make this work," Oxenrider said. "You know what people are going through because you've lived it."
Customers can bring in two cans of food and in return, Takoda Gourmet Coffee will give out a raffle ticket for a $50 gift certificate.
Another way to the thank the community, Takoda Coffee offers a 15 percent discount for all military, fire department, police, or emergency personnel.
Takoda Gourmet Coffee is located at 148 Vassar Street.