Thrift store, coffee shop take top prizes in pitch competition

October 2, 2018

Zontaye Richardson of TheZe DealZ — A Thrifty Boutique & Bill Miller of Grind House Coffee and Tea Company each took home cash for their businesses last week after winning Pitch Night by Minster Bank, held at the Montgomery County Business Solutions Center.

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Zontaye placed first, capturing the $1,000 prize. Theze DealZ — A Thrifty Boutique is located in West Dayton at 3491 W Siebenthaler Ave. The boutique-style thrift store has become a community gathering place in the neighborhood, she told the panel of judges from Minster Bank. In addition to selling quality gently-used clothes, Zontaye hosts fashion shows, benefits and a variety of health screenings out of her shop. She hopes to eventually expand her biz into the two storefronts adjacent to her own, which are currently unoccupied.

Bill placed second, capturing $500 in prize money. His family has been blending coffees and teas as a hobby for a century, he told the judges. After he was laid off in 2015, he decided to take that hobby knowledge into the business world. The online retailer opened its first Grind House Coffee and Tea Co. physical location in April inside Meijer in Fairborn, then moved into Meijer in Huber Heights in August. Grind House Coffee and Tea Co. beans are roasted locally, he said, and he hopes to expand into several additional Meijer locations.

Other individuals and companies who pitched Wednesday night included:

Bobbie Watkins of Obedience LLC, a faith-based consulting firm focused on helping women reach their goals;

Micah Dickson, of Novus Capital Partners, who envisions an investment fund designed specifically to help minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses access capital;

Regina Johnson, of Ladybug Services, who offers environmentally-friendly integrated pest management services;

Charlynda Scales of OH Taste Marketing, a marketing consulting firm working to support Ohio food businesses via consulting, food tasting experiences, and demo and sales management;

Cecelia Morris, of Taking Charge, Inc., who specializes in digital marketing solutions for small business owners;

Paullecia Brown-Scott, who plans to open and adult daycare center;

George Xiao, of Microcvd, who is working to develop next-generation 3D printing technology;

& Vivian Thompson, who wants to open a gospel cafe.

Minster Bank offers a variety of personal, business, and private wealth management services. Leaders are gearing up to open a branch in downtown Dayton in the coming year.

The Montgomery County Business Solutions Center is a group of economic development and workforce specialists determined to see businesses succeed. Free services they provide include workforce planning, navigating government requirements, identifying local and state incentives, financial assistance for capital expenditures and workforce development, networking opportunities, and facility use. More info at