Local Lion coffee shop wins Small Business of the Year

Josiah+Davis%2C+owner+of+Local+Lion%2C+opened+the+first+local+drive-thru+coffee+and+doughnut+shop+in+Boone%2C+NC.

Kara Haselton

Josiah Davis, owner of Local Lion, opened the first local drive-thru coffee and doughnut shop in Boone, NC.

Olivia Jones, Reporter

When the Local Lion, a coffee shop that specializes in fresh roasted coffee and housemade doughnuts, opened its doors for the first time in April 2012, owners Josiah and Meredith Davis never would have guessed the amount of success their venture would gain.

Their impact on the community combined with the unique products they provide led to Local Lion being named the 2020 Small Business of the Year by the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce. 

“Winning Small Business of the Year, especially in 2020, meant a lot to us,” said Josiah Davis. “It was such a hard year and to get that kind of affirmation is something that was very emotional for me.”

In addition to a morale boost, the award has other benefits for the business.

“Winning an award like this might bring in more business, but that’s not really what means the most to us.” Josiah Davis said. “Just knowing that people see our hard work and dedication and know that we’re working hard means everything.”

The Boone Area Chamber of Commerce also provides yearly awards for other categories, including Large Business of the Year and Startup Business of the Year.

“At the time (we opened), Boone did not have any drive-thru coffee or any scratch-made doughnuts,” said Josiah Davis. “It was just a practical need that I saw in the community and that led to the idea that would eventually be named the Local Lion.”

Since opening, the coffee shop has become a favorite amongst students and working locals, who stop by to hold meetings, complete schoolwork and enjoy their many food and drink options, including specialty lattes and uniquely flavored doughnuts. 
“Our purpose is to serve the community and create an environment that really values our customers and supports their achievement,” Josiah Davis said. “I think that clear vision that we’ve spelled out is what drives us forward and helps us be successful.”

For students who frequent Local Lion, many perks keep bringing them back. 

“I really like that they’re a local business with local owners,” said senior Dana Baxter, who visits five days a week. “The atmosphere is very cozy and the service is super quick.”

In addition to good customer service, their products seem to speak for themselves according to Baxter. “I’m super picky with coffee but theirs is definitely at the top of my list,” she said. “I also love that they sell locally made goods such as jewelry, flower bouquets and pastries. I also love that they hand make their doughnuts.”

The Local Lion is open from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. every Monday through Saturday.