SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Spokane City Council recently decided to extend its parklet program this summer.
Parklets are small, seasonal outdoor spaces for people to gather Downtown. One of the new locations for these parklets will be outside Vessel Coffee Roasters on Monroe. Vessel coffee was opened almost a year ago by a 17-year-old.
Sean Tobin started roasting his own coffee in his college dorm room.
"I went up to Whitworth, and I just graduated this December, I began roasting in the basement of our college," Tobin said. "In this area, I was just making coffee in my dorm room and sharing with friends."
He later took a page out Steve Jobs' and Bill Gates' playbook and moved his coffee roasting operations to a garage. Then, after winning a grant from the Inland Northwest Business Plan competition, Tobin was able to purchase a professional roaster, and open the doors to his very own small-business, Vessel Coffee Roasters. He did all of this before his 19th birthday.
"I don't think of age as anything that should be a barrier to entry," Tobin said. "It's just a number for the most part and so you get to choose what you want to do with your passions."
Tobin's passion for coffee has spread beyond his cafe. Vessel sells its light roast coffee to local hotels, churches and even to businesses as far away as Portland.
What's next for this young business owner? Well, since he's no longer a teenager, he'll figure that out one sip at a time.