River City Six – Dan Loutzenhiser
Meet Dan Loutzenhiser, owner of Stories Coffee Co. (www.storiescoffeecompany.com)
Tell us a little about your business.
Stories Coffee is a local, family-owned company that roasts and serves its own specialty coffee. Stories also offers premium teas, 100% fruit smoothies, local craft beer, wine, and an extensive food menu covering breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A portion of Stories’ sales goes directly to local nonprofits that are doing good things for the Omaha community.
How did you get started in the business?
Ten years ago, my dad and I began roasting coffee as a hobby. As time went along, the opportunity to move from hobby to business grew and within the last couple years it’s progressed to what it is today with more family members involved, several physical locations, and other business lines. We look forward to the next chapter for Stories!
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
At the beginning of this year, I went from a steady, full-time corporate job to opening a coffee shop with 35 employees in the midst of a pandemic.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
Developing people. I love finding each person’s unique traits and then helping grow them in to successful and fulfilled employees.
Tell us a little about your family.
I am married to my wife Brooke, who is the true brains and beauty behind the Stories Coffee business. We have three beautiful girls, ages 10, 8, and 1. They’re my motivation and mean everything to me!
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
Five years ago, my first wife Kim and son passed away unexpectedly. Going through this drastically changed what my priorities were, both professionally and personally. I want to make the most of each day God has given me on this earth.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
Travel. There’s something about getting out and exploring something new.
Who inspires you?
My dad, who happens to be our coffee roaster. At 71 years old he still acts as if he’s in his twenties. He always has a positive attitude, willing to help anyone in a moment’s notice, and is constantly learning.
If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be?
Which talent would you most like to have?
The talent of stopping time. I’d be a lot more productive, get more sleep, work out more, and be able to keep my kids young.
If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be?
Music industry. I’ve always had a love for music and performing. For now, I’ll live vicariously through Justin Timberlake (some say I’m a better-looking, singing, and dancing version of him).
What local nonprofit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
Hope Center for Kids. They do such great things for the youth in Omaha and was one of our first non-profits we supported as a business.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read?
What is your favorite TV show?