The Student News Site of Shawnee State University



From bean to cup

Slow Drip owners draw on faith, family in building their business

In Portsmouth, Ohio, where the river winds its recently not-so-gentle course and the rhythm of small-town life beats steadily, lies a gem that fuels the community’s spirit one cup at a time. Meet Brandon and Emme Shover, the dynamic duo behind Slow Drip Coffee, a beloved coffee truck that has become a fixture in the routines of local individuals and communities.

Ian Hillman

Sunday, March 14, 5:30 a.m. Before the sun rises over Rosemount, Brandon is awake and ready to start his day. This would normally be the time of day Brandon would make his morning cup of coffee, grab his Bible and “enjoy the only time of the day where the house is quiet.” In this time of welcomed silence, Brandon can be seen taking inventory and testing his cold brew, confirming it’s ready to serve Thursday-Saturday the coming week. However, today is slightly different. As the sunrise begins, Brandon and Emme’s children, Della and Julian (Juju), ages 3 and 2 respectively, wake up early, cutting Brandon’s quiet time short.

Brandon is much more of a morning person than his better half, Emme. Every day, Emme wakes up to a fresh, delicious simple syrup latte made by Brandon, letting her know the children are awake. While Emme gets prepared for the day, the children need food. Della gets a bowl of oatmeal and Brandon prepares some Greek yogurt for Juju. After breakfast, Juju can be seen playing with Play-Doh while Della gets a lesson on how to share with her little brother better. After her lesson, Della and Emme do their aspirational morning cheer before Della receives her usual morning decaf coffee.

“I want coffee and I want to help. I’m going to go get my steps and help,” Della said.

Story continues below advertisement
Ian Hillman

While Della and Brandon make coffee, Emme prepares the kids’ outfits for church, which begins at 10:40 a.m. Gospel music starts to play from the kitchen as Emme beckons Juju to her so that she can fix his hair. It is now 9:45 a.m., and it’s time for Della to choose what dress she would like to wear to church. She chooses the white and green one. As Emme goes to help Della put on her dress, you can see a large red dot on the side of her foot. Upon closer inspection, this turns out to be Play-Doh, surely a result of Juju’s fun earlier in the morning. Once Della’s dress is on, Emme fixes her hair while Brandon gets dressed for church. While her mom fixes her hair, Della offers Juju her leftover ice from her morning coffee, and Della then proceeds to throw her ice on the floor. Brandon comes out well-dressed for Sunday service, and Juju is spinning in circles repeatedly before falling on a large cushion next to the couch.

Finally, before leaving the house for church, Juju gets dressed as Brandon gets snacks ready and the diaper bag prepared. 10:20 a.m. Emme takes the last few minutes to make another cup of coffee. Brandon leads Della and Juju to the car and secures them in their child safety seats, Emme stays back in the house for just a moment of silence and one last check around the house before setting off to church. On the way to church, in the car, Brandon and Emme instill rules and practices for the kids while there, such as sitting quietly during worship and prayer.

Arriving at the church at 10:32 a.m., snacks are handed out to the children as a piano starts to play and a countdown appears on the monitors around the church. Silence spreads around the church as members of the congregation begin to find their seats. In their chosen pew, towards the back of the church where most other toddlers in the church can be found, Brandon holds Della’s attention while Emme does the same for Juju. Brandon and Emme pray while trying their best to attend to their children, and, shortly after, the congregation rises and begins to sing. Juju can be seen in Brandon’s arms as everyone sings together. After the second song, all children in the church are asked to leave the main hall and proceed to the nursery. Brandon and Emme clean up the mess from the snacks on the pew and get to now relax and practice their faith together.

This day’s scripture and sermon are about the grace of God and how some live their lives chasing it while others live their lives knowing they already have it. Brandon takes notes during the sermon as Emme rests her hand on Brandon’s arm and Brandon rests his hand on Emme’s knee. This is a weekly opportunity for the couple to focus on each other and their relationship. As the sermon comes to a close, the couple partake in communion along with the rest of the congregation before saying a few words to friends and picking up the children from the nursery to get some lunch.

Ian Hillman
Ian Hillman

Arriving back home at 1 p.m., Emme grabs an apple and takes a moment to herself before heading to the coffee truck (Bonnie) in the driveway to make content for Slow Drip’s social media pages. Creating content gives Emme time to get out of the house and take time to pursue her passion for art.

Ian Hillman

While Emme is outside making content for the business, Brandon is inside with Della and Juju, turning on a TV show and helping them wind down before nap time. Della can be seen rubbing her eyes. Once the kids fall asleep, Brandon cleans up toys from the morning, finding a lot of hidden Play-Doh. 2 p.m. With the kids expected to nap for a couple hours, Brandon takes this time to do what is necessary for the business to continue serving the community as much as it can.

Ian Hillman

Brandon is constantly aware of all the responsibilities he and Emme must undertake on a weekly basis.

“It’s like having a constant group of tabs open in my head,” he said. Operating their business from a truck adds complications, as does making sure the technology they use to take card payments is fully charged. Other regular considerations include ensuring leftover ice is brought inside so that it doesn’t melt between shifts, cleaning cloths are laundered, the espresso machine is regularly backflushed and the coffee bean grinder is cleaned.

Once Brandon and Emme feel prepared and happy with the work they have done for the business today, Brandon shifts his focus to a specific and non-routine issue. A generator the company uses to run power to the truck has started leaking oil and causing damage. Brandon collects his tools and starts to take apart the generator to diagnose the problem just as Emme arrives outside with a change of clothes appropriate for one of the hottest days of the year so far, a water bottle, some yarn, a crochet needle and a blanket. Emme comments on how getting her dose of Vitamin D straight from the sun even if just for a limited amount of time, makes her much happier in general.

At 3:15 p.m., Della wakes from her nap, and five minutes later Juju wakes up, much earlier than expected. There are still a couple hours before dinner. The kids wake up with a burst of energy and with this added time before dinner on a day as sunny and beautiful as today, the family chooses to go to the nearby park and have some fun together. On the walk to the park, Brandon orders dinner early, knowing the kids are still sleepy and most likely will fall asleep earlier than usual. Della starts on the swings with her mom pushing her until an idea comes to Emme’s mind that she wants to make sure she writes down. So, borrowing Brandon’s phone, she writes a note in it pertaining to another creative outlet of hers, writing. With Brandon up at the see-saw with Juju and no one to push Della on the swing, Della chooses to join her dad and little brother at the see-saw.

After the children get tired and food arrives, the family walks back home and, on the way, takes a moment to keep in touch with their neighbors. Once everyone is home, they all sit at the dining room table and place the food around the table so that anyone could reach almost anything at the table except for the soup being out of reach for both children. The only rule at the Shover dining room table is to stay seated while eating. It takes some convincing for Della to eat the noodles her parents are certain she likes, and like the opportunist Juju is, he sneakily takes an open container of sauce and proceeds to cover his food tray with it before leaning forward and covering his face and shirt with as much of it as he can. Juju tries to clean his mess, but it results in more of a mess rather than less, so dinner is paused for Emme and Brandon to clean off his tray, replace his clothes, and try again. After everyone finishes eating, Brandon cleans off the dining room table and Emme takes the kids to Della’s room to play with toys and get any left-over energy from their short nap out before an early night of sleep.

At around 6:30 p.m. Brandon and Emme sit on the couch with Della and Juju as they put on a TV show that helps wind the kids down for bed. To help this process, the kids receive a glass of milk and a lot of snuggles from their parents. At 7 p.m., the kids use the bathroom and brush their teeth before Brandon and Emme choose between Della or Juju’s room to read their nightly bedtime story. Juju falls asleep as the story is being told and Della is taken to her room where she spends time alone with her mom before falling asleep just before 8 p.m.

Once the children fall asleep, Emme walks into the living room where Brandon is relaxing on the couch. Emme must be tired because for just a moment she chooses to lie on the floor before stretching, standing back up and joining her husband on the couch. They relax together for about an hour, updating each other about what needs to be done before Thursday for their business and planning future events and opportunities, managing employee hours and scheduling. At 9 p.m., Brandon and Emme get up, brush their teeth and head to their bedroom to end the day.

Ian Hillman

As the day ends, I get to think about what this process taught me. I grow even more adoration and respect for local business owners. Raising children, keeping the family unit strong, finding time to care for their business and having quality time with their children and each other is an everyday commitment. To conclude this story, let’s raise our cups to Brandon and Emme and the countless small business owners like them who pour their hearts into making our community a better place, one sip at a time.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Ian Hillman
Ian Hillman, Staff Reporter
Ian Hillman is a 25-year-old sophomore at Shawnee State University. Originally from the state of Washington, he moved to Ohio a few years ago after traveling the world with his family. Ian is majoring in English and humanities with a concentration in communications with the hopes of becoming a lawyer in the future. He is also minoring in linguistics.  Ian has had an unusual upbringing compared to most 25-year-olds. He has lived in three continents, four countries and five states due to his parents’ occupations. At 9 years old, he moved from Washington to Virginia to Louisiana. Just a couple months after this, he moved to Abu Dhabi and then onto England. Due to his traveling, education became a difficult routine to establish. After being stuck in his changing life for two years, Ian moved back to the U.S. with his older brother and obtained his GED. Once COVID-19 hit, his parents moved to Ohio and both he and his mother enrolled at SSU. Ian currently lives in Piketon, Ohio.   Ian believes that moving so many times has had more positive impacts than negative ones on his life. He has been able to create life-long friendships with people who have become family to him. His personality has thrived in culturally rich environments. "There’s something about being with all different cultures, that really lets you be you at a very early age," Ian said. Due to this exposure, he has evolved into an adaptable, conversational and flamboyant person.   As a result of moving for most of his life, Ian finds it difficult to stay in the same place for very long. Once he completes his undergraduate degree, he plans to attend law school. He has considered attending Ohio State University, but also plays with the idea of moving back to where it all started and applying to the University of Washington. One day, Ian sees himself living in Nashville, Tenn., as a professional litigator focusing on copyright law in the music industry.

Comments (0)

All Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *