Brotherly Brews: Mom ‘n ’em Coffee Creates Welcoming Spaces in Two Cincinnati Communities

Mom ‘n ‘em Coffee was founded by brothers Austin & Tony Ferrari as a fun way to give a tribute and gift to their mother, while also helping to build up an untouched and unique neighborhood within Cincinnati. I was able to sit down with co-owner and co-founder, Austin Ferrari, for a chat to learn more about the coffee shop and cafe I’ve come to love so much.

Photo: Natalie Grilli

The two brothers grew up in the Clifton and Northside neighborhoods of Cincinnati before moving to San Francisco in their early adult years to make it on their own in the food & beverage industry. In 2014 while still living in SF, they decided they wanted to come back to their roots in Cincinnati to give back to their hometown and also to their mother. Although the original plan was to open an Airstream Coffee Garden, their idea evolved after facing many years of building permit and zoning setbacks. Those difficulties led to their flagship location in Camp Washington opening on Mother’s Day in 2019 in a house that the brothers already owned.

When I asked Austin how he felt about the evolution of their original Airstream idea to the two coffee shops and cafes they own today, he said he “feel[s] good about where we are. I feel like the shops have soul because of their story and the people we get to serve and that we’re fortunate enough to work with.” Austin also went on to say that their goal of opening their initial location in Camp Washington was to create a space “where everyone feels welcome, where different neighborhoods can come together with a sense of community – a third place”. The ‘third place’ that Austin refers to is the place that’s not your home and not your office but the third place where you feel like you can go when you don’t have anywhere else to be. I can say, from at least this writer’s perspective, they have nailed it!

During Covid, the brothers were introduced to a space in the Madisonville neighborhood and immediately knew it was where Mom ‘n ’em’s second location would have to go – they fell in love with the building and location. They felt that Madisonville was another community that hadn’t yet reached its full potential and that they could get excited about becoming part of the community. Mom ‘n ’em Coffee in Madisonville opened in June 2022.

When you walk into either shop you’re immediately greeted by warm and welcoming wood tones along with bright and vibrant pops of color that create a homey and comfortable vibe – like you’re just supposed to pull up a chair and start enjoying yourself. The staff is always friendly and ready to help with menu suggestions or a listening ear. Mom ‘n ‘em Coffee serves pastries, breakfast items, coffee, tea, tinned fishes, retail wine and a few other alcoholic beverages. My go-to order is an Almond Milk Gibraltar, Avocado Toastie, and Crispy Potatoes (usually shared with my husband whose typical order is the Cappuccino and Dirty ‘Nati Egg Samich), though I did try the Farro and Delicata Squash Salad recently and it was the perfect light and filling lunch!

Austin and Tony have built a team between their two shops that truly know how to create a sense of community within and out of their walls and I believe it’s because they always try to meet people where they are. As Austin said, “We want to get to know you. We want you to get to know us. We’re just two guys without any big investors who have a dream and want to create a legacy and provide for our families and our staff”.

The brothers also very recently started roasting the beans that are served at Mom ‘n ’em’s. They sell them in the shops, ship them for coffee subscription customers, and hope to have them on store shelves very soon. When asked what’s on the horizon for Mom ‘n ’em’s and whether or not a third location is in the works, Austin grinned and said “we’re always dreaming and creating”. Brothers Austin and Tony have created two very special places within the city and have cultivated a sense of community that you just have to experience for yourself.

Either of Mom ‘n ‘em Coffee’s locations can also be booked for your private event needs. Think weddings, baby showers, birthdays, corporate meetings, pop-ups, and more. If you need a great space to use for a small event or a place to sell food for your business on any given night to get some exposure, Mom ‘n ‘em’s could be a great fit. Mom ‘n ’em is also equipped with a mobile coffee cart that is designed to create and make espresso drinks on the go. You can find the Mom ‘n ‘em Coffee cart all over Cincinnati, including the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, American Sign Museum, Hyde Park Farmer’s Markets, birthday parties & more.

To book one of Mom ‘n ‘em’s locations or their coffee cart simply visit their website and complete the Inquiry Form.

Mom ‘n ’em Coffee Instagram

Looking for more places to go around town? Check out this list of local events!