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Ribbon cutting ceremony held for Champions Unique Desserts and Food

| July 2, 2018

Champions Unique Desserts and Food had its official ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, July 2 at 12:30 p.m. The store opened on Monday, June 18 and serves a variety of food and desserts.

COSHOCTON – Devin Rivera and Austin Sampsel, coaches for Special Olympics 10 years and one year respectively, met at the Special Olympics for people with disabilities. The two became friends and decided to open a place specifically for people with disabilities to work and serve the community. That vision became a reality on Monday, June 18 when Champions Unique Desserts and Food opened for business on US 36 in the former Local Bounty building.

“I feel like it’s been a great experience,” said Rivera. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. This is the first business I’ve opened up, so it’s been a great experience.”

Rivera and Sampsel wrote the proposal in February to Lake Park and once Lake Park approved the proposal, the two started renovating the former Local Bounty building to become Champions.

“It was really nice because they [Lake Park] said that if we did all the painting and labor that they would reimburse us for the paint,” said Rivera. “That was great that Lake Park did that and we’re very appreciative.”

The renovations started with power washing the building and repainting both the inside and outside. The electrical had to be changed and a kitchen area was created.

The business employs 15 full-time employees and 23 during the summer months.

“Hopefully in the future, we will have a couple of locations,” said Sampsel. “We would like to move up to make it more of a restaurant where they [the employees] can be servers and be more interactive with the customers.”

Sampsel said that the employees are learning life skills while working at the store.

“They’re learning how to count money and they do everything from taking the orders, making the food and delivering the food to cleaning up.”

One of the friendly faces you’ll see a Champions is Scott Thomas Balentine, who greets each customer at the door with a friendly smile.

“I say, ‘Welcome to Champions’ and ‘Thank you for coming to Champions’,” he said. “It feels good because we’re all champions, and we have the best coaches, Devin and Austin.”

Although they are known for their ice cream, the store also serves a wide variety of foods and is a nice place to sit with family or friends and have lunch. They are open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sunday hours are to be determined.

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Category: Business

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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