Locals revitalize one of Orlando’s oldest and largest coffee roasters: Eola Coffee Co.

Ashley Smith and Dawn Hall are using their business to showcase the sense of community a simple cup of joe can create.

Ashley Smith and Dawn Hall take pride in their women-owned, small business servicing Baldwin Park and surrounding areas. Their coffee is featured in a number of local boutiques around the city, including Paper Goat Post.
Ashley Smith and Dawn Hall take pride in their women-owned, small business servicing Baldwin Park and surrounding areas. Their coffee is featured in a number of local boutiques around the city, including Paper Goat Post.
Photo by Annabelle Sikes
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Ashley Smith and Dawn Hall are using their business to showcase the sense of community a simple cup of joe can create. 

The pair own Eola Coffee Co., a women-owned, small business revived from one of Orlando’s oldest and largest coffee roasters, Eola Coffee Co.

The women take pride in roasting and delivering fresh-roasted ground and whole-bean coffee to customers throughout Orlando using their website.

Smith and Hall work with local farmers to obtain specialty-grade, fair trade, organic and ethically sourced beans to produce the very best coffee for their customers, who they fondly refer to as friends and family. 

Currently, the company is the only premiere coffee club that hand-delivers to doorsteps in the nation, with many of its customers living in Baldwin Park and the surrounding areas. 


Eola Coffee Co. was founded in 1927 in a roasting facility where the Amway Center is now located.

For Hall, who moved to Baldwin Park more than a year ago, the revival process was a full-circle moment.

One of her first jobs was serving as the development director at the Orange County Regional History Center in downtown Orlando.

“I really love history; I always had a passion for history,” she says. “When we revived the company, we worked with the history center to solidify who founded it, where it was, pulled out old pictures, just to bring a little bit of history back into the company.”

The company relaunched in December 2019, and the revival began January 2020. 

Then, the pandemic hit.

“The pandemic created this weird opportunity where a lot of people were at home, so it was a natural fit for a lot of people to get their coffee delivered to their house,” Hall says. 

During the pandemic, the women partnered with a number of local bakeries and places that had to close during that time to deliver their products with the company’s coffee.

“We’re a community, and we all thrive when we’re all doing well together,” Hall says. “It was just really important to us to tell our customers about other local, small businesses that they might be able to love and utilize in the future. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.”

The historical context also stood out to Smith; her grandparents had come and settled in Orlando. When she looked through her grandfather’s old paperwork, she realized he worked right across the street from the original coffee spot at a furniture company.

“It was kind of a fun and sentimental tie, since he’s passed, to think that he might have had Eola Coffee,” she says. 

The revival, transformation and modernization allowed the women to turn the business into something that would work with their lifestyle. Both are moms to young children.

“This is really when we reached more into our tech background, and the ability to do delivery and not have to have a bunch of physical locations to keep going,” Smith says. “It allowed us to choose when we roast, when we deliver, in a way that if we have a sick kid, we don’t have to always be available, which has made a world of difference and … helped us grow. The ability to deliver to doorsteps and have that convenience when not everybody is in a season where they can go to a coffee shop and spend the hours or money there is so unique.”

Both Hall and Smith are Orlando natives and are excited to carry on its rich history through their business.

“We both just have a really big love for Orlando,” Hall says. “It’s our hometown. A lot of people think that Orlando doesn’t have a lot of history, but it does. It’s kind of nice to bring back something that was historic.”

For Smith, discovering the company was like finding a hidden gem. 

“It kind of became this dream that not only can we tell part of Orlando’s story and revive this, but we can also do it on our terms, leveraging technology to make it something that’s better for us and our customers in a way that normally wouldn’t be possible,” she says. “Just bringing a fresher, better product to Orlando and feeling like it was uniquely ours, rather than another chain that had come in.”


The pair currently is working on expanding its monthly coffee club memberships.

Each month, the company conducts member roasts that are reserved for coffee club members only and not sold to the public.

The process is simple: Sign up with your mobile phone number, get notified by text when the company is roasting and choose when to buy, and receive hand-delivered, fresh-roasted coffee to your doorstep.

Everything from the design to the development is done entirely in-house.

The company delivers throughout Central Florida, going as far out as Clermont, Davenport and Sanford. Businesses also can be members of the club.

Every month, the packaging of the coffee changes, and the roast is curated. Smith and Hall like to include special items and trinkets in the boxes to surprise members.


The mothers are now using their business journeys to teach their young daughters how to be strong, independent women.

Hall has two daughters — Adalyn, 10, and Siena, 7 — and Smith has three daughters — Parker, 6, Jetta, 4, and Auggie, 1.

Smith says their daughters have been front row to the process from the beginning.

“It’s been really cool to see the pride in them,” she says. “To show them that they too could do something like this if they wanted to, and that as moms we are running this business. It feels like we’re setting up the next generation to reach for their dreams.”

Hall loves the opportunity to teach her girls through her business.

“Seeing them grow with it and being part of the deliveries,” she says. “Ashley and I (made) every single delivery by ourselves during the pandemic. A lot of times, the kids were in the car seat in the car. We were hustling and working really long, hard hours to get the product out. ... We always want to encourage women to feel like they can start something from scratch. We want our girls to put themselves out there and feel like they can do it, too.”



Annabelle Sikes

News Editor Annabelle Sikes was born in Boca Raton and moved to Orlando in 2018 to attend the University of Central Florida. She graduated from UCF in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in sociology. Her past journalism experiences include serving as a web producer at the Orlando Sentinel, a reporter at The Community Paper, managing editor for NSM Today, digital manager at Centric Magazine and as an intern for the Orlando Weekly.

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