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June 2, 2022
Fresh Face: Cafe One Eight
Anthony Vega & Demi Smeltzer never thought they’d own a café, but after Anthony’s brother, Rob Vega, passed away in 2013, Anthony made a commitment to honor his brother’s legacy, using his dream of becoming an entrepreneur to keep his memory alive.
After a career in manufacturing, Anthony decided it was time for a change. When purchasing Cafe One Eight came on his radar, Anthony felt this could be the opportunity to finally bring together his dreams of owning a business and honoring his brother. Rob was a McCaskey High graduate with roots in the Lancaster community, and Anthony saw these roots reflected in the values Cafe One Eight stands for.
“When we were looking for a business to purchase, we had a really good feeling about this,” Anthony said. “There was a lot of positivity around it, and that’s what I feel when I think about my brother.”
The ownership of Cafe One Eight was transferred to Anthony and Demi in February 2022. As they settled in, they were astounded by the overwhelming support from their customers and staff.
“There are certain people that start their day here every single day, which is amazing,” Demi said. “They could go to a drive-through, but they choose to come here and start their day with our staff and our coffee. I feel so fortunate to know [the staff too] and be a part of their story, just as much as they’re part of ours.”
Anthony and Demi believe in supporting the community through their business, finding ways to elevate fellow business owners and build a culture of collaboration with other local brands. From the coffee served to the meals prepared, each menu item is crafted with fresh ingredients sourced from local purveyors.
“We strongly stand behind the idea of gather and nourish and the same principles that [have always been] in place,” Demi said.
Anthony added, “We didn’t purchase this business just for the business side of things. We purchased it because we believe in what has been created here and in maintaining it.”
Swing by Cafe One Eight this summer and welcome Anthony and Demi— and don’t forget to grab a delicious bite or a seasonal brew.