Interior of Motiv coffee shop and wine barMotiv is on the corner of Lee Road and Van Aken Boulevard.

Did you know that April is National Food month? In that spirit, we’re spotlighting Motiv, a craft cocktail and coffee bar in the Chagrin-Lee commercial district of Shaker. Aside from delicious coffee and cocktail specialty drinks, Motiv also offers tasty bites. You can’t go wrong with the flavorful avocado toast, the cheesy quesadillas that dip perfectly into salsa, the chocolatiest-chocolate muffin, and so much more.

Brittany and Dre Wiley opened Motiv in 2022. Prior to opening Motiv, they launched Magna Wine Boutique with two locations: one in Cuyahoga Falls; the other in Bedford. Magna are wine boutiques with tasting rooms similar to what one might find in Napa Valley. A cocktail bar, however, was always their goal prior to opening these other locations.

As Brittany explains, “Being a young entrepreneur, it was difficult to find the space for a cocktail bar. We noticed a lot of places wouldn’t rent to us unless we had existing space.” Magna Wine Boutique was actually a spinoff of Brittany and Dre’s original business plan and therefore stems out of Motiv. Then, they made Motiv happen.

Brittany Wiley., co-owner of MotivMotiv exists only in Shaker. In the very beginning, Dre and Brittany looked at Shaker before opening any of their businesses. Dre attended school here, and the two of them felt at home here with their business; they also loved the community. It’s safe to say the community has returned the sentiment.

When you step into Motiv, you’re bound to see any of the following scenarios: Two friends sitting at the small but inviting bar, sipping on a Shaker Sour or Dre’s Cosmo while chatting with the incredibly friendly staff; a mother and her son ordering chocolate muffins and Honey Bee lattes to go; a group of professionals grabbing coffee and engaging in a meeting, probably enjoying the comfort of the velvet couches by the fireplace. And there’s always individuals working remotely, interspersed throughout, and browsing the menu and coffee options while sunlight peeks through wide windows overlooking Van Aken Boulevard. No matter the reason for being there, a feeling of relaxation and belonging abounds. There’s a motive to just be. And it feels really good.

Each customer walking into a business comes with their own story; their own background. Brittany relays that this is one of the rewards of owning a small business: “The relationships we build and curate are definitely the biggest reward. Sometimes it’s based on something as simple as someone coming in for the first time. The next thing you realize, you both have something in common, or maybe they’re also business owners.” These are relationships that probably wouldn’t otherwise exist without owning a small business.

Sometimes, the excitement from building these relationships, or the overall passion for your small business can lead to a challenge as well: “Work/life balance can be hard to navigate and to create boundaries when you like what you do,” Brittany says, “but one day at a time, you just have to be patient.”

Indeed, patience is what Brittany would advise to anyone who wants to start their own small business: “Things don’t happen overnight. There are many things you have to do to start, to hire, to make your business come to life. Just be patient; write your ideas down and focus on how you can bring them to fruition.” This is solid advice from a family-owned and operated small business. Brittany and Dre’s patience has certainly paid off. We are so grateful to call them neighbors in Shaker!

Motiv is open daily Sunday-Tuesday from 8 am to 3 pm and Wednesday-Saturday from 8 am to 9 pm. Visit their website or Instagram for more information. Be sure to try any of their delicious menu items and let us know your favorite (drink or bite)!