It takes time and effort to start a business, but two Miami University students — one past and one present — are making it happen.
Senior Tyler Storer and recent graduate Jackson Trester are opening a new restaurant this fall called OxVegas Chicken. The restaurant will be fast-casual dining with a limited menu including chicken tenders, chicken sandwiches, mac and cheese, Texas toast and waffle fries.
Storer and Trester met in their entrepreneurship class at Miami in 2021. The two partnered up for Startup Weekend Miami and took third place for their mock business plan. Storer said since the very beginning they have worked well together.
“We share the same wavelength,” Storer said. “We want the same things out of life. We have the same desire and motivation, and it's hard to find people like that. So when we found each other, we were like, ‘Let’s see what we can make together.’”
Over the next two years, Storer and Trester juggled schoolwork and building a business plan. They said feedback from surveys and the business market in Oxford helped them decide on chicken.
“We were very open to whatever the student base really wanted,” Trester said. “The main things we were picking out were [that] people wanted Canes and Chick-fil-A … or something chicken.”
The architect of OxVegas, Scott Webb, said the inside will have a modern feel with stained concrete floors and an open ceiling concept. Although the restaurant will be small, he said it should have a functional flow inside with kiosks to place orders in the center and a pick-up window off to the side. Additional seating will be outside.
Webb said he enjoyed this project and helping Storer and Trester make their dreams a reality.
“It’s fun to work with people that are looking to start up,” Webb said. “I mean, just ambitious, ambitious people with ideas and watching them kind of work their way through it.”
Seth Cropenaker, economic development specialist for the City of Oxford, said he is happy to see more student-led businesses open in Oxford. He believes OxVegas could be the next Kofenya.
“I love to see that town and gown relationship between Miami University and the City of Oxford come to life in a way through businesses, through entrepreneurs, through ideation,” Cropenaker said. “OxVegas Chicken can be something that symbolizes that.”
Storer and Trester said their goal for OxVegas is similar.
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“We’re hoping this will be one of the known restaurants like Bagel & Deli and Skipper’s,” Trester said. “Everyone knows exactly who they are and their statement towards Miami as a campus and we’re hoping one day we’ll be one of those statements as well.”