YM Camera is more than a camera store, it’s a destination for amateurs and pros alike to share in their love for photography and videography.

The store is owned and operated by the Yankush family, who have been serving the Valley for decades. Robby Yankush, the third generation, sat down with us to discuss the ways YM Camera has evolved in recent years.

“YM Camera’s a destination location. We serve Youngstown greatly. We take pride in our Youngstown customers and in being a Youngstown small business, but we’re finding every day five, ten, fifteen people are driving from Cleveland, from Pittsburgh,” Robby says.

“It’s a really positive experience when you come to YM Camera. I think about it every single morning when I wake up. I could go on Amazon Prime, I could add a camera yo my cart, I gotta ask myself, what can I do for my customers?’ And we’re realizing that people are missing service experiences.”

To help deliver that positive service experience Robby goes above and beyond in building personal relationships with his customers, sometimes receiving texts and emails late at night from people asking about gear the store carries.

“I don’t mind when they personally reach out to me,” Robby says. “It shows their connection with the business is beyond just a vending machine. You know we’re not, ‘put money in, get a camera and leave.’ It’s important to have classes here, it’s important to have education, so that’s why we added our new second level, the YM Camera loft.”

For Robby and his father Jim it’s really about getting people to come into the store and enjoy their time there.

“We want you to keep coming back and we want to develop that relationship. It’s very important to us. We’re going to match the right came to the right person and then we’re going to say, ‘hey you know what? You just bought a Nikon camera and we have Nikon demo day next week and they’re having a free beginners class. It all works in tandem and people feel comfortable coming in here. I’d be more upset if someone bought a camera, was frustrated, and didn’t come in here with questions. So we’re all about please, you’re never bothering us. We really want to help you create your art.”

YM Camera is located on Route 224 in Boardman, Ohio.