In a strip mall tucked between Dibble's Hobbies and Screen Rite, The Koffee Kup Co. stands with a new owner. An on-again, off-again cafe/restaurant for the past decade, for its latest iteration new owner Marisol De La Cruz is working on serving quality coffee and creating a space for the community to gather.
Opened mid-January, the café is run by De La Cruz who functions as a one-woman show behind the counter, greeting customers and making each cup herself.
Born in San Antonio, but raised in Laredo, De La Cruz learned about the Alamo City during her time at St. Mary's University, where she received her bachelor's degree in political science. She later earned her master’s in Latin American/Latino Studies at University of Illinois at Chicago and went on to worked as a paralegal for family immigration before moving into employment immigration, where she helped support corporations with work visas for their overseas employees. The work was stable she said, but found the job isolating and lacking opportunities to work with people.
- Maria Gardner Lara
- Marisol De La Cruz, Koffee Kup's latest owner
De La Cruz said she's focused on quality. She gets her beans roasted by Pulp Coffee Roasters, and the house blend allows her some versatility in application but also provides her consistent quality and taste.
Shop-goers won't find latte art, but they will find latte specialties like the Mexican Mocha, a latte with old fashion Abuelita chocolate blended in. Other favorites include the Cuban made with espresso, steamed milk, raw cane sugar, and Cafe Bombon that features condensed milk, and two shots of espresso.
It's the relationships she has with the customer is what makes the experience different at her shop, De La Cruz said.
Just a few blocks away from Thomas Jefferson High School, Koffee Kup caters to students from the area who may be more familiar with Starbucks' Frappuccino. Her take — the Shakerato — mixes heavy cream and espresso.
Koffee Kup is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday. She hopes to extend hours in the future. This Saturday, hours will be expanded for a Book Swap Party from 2 to 4 p.m. Book lovers are encouraged to take gently used book to the exchange.