Harlingen Business & COVID-19: Bandera Coffee Co.

HARLINGEN, TEXAS (May 14, 2020)Harlingen Business & COVID-19 will consist of a series of stories we are collecting from Harlingen business owners. As COVID-19 continues to affect all businesses globally, we want to feature our local entrepreneurs, companies, and businesses that are faced with making tough decisions, adapting, and embracing new ways of doing business.

As things continue to shift, business owners tell us how they are thinking differently when it comes to doing business and providing a service to our community.

Rene Garcia, Bandera Coffee Co, 415 W. Van Burren, www.banderacoffeeco.com

Owners Rene and Ashley Garcia saw a need for their hometown to have a space for gathering and of course, good coffee. So in July of 2018, the couple opened Bandera Coffee Co.

They created their unique space and in the process gained quite the following of regulars. Partnering with other business owners along Van Burren, Rene and Ashley were establishing their coffee shop as a spot for locals with common interests.

Then COVID-19 happened and as cases began to rise locally, the couple decided to close their doors to their beloved community on March 23.

“In March we knew very little about COVID-19,” Rene said in an email, “But with all the numerous cases showing up we thought this was the best decision to keep our staff and community safe.”

Already having a large following on social media, the couple notified their followers and communicated across various platforms of their decision.

With restrictions loosening, the coffee shop has since re-opened but the couple has chosen to keep the dine-in option closed for now. Patrons can call in their order and pick-up curbside; the shop also delivers orders.

Adjustments have been made to their website and customers can now order merchandise and most importantly, their drinks directly online, Rene said. He added that while the brick-and-mortar is currently closed, they would reassess that decision at a later time.

“We are constantly learning how we need to adapt to ourselves,” Rene said.

“Which means, trying to find a healthy balance of running a business and taking care of a family, staff members, and customers.”

Rene stressed the importance of keeping customers informed of all their decisions both on and offline.

“Trust your customer. Not everyone will agree with every decision you make, but if they see the value in your business, they will do what they can to support you no matter what.”

If you would like to be part of the series and share your story, please e-mail Selene D. Guerrero, marketing manager, at sguerrero@harlingenedc.com