Coffeecionado, a Southside coffee shop, brings female empowerment and Colombian coffee to San Antonio.
“I do love helping women,” owner Patricia Butler said. “I think the best service we give to our world is educating and supporting women. We need to support each other and I think that is what Coffeecionado is.”
Coffeecionado stands behind female empowerment. From the moment the coffee is grown to the moment it is served, the coffee is only touched by the hands of women.
Coffeecionado serves lattes, cappuccinos, cold brew, hot cocoa and teas. The coffee is sourced from Colombia.
“We are coffee producers, coffee exporters and coffee importers and then we roast our own coffee, so we are one of the few companies that does the whole process from the beginning till the end, for real,” Butler said.
Butler’s mission is to show her respect for the women who grow coffee in the fields and give praise to their hard work.
“I felt that if I wanted to advocate for them, the best way to do it was to actually bring their product and serve it and honor them by saying they’re not just growing coffee, this is what the coffee tastes like, this is the product from their hands,” Butler said.
The coffee shop was previously a house and “molino”. The man who built it brought his two sisters from Mexico to live in the house which doubled as a storefront where they would sell menudo and tortillas from their home.
While purchasing the home, one of the sisters was concerned that Butler would tear the building down. She reaffirmed them of her plans.
“I’m going to make it beautiful again,” Butler told them. “I’m going to make it part of the Southside of San Antonio, this used to be a landmark and I want to make your house be a landmark on West Mitchell.”
After a year of revitalization, one of the things Butler kept the same in the house was the tile multi-colored floor she fell in love with.
“I wanted to have something that was so original and so authentic to San Antonio, what more than the floor,” Butler said.
In the middle of the coffee shop is a one-of-a-kind air-roasting machine used to roast coffee.
“It is very expensive to create this kind of technology,” Butler said. “I found a manufacturer in Colombia who has been in the coffee industry for years and he started making the air-roasters. I bought it from him because it is so easy to use and it’s touchscreen.”
Butler offers classes where she educates anyone willing to learn about coffee and teaches them how to roast coffee with the machine.
Coffeecionado celebrated their first anniversary on Valentine’s Day.
“I like everything from the coffees to the teas,” Thelma Paris, a Coffeecionado regular, said. “Can’t really say I have a favorite but if I had to choose I would go with the Long Black. It has a very high quality taste to it. Most of the time you can come in here and forget about everything; you get your little piece of heaven,”
Yessica Contreras, early education junior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio, is a barista at Coffeecionado. Contreras met Butler through her mother, who teaches Spanish to Butler’s daughters. Later, Butler offered her a part-time position at the coffee shop.
Contreras enjoys the atmosphere of working at Coffeecionado.
“I love the open, caring and supportive environment,” Conteras said. “We are our own little family.”
Butler advises minorities to become entrepreneurs.
“If you are a minority and you’ve decided to start your own business, you have to take on ownership of the weight your words have in your community especially in the place where we are and how things are moving,” Butler said. “Speak up and you will be heard.”