We had the good fortune of connecting with Amy Albro and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amy, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
Soulfreak Studio Cafe is located within the small city of Clear Lake Shores. It has become a staple to the community and surrounding communities. Our coffee and food products are sourced locally by other small businesses. Our retail area has unique offerings, some include items handcrafted by local area artists. The art room is a studio space that is used to teach art classes and when not in use is a communal area for people to work, visit and draw on tables. Soulfreak hosts a market each month to provide locals with handcrafted products and give the artist/crafters/bakers a chance to showcase their talent and make money doing what they love.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My favorite thing about the shop is the reaction when someone comes in for the first time. It makes my heart happy when a customer tells me they love the vibe and they feel like they are home.
When I created the design it was challenging to compartmentalize all the factors I wanted into one tiny building. I added walls, doors (that are over 100 years old), and unique furniture that I purchased around antique shops. All unique items that you wouldn’t find elsewhere that give it a homely feel.
It was important to me to create the space to support art and artists. We have a classroom/open workspace that we use to teach arts/crafts. The room has a large table with brown paper and drawing supplies open for anyone to create while hanging out.
The retail space is mainly comprised of all of my favorite things. I pull products from local vendors, makers and artist as well as from Etsy wholesalers. Its important to me to have unique, handmade items that support my friends and fellow artists.
We offer live music nightly from Wednesday-Saturday to support our local musicians and host a monthly market every second Saturday of each month supporting our local artists, crafters and makers even further.
Our greatest challenges have been Covid. We opened on Oct, 26 2019 and closed the following March. With the help of funding we were able to pull thru and re-open. We also had to move entirely out, twice due to two hurricanes the following summer. So 2020 was by far a challenge all together.
The coffee was an anchor for the shop but we did our due diligence and hit the jackpot with Pearland Coffee Roasters. We added boutique wine and craft beer that sets us apart from our neighboring bars and restaurants. Our food products are sourced by local bakeries because we love supporting small businesses.
Last but not least, I am most proud of the team I have. I am woman owned and operated, ranging from 10-13 employees at a time with some seasonal staff. I treat my team like family and we have quarterly team building events to maintain a strong bond.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If I have friends from out of town we usually stay local. We often eat at Schafer’s Coastal Bar & Grill. They have great food and friendly staff. Soulfreak Studio Cafe is located in a golf cart community that is surrounded by water. If we are not walking, biking, riding a golf cart, paddle boarding or watching the sunsets then we are typically on the porch at Soulfreak listening to live music.
Along with Schafer’s Coastal Bar & Grill we also frequent, Okies Yard House, Skippers, Aspens Bar & Grill Joe-Lee’s and Jackie’s Brickhouse!