We had the good fortune of connecting with Cody Garcia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cody, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I know it may sound cliche, but people! Without the help of family and friend I would of never been able to even be where I am in my career.
What should our readers know about your business?
Gosh, under this questoin you have 3 possible selections to choose from (besides other). I like to think that Willow Coffee falls under all 3 categories, Business, Professional, and Creative. For the business part I am really just figuring it out as I go. I went though a company in Houston to do the inital build out of the bus. They turned it from an old airport transit bus to the basics of a food truck. I installed the coffee equipment and storage by myself. To say this was easy would be a bold face lie, haha. I literally out blood, sweat, and tears into making sure the Willow Coffee bus was up and running. I learned that you cant really rely on people to execute your vision for you. I also learned when to stop and realize when it is time to ask for help. I am a stubborn person who alsways did things either alone or myself, but I am one person and cant do everything. I have limitations when it comes to a lot of things and I am learning when to recognize when I come to them and to seek out those who can help in areas where I am not competent. I think that is also where being professional comes in. Yeah this is a coffee business and I can work a bar in my sleep, but also having the know how of working the back end is something that is relatively new to me. Like I said earlier, I am figuring it out as I go. Sometimes I get into the mindset while I am working that I created a job for myself, but it is more than that. I created a business for not just myself but for others. In the future I will have employees and I want to bring them in to a place that truly respects them and to be a place that will set them up to maybe open their own place one day. Or maybe one day I will be able to pass the mantle on to my son and he will do the same to his. Who knows?
As for being crative I love this part. This is probably my favorite paert of the business, coming up with different drinks that really have people wondering just they are about to taste and then becoming obsessed with them. I love playing with flavors you would not expect to drink in coffee.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I think I would take them to Red Light Coffee Roasters for a morning cup of coffee. It is nice to grab a drip coffee from them. All of their coffee is roasted in house and the manager there, Sara, is such a delight. We would go grab breakfast burritos at Broncos Burritos. They are a family run place and have such a love for Glaveston Island and it’s people! For lunch we definitely have to hit up Gypsy Joynt! They are another family run place, and by that I mean just about the whole family works there! They make evrything from scratch and like with my menu they have a lot of interesting and delicious flavor pairing you would not expect but will crave. I highly suggest their Fried Brussel Sprouts for an app and any of their burgers with the Sweet Potato Tots or Mac and Cheese as a side! For a nice after lunch hangout you cannot go wrong with Freckleberry Teahouse. This place is the absolute cutest place on the Island, It is a true labor of love. The owner is Kahla Bankston and she spent 5 years building out the shop, and it shows. The exterior has the best patio with a herb garden that is enviable and she raises chickens that you can see from your seat as your drink your freshly prepared boba tea.
For dinner I really love to go to Mama Teresa’s Flying Pizza for a fresh pizza. My wife and I love getting their greek pizza. Unfortunately they are not open on Mondays ehich is when we crave them the most (kinf of like people with Chick-fil-a on sundays) so we would go to Mr Taco on Seawall instead.
For a nightcap (night cappuccino) I would take you to MOD Coffeehouse. They are a staple in Galveston. Conveniently located on the Historic Strand they have a really great atmosphere to sit down, especially outside under the vine covered pergola, with a friend and chat.
If you are in town during the weekend every six weeks there is the Galveston Art Walk that happens on the strand. All of the galleries have open showings and you can walk around and enjoy lots of cool things for free or purchases any items are may fancy. I know we have a few pieces in our house that we bought during Art Walk.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to shoutout Eric Hammond and Jeremy Perrine. Although they no longer work in the coffee industry, they are the original owners of Pearland Coffee Roasters, or PCR as we call it. Without that shop I would of never of been intriduced to specialty coffee in such an intimate and fun way that I was. I would also like to shoutout my old manager and friend Brian. I first met Brian at PCR, he was the manager there at the time and was one of the reasons why I was brought on. We serisously went through some times at that little shop. We both ended up leaving at different times and both worked at BlendIn Coffee Club in Sugarland. On that note I would like to shout them out, especially Weihong Zhang. He is another big reason why I make really decent coffee! He helped my journey in more than just coffee. My house flooded during Harvey and when it was finally being gutted he let me crash at his place for a few days. A good guy with a big brain and thirst for coffee knowledge. I want to Shoutout my investor/partner Suzanne. Without her I wouldnt have the oprotunity to bring coffee to Galveston in this capacity. Lastly I would like to shout out my coffee supplier Voltage Coffee Project located in Decatur, TX. They are doing some really amazing things. Not just by roasting excellent coffee, but by providing a livable wage and offereing training to the farmers that they work with. They even recently have partnered with Texas A&M University and Borlaug Institute for coffee research. I definitelty have a lot of really amazing people in my life that have helped me and are continuing to help me in this journey.
I think the most important to give a shoutout to is my wife Sarah. She has truly been the driving force behind my motivation and work ethic to get this business off the ground. I really could not of done anything without her.
Facebook: Willow Coffee GTX
Photo credit goes to Tarah Hilton from Google Images