Michelle Quiroz is an engineer by training and had a fascination for a topic beyond her work for a large corporation with manufacturing operations along the border.
The science and craft of coffee roasting fascinated her and got Quiroz wondering how to apply her disciplined thinking to a dream of owning and running a small business. It would lead to the beginnings of Reserva Coffee Roasters in McAllen. It opened in 2017 with Quiroz and her husband Danny taking up the business full time.
They left behind professional and well-established careers to take on the risk of a fledgling business. It has paid off.
In late 2020, Michelle and Danny Quiroz were named the Small Business Administration’s small business persons of the year in Lower Rio Grande Valley District.
“It’s humbling and a validation of what we do,” Michelle said.
A World of Influence
The Quiroz couple traveled widely in the United States and around the world in their former careers. Coffee houses in Europe and Asia were stops of particular interest. European coffee shops often included ceramic pieces as well as art. British coffee houses often included interior windows. The coffee itself in both continents is pure and does not include syrups and extra flavors as those common in the United States.
“It’s just coffee in Asia and Europe,” Michelle said of coffee shops. “In the U.S., they are larger and serve as meeting spaces.”
Walk into Reserva at Palms Crossing Shopping Center in McAllen and those elements and other influences come into view. Quiroz describes Reserva’s design as being mechanical/industrial while also having a look that is unique in the Valley. She wanted a distinctive design while incorporating local culture and character.
“When we designed the café, we wanted to transport them to another place,” said Quiroz, a La Joya native, said of their customers. “At the same time, we know this community well and understand a high level of hospitality is expected here.”
Personal, Local Flavors
The same goes for products. Reserva has a wide array of mochas, lattes, cold brews and drip coffee that is prepared individually by the cup. Quiroz also takes great pride in the variety of homemade pastries that include empanadas of dulce de lecha, pumpkin and nutella. Coconut rum bread is a signature item while sandwiches and tasty toasts round out the Reserva menu.
A recent visit highlighted the look and feel Quiroz seeks with her coffee house. Customers were enjoying their visits with a variety of beverages. Bakers also were busy preparing empanadas as other employees organized items and kept the business spotless clean.
Put it all together – product and style – and Reserva is what one customer in a Google review called a coffee house with a “cool atmosphere, a trendy crowd with good vibes and great latte art.”