Elizabeth Rios, owner of Jo on the Go and Jo’s Cafe, has taken over the Redbud Roasters shop located on South LBJ Drive.
Rios’ shops join over 15 other San Marcos coffee hubs, which offer a means for Texas State students and residents to grab a cup of joe, eat, work and socialize.
Rios said she was inspired to go into the coffee business about 19 years ago after watching sleepy students mosey around with their cups in hand. She wanted to give them more.
“We started off with little things at Jo on the Go,” Rios said. “When we got Jo’s Cafe, we (wanted to) give them something more.”
Before Rios dove into the world of coffee, she lived on the east coast and worked in offices. She later moved to Austin, hoping to take a break from her work while searching for her next step.
“I knew I wanted to do something—I just didn’t know what it was going to be,” Rios said. “I just knew it was going to be a business of some kind. Whether it was going to be a liquor store, auto parts, coffee or whatever, I knew that that’s where I was headed to.”
Rios’ newest venture, Redbud Roasters, has been located at 169 S LBJ Dr. since 2010. The business was previously owned by Austin and Mary Van Zant, who served coffee that was roasted in-house. Much of the coffee brewed was of South American origin, while tamales and bakery items were on the food menu.
Rios kept all of these elements of Redbud Roasters.
“The coffee business is starting to shift a little bit,” Rios said. “People are more interested in pour-overs and French-presses and different varieties of how you make your coffees. Over here at Redbud, there’s kind of this new coffee world that people are venturing into and figuring how to drink coffee differently.”
Jessie Plotts, baker for Jo on the Go and Jo’s Coffee, has worked with Rios for a few months. She said she will make specialty items for the Redbud Roasters location.
“There are a lot of specialty things that are kind of in the works right now,” Plotts said. “That’s what I like the most—it’s cold brew coffee.”
According to researchers at Bloomberg News, young consumers are increasing their daily consumption enough to make up for a decline in older drinkers. So, Rios’ decision to expand her coffee business in a college town was a good one.
“I probably drink a 12-ounce coffee four or five times a week,” said Rachel Hendrickson, interdisciplinary studies senior. “I started drinking coffee when I was seventeen. It started off with sugar drinks and then it moved to espresso.”
Hendrickson said she normally drinks coffee from her brewer at home, but when given the chance, she enjoys exploring coffee shops around San Marcos.