MISSION, TX – May 24, 2018 —Jitterz Coffee Bar owner Gabe De La Garza is a shining example of a long-standing and successful small business owner committed to providing a unique service and product to his community. Since opening its doors in 2003, Jitterz, a Ruby Red Ventures funding recipient, has been committed to bringing artisan coffee to Mission. It has grown and spurred others to create their own coffee startups.
De La Garza, who was born and raised in Mission and was a star baseball player for Mission High School, could have located his cool coffee shop anywhere. However, he remained dedicated to Mission and located Jitterz in downtown. It has been a major part of revitalizing the area. Jitterz also remains committed to making artisan coffee. De La Garza and his team of coffeemakers work hard to roast and brew carefully chosen coffee beans. Jitterz employs people who love and are committed to serving a good cup of joe. The cafe has a very big and faithful following on social media.
Recently, Jitterz expanded via a unique public-private partnership with the Mission EDC. Jitterz opened its second location inside the Mission EDC’s new, state-of-the-art 55,000 square-foot CEED building. Inside, Jitterz serves a full-range of coffee to tenants, conference attendees, co-working groups and the public. And to increase revenue, Jitterz also roasts coffee for other area coffee shops.
Q: What advice would have for young entrepreneurs who want to start a business?
A: Make sure your passions are fully invested in whatever you are starting. Expect to be the first one in the door and the last one out. I’ve seen too many businesses fail because owners think that the people in charge have the same passion for the product as them. No one will ever care more about your product than you.
Q: What role has technology played in your business?
A: In our business, technology goes along way. But no matter what machines are invented to improve coffee, there is always a human involved that must program those machines. We like to say that your machines are only as good as you can program or manipulate them. Regarding marketing, we’ve been able utilize social media platforms to keep customers engaged on mobile and grow our following.
Q: Who have you looked to for inspiration and why?
A: My dad is the hardest working individual I know. He built his business from the ground up always doing quality work and never short changing the client. He worked extremely hard and always found a balance to spend time with our family, and he always put God first.
Q: What has been your toughest day-to-day challenge as a small business owner?
A: Balancing out the administrative stuff as well as the service. My passion has always been to serve people and create products that people enjoy. Any business owner knows that it’s not as simple as cooking or creating something and putting it on the table for someone to enjoy. There is a lot of behind the scenes stuff that has to be done for your business to thrive. Paying your dues, taxes, payroll, and a lot of other fun stuff.
Q: What’s next for you and your business?
A: We have grown quite a bit in the past five years, so the next thing for us is figuring out how to accommodate and upgrade equipment for that growth. As technology grows, so do our brewing methods. We are always looking to see how we can grow and brew with excellence.