Perky Beans serves up drinks, food, friendship

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By Rachel Madison

When you step into Perky Beans Coffee for the first time, don’t expect to be a stranger for long. You will quickly be greeted by at least one barista, and if you decide to stay a while to work or catch up with friends, the staff will be sure to keep your coffee hot and your belly full.

That’s just one way Perky Beans differs from other shops, said Ron Diaz, who co-owns the recently opened shop in North Leander with his wife, Angie.

“We want people to come enjoy a better experience than at a regular coffee shop,” he said. “We bring your coffee and your food to you, because we hated that in other places people had to wait around by the counter. It’s a more personal experience. We ask people their names even in the drive thru.”

Although Perky Beans is brand new to Texas, it’s been around for a handful of years. Perky Beans started seven years ago in San Diego with a coffee truck.

“We had a food truck prior to that, but we saw an opportunity to leave the food truck scene but remain as coffee truck owners,” Angie Diaz said. “We liked to focus on the nature of the food truck scene because it caused us to focus on speed and efficiency tied in with quality.”

The Diazes eventually added a second coffee truck and opened a couple of corporate cafes inside office buildings in San Diego.

“We wanted to continue to grow our business, but San Diego is a very mature city,” Angie Diaz said. “It was hard to find retail opportunities, and rent was three times more expensive than it should have been. We had been looking to move to the Leander area over the last couple of years, and as we ran into the roadblocks of expanding in San Diego, we decided to look into bringing Perky Beans here.”

Once they found the shop’s location in North Leander and were ready to make the move to Texas, things moved quickly. The couple moved to Leander in July and the coffee shop opened in early November.

The family left one coffee truck in San Diego, as well as the corporate cafes, but brought their other coffee truck to Leander with them. They plan on bringing it out early next year as an option for community and corporate events.

Ron Diaz said the reason Perky Beans’ coffee is so good is because the shop offers its own blend of coffee.

“We partner with a roaster in Austin and they do the roast the way we like it,” he said. “We do a five-bean blend. It’s always smooth, not over roasted and never bitter. We use it for our drip coffee, espresso, cold brew and nitro. It tastes slightly different on every application, but this is the same roast we started with and we know people like it. We have a drink that will please everyone.”

Angie Diaz said on the non-caffeinated side, the shop’s hot chocolate and frozen hot chocolate drinks have been the most popular. When it comes to coffee, a latte called “The Boss”—named after Angie—is the most asked for drink.

“In opening this store, we wanted to have a broad menu, including drinks that would appeal to people who don’t drink coffee,” Angie Diaz said. “We have chai tea lattes and we are actually going to be rolling out loose leaf tea options soon. Heading into the warmer weather next year, we will also offer two or three different iced tea selections, as well as cold brew iced tea and nitro iced tea.”

Other popular drinks on the menu include frappuccinos and Red Bull smoothies, made with strawberry, mango or peach.

“When we have new people come in and they don’t know what to order, we tell them to just get it,” Angie Diaz said. “If they don’t like it, we’ll find something else for them. We want to work with them to find something they’ll like before they leave.”

Perky Beans Coffee also serves up a variety of food made fresh to order.

“We make parfaits and sandwiches every morning for our grab-and-go case, and we also do breakfast bagel sandwiches, two different hot sandwiches and avocado toast,” Ron Diaz said.

Now that the Diazes have been in the area for several months, they’re loving the “small town” feel of the area, as well as the sense of community and belonging everyone has, Angie Diaz said.

“Part of what we want to have happen here is to integrate ourselves with the community and grow with it,” she said. “Our biggest goal is to serve delicious coffee and food and provide great service, but we also want to just be known in the community as part of it. We hope to grow and have more locations down the road.”

Unique aspects of the shop, such as providing drive-thru customers with whimsical stickers instead of stoppers on their coffees, are what the Diazes hope to grow as well.

“The biggest thing for us is customer experience, so if you’re going to come in and hang out for a while, we want you to feel like you’re being waited on,” Angie Diaz said. “We’re not a sit-down restaurant, but we want our staff to engage with you so you never actually have to get up. We will bring things out to you and get you refills. In the drive thru, we have little touches and we like to have fun. Other shops have stoppers, but we have stickers—Christmas ones, cows, lips.”

Perky Beans is located in the San Gabriel Ridge Shopping Center at 2080 Hwy. 183. The shop is open Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.perkybeanscoffee.com or follow the coffee shop on Facebook or Instagram.

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