SNOOK, Texas — Snook is a small town of about 500 to 600 people in Burleson Bounty.
Not much goes on in Snook when Chilifest isn’t in progress. One College Station couple loved Snook so much that they decided to sell their home, move into a bus, and start a business in Blue Jay country.
Ryan and Christina Shipp just became two of Snook’s newest residents, and they’ve set up a tiny mobile coffee shop in the grass lot belonging to the town veterinary clinic. They live just a little way up the road in a little plot of land, inside a bus that they’ve converted into an apartment.
"We basically decided that we wanted to just live a little bit simpler and make sure we’re out of debt, we’re living our dreams of paying things up front," Ryan Shipp said.
The Shipps had seen a friend successfully run a mobile coffee business before. They wanted to try the model out for themselves, and started the Java Love Bus a few years ago, just running the business at festivals.
Now, bringing coffee to the neighbors in their new hometown of Snook seemed like the perfect gig. So on Monday, the Java Love Bus opened its window for business.
"We have a little theme [phrase] called ‘say yes to the adventure,’" Shipp said. "And what you have to do is just take it a day at a time.”
The Shipps aren’t the only new faces in this community. Other new businesses, including a beer and barbecue joint, have opened this year. Also, about 100 new homes have sprung up in a new development just across the street from the coffee shop.
"So in the last five to ten years, we’ve had the FM 60 widening project," Justin Lewis, longtime Snook resident and president of the Burleson County Economic Development Council. "... That brought traffic much easier, much faster through our community. And so one of the biggest things I think have happened to us, is people realize we’re 12 miles west of Bryan and College Station.”
Snook is an agricultural town, and it’s also full of commuters. Lewis explained those residents often drive to B-CS for their shopping and dining. But, he’s confident they’ll show up for folks like the Shipps.
“I’ve always watched the Snook community really come out and support anything in Snook, whether it be a benefit or business," Lewis said. "They know that for a business to exist during the hard times when they need them, they’ve got to be there in the good times, and not just drive past.”
With new growth incoming, there are becoming more opportunities to keep that money in town.
“The community here has been super," Ryan Shipp said. "We’ve had a lot of fun, a lot of good responses.”
The Java Love Bus is parked outside the Snook Veterinary Clinic and operates each weekday morning from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.