COLLEGE STATION, TX — Sweet Eugene’s House of Java, a mom-and-pop coffee house located near the Texas A&M campus, is still brewing and percolating despite recent economic challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic. The shop has serviced Aggies and Brazos County espresso enthusiasts since 1993, offering a calm yet quirky setting for gatherings.
"We try to foster, the kind of a welcoming sort of atmosphere, where people can come and meet other people, or just study and relax," said Aaron Brown, co-founder, and co-owner of Sweet Eugene's.
Shortly after graduating with a business degree from Texas A&M in the early 90s, Brown and his associates established the shop full of specialty coffee drinks, eclectic props and art, because they saw that the college town hadn’t yet established a ‘coffee shop’ scene for studying, and socializing.
"A lot of people just feel comfortable and safe coming here," he commented. "I feel like coffee shops are generally accepting of all types of people.”
When the pandemic first hit, many businesses across the nation had to shut their doors. Aaron’s wife and Sweet Eugene’s co-owner, Andrea Brown, said that the special relationship the shop has with its patrons is one factor which helped keep their business afloat.
"Thankfully, we did not have to close," Ms. Brown said. "In the beginning stages, when everything was kind of unknown, we were still able to keep our drive through open, and that was just a huge blessing."
She noted that although the coffee shop’s earnings were affected when much of the city first went into lock down, Sweet Eugene’s has instilled cleaning, and social distancing measures that, by this time in 2021, have allowed the business to continue supporting a busy customer flow.
“We just really felt loved and supported by the community and the students, and it was just really neat for us to see," Andrea Brown said.
The ovens are hot, the beans are grinding, and the Browns are happy to be able to say, "Aggieland, we’re open."