Juanny Romero is opening a new branch of Mothership Coffee Roasters in Henderson, but she hopes that when people visit the shop they feel like they are transported elsewhere.
“I want them to feel like they are in San Francisco at this really cool local cafe, in a beautiful, light, airy space with really interesting features, and they can drink great coffee, eat great pastries and enjoy their time by themselves, with their kids or with their friends,” Romero said.
Originally from Queens, N.Y., Romero loves the idea of local cafes and hangout spots. When she founded Sunrise Coffee nearly 11 years ago, she felt there was a lack of that “neighborhood feel.” So she brought it to Las Vegas.
But it wasn’t an easy start. Romero said she opened Sunrise Coffee, at 3130 E. Sunset Road, the week the recession hit the news in 2008.
“It was a really rough start,” she said. “The numbers weren’t there like we expected. It was my first business. I was really young. But I’m really thankful because surviving that and thriving has really turned the way I operate my company into a very efficient, lean workforce, while still maintaining the attributes that are very close to me.”
Romero said her company cares, so it’s important that they create a great company atmosphere and offer health insurance for their employees. With the new location opening, she is excited to strengthen her team and empower even more people, especially women, for whom Romero has a heart.
“We’re really committed to our employees,” she said.
Romero and her partner, Josh Walter, are also committed to serving the best products possible. They do that by being a part of every step in the process. They began roasting their own coffee to serve at Sunrise, but then they gained some wholesale clients and needed more room. So in 2012, they opened Mothership Coffee Roasters, located at 2708 N. Green Valley Parkway. The location offers a small coffee shop and more room behind the scenes to roast.
“I think we’re one of very few companies in town that roasts our coffee, services wholesale clients and also serves it to our own customers,” Romero said. “We’re there from beginning to end.”
They also started a pastry program to provide their customers with snacks that are preservative-free, vegan, organic and farm-to-table. A local farmer provides Romero and Walter with fresh fruits, so whatever is in season dictates what’s in the pastry cases. Providing the high-quality pastries became even more important after Romero fell ill after having her first child and learning that her body wasn’t absorbing the proper nutrients because she was consuming products with so much conventional wheat and pesticides.
“I couldn’t in all honesty still serve products with pesticides, artificial flavors, products I wouldn’t consume myself,” she said. “And at the time, I couldn’t find pastries that didn’t have all these additives. … We are so proud of our pastry program. I really think it’s one of the few in our city that focuses on unique items, vegan-focused items that are very delicious and filling. It also focuses on more of the cosmopolitan feel, things you won’t necessarily find at your local bakery. We want our customers to not only have a great cup of coffee; we want them to have a great cup of coffee and pastry and have the complete experience.’”
Those unique pastries and locally roasted coffee are now also available at Mothership Coffee Roasters’ downtown location at Fergusons, 1028 Fremont St., which opened Sept. 20. And in January, they also will be found at the new Henderson location, 2625 St. Rose Parkway, near St. Rose Parkway and Coronado Center Drive. But aside from the coffee, pastries, brand and some brand colors, the new Henderson location will be unique in its own way.
Sunrise Coffee is meant to have a wholesome, hippie feel; the small space Mothership currently occupies in Henderson is modeled after New York and San Francisco shops; and the Fergusons location is referred to as the spaceship because the setting evokes images of looking out the bay windows of a spaceship. Romero refers to the new Henderson location as the bird house because it’s a tall building with lots of skylights, floor-to-ceiling glass windows and an open, airy feel.
The space is being developed by Kalb Construction, a multigenerational family-owned construction company in business since 1972. And Romero only decided to expand the brand because of what Kalb represents.
“I’m very patient. I don’t need to grow for the sake of growing. I want to grow because I’m moved by it,” Romero said. “We’ve been approached hundreds of times by different developers to open another location, but there were always things barring us from doing it. We didn’t feel aligned with them. We didn’t have the same vision. We wanted to work with people committed to the community, who were born and raised here, who understand Las Vegas. There were a lot of close calls where we were going to do stuff and it fell through, and I’m very glad for that because I ended up working with some really amazing developers. The St. Rose developers were born and raised here, their representative is a mentor of ours, and they take a lot of interest in doing business with heart.”
The new location will have a drive thru, and modular furniture and wider-than-usual walkways will help make it a family-friendly location. There also will be monthly kid-friendly events, including cooking classes.
“Going into Henderson and it being a local space, I really wanted to understand how it was going to affect the community around it,” Romero said. “I realized it’s an area with a lot of families, a lot of moms with young kids who are looking for a place to call their own. We wanted to provide that — an aesthetically beautiful surrounding with great coffee and pastries where if you walked into our cafe and had your kid with you, it would be an awesome day.”
For more information about Mothership Coffee Roasters, visit https://mothershipcoffee.com.