HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Some coffee bean producers in South America are facing coffee been shortages due to consecutive cold winters and pandemic-related work shortages.
For some established local coffee shops in Harlingen, business during the pandemic was a challenge. Indoor dining stopped for months and when it returned there were new social distancing requirements in place, limiting the number of people that could be in a shop at one time.
Throughout the pandemic, Girl Of All Trades coffee shop kept busy. “It was a little slower, but we survived. We’re still here,” said Michelle Leggett, the manager of Girl Of All Trades.
Jessica Cantu is the Co-owner of another local coffee shop called Let’s Coffee LLC. Cantu said she saw the pandemic as an opportunity for a fresh start.
“We started our little business during the pandemic,” she said.
Both Girl Of All Trades and Let’s Coffee are small shops that don’t buy beans in large quantities like national chains need to. For the most part, they’ve been spared any issues getting what they need.
“We were having a hard time trying to find the decaf beans but we’ve got them on order now,” Leggett said.
Cantu said Let’s Coffee is “actually okay with the coffee beans” and that they never struggled to get them during the pandemic.
Both shops said there could be a chance that getting their coffee beans might be more difficult if supply issues continue, but there are other concerns that are more pressing right now.
“It’s not just the beans it’s everything else that’s hard to find: the cups, the lids, the straws,” Leggett said.
Cantu agreed that cups were the hardest thing to find. She said they were constantly calling Sam’s club to see if they had more cups in stock.
The scarcity of cups, lids, and straws forced Girl Of All Trades to temporarily increase their prices.
They hope the community will continue to support them.
“If you’re going get a coffee go out and support” local places, Leggett said. “They’re the ones that keep the city going, you know?”
When asked why it was important to support local coffee shops over chains like Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, Cantu said “there’s already a lot of franchises that are already well established. Keeping it local is better for the community.”