WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Stepping inside the decades-old home from the chilly storms outside, there was something about Brewnita Café that felt instantly comforting.
Though still in the renovation stages, the new home of Brewnita on Kemp Boulevard has been carefully curated to let all those who enter feel as if they’re sipping on Café de Olla in an authentic pueblito.
What started as a pop-up iced coffee business in March 2023, quickly transformed into a full-blown brick-and-mortar business that now goes beyond coffee in one of the most bustling areas of Wichita Falls.
“It feels amazing. I honestly was not going to open up a shop any time soon,” Amanda Luevano, owner and founder of Brewnita Café, said. “But, the opportunity was there, so we went ahead and just took it. Here we are today, a couple of months later.”
Luevano, a 2018 graduate of Midwestern State University, has had her fair share of business ventures in her past, creating and selling T-shirts and balloon arches alike.
But it wasn’t until she was doing one of her favorite things — sipping on coffee in a cafe, alongside a friend — that she discovered her true calling.
“I really enjoy the company of other people while drinking coffee,” Luevano explained. “I enjoy making people happy, so I was like, Coffee makes me happy, it makes other people happy.”
Luevano named Brewnita in honor of her two grandmothers, Bruna and Lupita, and, of course, her second love, coffee.
Proud of her Hispanic heritage, Luevano designed every last detail, from the ceramic mugs to the vivid artwork, painted by her friend Nadia, to be in touch with her Mexican roots.
“I want the Hispanic community to have a place where they feel comfortable going and sitting here in the evening or the mornings with their friends and family and enjoying a pan dulce and a café,” Luevano continued.
Though it has an extensive menu with tasty coffees modeled after Mexican flavors, coffee isn’t the only thing Luevano serves up. After weeks of taste-testing, she finally found the perfect recipe for her now iconic mini conchas.
“I’m not a baker. I would bake every single day until I got the concha to be perfect — it was a lot of work,” Luevano said. “I would try one [recipe], and if something didn’t go well, I would try something from the other recipe. I ended up mixing several to make my own.”
While Luevano originally lacked confidence in her baking skills, the conchas have been an undeniable hit. In fact, some customers have stuck around solely for the mini delicacies.
“There’s this one sweet lady, her name is Deborah, and she goes just to get conchas, and she’s usually my very first customer,” Luevano gushed. “I love her so much; she’s the sweetest person ever.”
It’s not just Deborah who enjoys Luevano’s mini conchas, however. The Brewnita owner has two upcoming orders, just for conchas; one for five dozen and the other for eight dozen.
Now that she has a place of her own, however, Luevano said she’s eager for her regulars to visit the cafe.
“They have been with me literally since day one, since the first pop-up, and they go to every single pop-up,” Luevano explained. “I’m excited for them to come in and see what we’ve done with the place.”
Her loyal customers aren’t the only ones who enjoy Luevano’s creations — the owner admitted to sipping on her own supply.
“Right now, my favorite is actually a new one I came up with: I call it Manzanita,” Luevano said. “It tastes just like a caramel apple. Oh my gosh, it’s so delicious, so that’s my favorite one right now. But, every time I make a new one, I’m like ‘No, this is my favorite.'”
To create such authentic flavors, Luevano uses ingredients directly from Mexico. She even snacks on Mexican candies and delicacies while formulating a new coffee item.
“I looked up the ingredients, and while I was mixing up the ingredients, I was eating a Gansito at the same time,” Luevano said, explaining her process. “So I would eat it and test out the syrups until I got the perfect syrup recipe. I didn’t want to just slap a name on it; I want them to actually taste like the treat itself.”
While Luevano is always revising recipes, she certainly has the creative process down to a science. Something that helps, she said, is the support shown by her former MSU professors.
“I see my professors comment on my things, ‘So proud of you,” and it makes me feel like I have accomplished things,” Luevano said. “I didn’t think I was going to go anywhere, but the day has come [when] all that hard work has paid off, and here I am today. I’m just super excited… and nervous!”
Luevano will celebrate Brewnita’s new home in both a friends-and-family soft launch and a public grand opening on Tuesday, November 14, 2023.
“I’m super excited, nervous, scared, literally every emotion that you could think of,” Luevano said. “I feel like I’m probably going to cry the day I do my soft opening. But, I’m more excited for my customers.”
If you’d like to try out Brewnita once more before Luevano officially opens up shop, Brewnita Café’s pop-up will be set up at T’s Salon on Southwest Parkway this Saturday, November 4, 2023, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Brewnita Café’s hours are subject to change but are currently set to Tuesday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
While some things are still uncertain, Luevano expressed gratitude for all those who believed in both her and Brewnita.
“Honestly, it makes my heart burst because I never thought people would want my stuff and enjoy my things that much,” Luevano said. “That’s what I had always wanted, opening up a business where people enjoy my service or my items. I’m super excited.”