Coffee veterans brew worldly flavors in San Marcos

Leah Molina and Elizabeth Rios took ownership of Redbud Roasters in 2017. (Evelin Garcia/ Community Impact Newspaper)
Leah Molina and Elizabeth Rios took ownership of Redbud Roasters in 2017. (Evelin Garcia/ Community Impact Newspaper)

Leah Molina and Elizabeth Rios took ownership of Redbud Roasters in 2017. (Evelin Garcia/ Community Impact Newspaper)

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Nutty Irishman (Courtesy Redbud Roasters)
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Shyster From: Nicaragua This bean has a smooth body and mild distinct acidity with a nutty bouquet paired with notes of vanilla. (Courtesy Redbud Roasters)
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Dark roast, Sumatra From: Indonesia This bean gives off an earthy scent and has notes of dark cherry, spice and dark chocolate. (Courtesy Redbud Roasters)
Coffee veterans Elizabeth Rios and Leah Molina have supplied San Martians with coffee for nearly 20 years, first as the owners of Jo on the Go and now as co-owners of both Jo’s Cafe and Redbud Roasters, a local coffee roasting company and coffee shop.

The couple took ownership of Redbud in 2016 from Austin and Mary Van Zant to fully immerse themselves in the coffee world. Redbud features a variety of fair trade coffee beans from around the globe providing unique flavors brewed locally for the community.

After purchasing Redbud Roasters, Rios and Molina began roasting their own coffee beans and selling them to local businesses such as Weusi Wellness Cafe and The Cornucopia.

As the company’s bean roaster, Molina oversees the quality and consistency of the product by keeping a close eye on the production process. But running a “little coffee empire,” as Rios puts it, is no easy task during a pandemic.

“Our customers have been keeping us afloat—we’ve been really lucky,” Rios said. “If it wasn’t for all of them, we couldn’t keep our doors open—that means a lot to us.”


According to Molina, the coronavirus pandemic has presented great challenges for the business, but it also brought more exposure to Redbud.

Although the roastery is closed for most of the week except for order pickups, whole bean coffee bags typically sold at Redbud are now displayed at Jo’s Cafe, which allows for what Molina refers to as “tiny coffee education,” or the opportunity for customers to try different types of coffee.

“Coffee is important,” Rios said. “For [our customers] it’s a moment of normalcy, something familiar that they can go back to during these crazy times.”

Redbud Roasters

169 S. LBJ Drive, San Marcos

512-667-6881 | www.redbudroasters.com

Hours: Mon.-Sat. 8 a.m.-6 p.m., closed Sun.

Call ahead to verify hours, which may vary due to COVID-19.


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