“My wife drew out our logo on a napkin and came up with the name Mochas & Javas,” Carswell said.
Mochas & Javas opened its first location on North LBJ Drive near Texas State University in 2003. Later that year, Carswell and his family opened a second location on Wonder World Drive. Then in 2008, the local coffee spot opened inside of Central Texas Medical Center as well as inside H-E-B on Hopkins Street in 2015.
Now 16 years later, the first Mochas & Javas location is known as M&J Cafe and serves a menu of not only coffee but also sandwiches, salads, breakfast plates and more. In addition to regular items, M&J Cafe’s menu includes gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options.
“I prepare almost all my meals from scratch—very little boxed foods,” Carswell said. “I eat like that, and I like to serve that type of food to our customers as well.”
The cafe has become a popular brunch spot and a place where students and organizations come together to study or work. One of the restaurant’s most successful promotions, Carswell said, called Last Saturday, is where customers can get a two-stack of homemade pancakes for 99 cents on the last Saturday of each month.
“The recipe we use I used to make for my kids when they were little,” he said. “It’s extremely popular, and it continues to grow. We end up flipping a lot of pancakes.”
Carswell said he strives to make sure his business is active in the community. Last July when an apartment fire claimed five lives in San Marcos, Carswell opened up M&J Cafe as a place to drop off donations for the more than 200 people who were displaced.
“So we just moved the stuff out of the office space, and within about three days it was full [of donations],” he said. “My philosophy is always giving back, so we try to give back.”
Mochas & Javas: Cafe M&J
700 N. LBJ Drive, Ste. 100, San Marcos
Hours: Mon.-Thu. 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri. 6:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat. 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m.-9 p.m.