Owner Leo Harris said her shop, Conroe Coffee, has everything a good coffee joint needs: quality brews and a tight-knit relationship with the community.
“Quality is really important to me, and coffee is not cheap,” Harris said. “Why not have something you really enjoy versus something that is just
a habit? Most places are just a habit.”
Harris and her husband, Jason Ohn, opened Conroe Coffee in downtown Conroe in September 2013. Other than its usual array of lattes, cappuccinos and espressos, the cafe also offers breakfast muffins, bagels and kolaches.
The baristas also make sandwiches, which are available on croissant or wheat bread and can be paired with the shop’s soup of the day. Previously featured soups include lobster bisque, Baja chicken enchilada soup and baked potato chowder.
Harris moved to Michigan from Great Britain when she was a little girl and tries to infuse her heritage into the shop, she said. Customers can find imported English jams, custards and emblems throughout the store.
Before moving to Conroe, Harris said she owned a coffee shop 20 years ago in Michigan but had to sell it after five years of operation. She wanted to reopen her business after she moved to Texas but struggled for 10 years to find the right location.
One day, while she was searching for vintage cowboy boots, Harris and Ohn discovered downtown Conroe, she said.
“We just loved the town and really loved the potential,” Harris said.
In late 2014, about one year after opening the coffee shop, the couple bought the storefront next door and named it Finn and Eli after Harris’ grandchildren. The boutique is only accessible from inside Conroe Coffee and carries various trinkets, such as infant clothing, women’s jewelry, stuffed dolls and vintage cowboy boots.
“I already had a lot of T-shirts and a lot of jewelry and fun stuff [for sale],” Harris said. “It just became too much [merchandise] for our narrow coffee shop, but people liked the nifty little gifts we would get.”
Harris brought her favorite brands from her previous store to Conroe, including Ashby Sterling’s Ice Cream and Lavazza Coffee, which is Conroe Coffee’s house brew.
The shop also sells local brands, like Humble’s Javalope Coffee and Montgomery’s Truly Texas jams and sauces.
Harris said support from loyal customers, the neighboring small businesses and her staff have led
to Conroe Coffee’s success.
“Our customers aren’t customers for too long,” Harris said. “They’re friends. And the city has been wonderful, helping with growth and helping us step up our game.”
206 North Main St., Conroe
Hours: Mon.–Thu. 7 a.m.–7 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 7 a.m.–8 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–3 p.m.