Today we’d like to introduce you to Elijah Salazar.
Elijah, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My then girlfriend, now wife, Ann, would accompany me all over town to try different coffee shops. I would take mental notes at every single spot we would try – what type of coffee are they using? What kind of milk do they use? What equipment do they have and actually seem to use? and most importantly, how could I do this myself? It was always a fun game to play. I would sit and speculate how business was going for these places and what I would change. For a long time, it wasn’t much more than a game. Then, almost three years ago, I actually began to plan to open a shop. Coffee was already a hobby but then it turned into something else. Evening reading turned into reading reviews of commercial equipment and their manuals, blogs, and coffee related books. I even logged every single coffee I have bought and made at home for the last three to four years.
Having grown up in Oak Cliff, I had a good idea of where I wanted to open my shop. I knew I wanted it to have a comfortable neighborhood feeling like the shops of Hyde Park in Chicago or of Little Burgundy in Montreal. This idea led me to want to work with as many local businesses as I could. We were lucky to have a longtime friend, David Harman of Native Maps, designed our logo. We are using Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters and CocoAndre Chocolatier of the Bishop Arts. And then Hannah’s Gluten Free will supply us with our baked goods. My intention is to fill the void that the rest of Oak Cliff feels and bring craft coffee a little further south.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
As anyone can speculate, difficulties are waiting around every corner, but I began this process knowing that I would make mistakes and that there would be hiccups. The building being extremely outdated, navigating the city bureaucracy, and orchestrating multiple teams to work, sometimes simultaneously, were just a few of the struggles. But the biggest struggle was making sure I kept my family the top priority. I did end up working every single day in some capacity for over year, but I tried to make sure to spend an extra moment I could with my 1-year-old son, Luca, and wife Ann.
Thankfully, I had endless help and support from my family and friends. Truth be told, Matt & Molly of Celestial Brewery were the real aces up my sleeve. I could call Matt at any time of the day and ask for a recommendation or help on something. And none of this could have happened without my immediate family. My mother, Esmeralda Lopez, using her summer vacation to do research on city requirements that I didn’t have time to do, cleaning the shop, or watch Luca while I worked. My step-dad, Omar Europa, drawing up the plans and doing the electrical work, and my brother Ethan doing any and all odd jobs I wasn’t equipped with the knowledge to do, from painting to redoing doorways, and making an impressively huge barn door. Many thanks to them and my close friends and family that helped in many other ways. We have written a thank you to each and every person who has helped in some way on our chalkboard barn door so please come in and find your name.
Please tell us about Peaberry Coffee.
Peaberry Coffee is a neighborhood to go coffee shop. We are located in Central Oak Cliff and aim to provide a quick and delicious cup of craft coffee every single day of the week. We proudly serve Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters and pastries from Hannah’s Gluten Free Bakery. CocoAndre Chocolatier will supply a variety of chocolate bars (including a vegan option) and we will also use their decadent chocolate sauce for our mochas and hot chocolates. We have a rotating selection of vintage goods from Knox West and currently are exhibiting and selling art from local artist David McGlothlin.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
There are a lot of little things that I would do differently, but I would honestly hate to miss out on the perspective I’ve come out with from this experience. I plan on doing this again several times over and these lessons will help me be more efficient with my time and efforts in the future.
- Address: 2446 W Kiest Blvd
Dallas, TX 75233
- Website: www.peaberrycoffeeoc.com
- Phone: 469-844-8607
- Instagram: @peaberrycoffeeoc