SAN ANTONIO — The three ‘Coffeeteers’ is probably not the moniker Jose Ramon Campos, Jorge Herrero and Marcel Ariana were looking for when they opened Commonwealth Coffeehouse and Bakery. Yet in four years, they’ve used the proverbial coffee stir to whip up enough success to keep them in expansion mode.
“The Commonwealth story started out of passion for coffee and do little different than we like ourselves---when it came down to having food, when it came down to having quality, perfection and what we love,” Ariana said.
He and Campos said each partner brings a component to the table needed to make Commonwealth Coffeehouse a desirable stop for coffee enthusiasts.
“It’s the commonwealth of the people. Putting everyone together,” he said.
The Commonwealth concept almost didn’t happen, Ariana said. Campos and Herrero, who started the business at 118 Davis Court, decided coffee was the way to go after considering opening a spa.
The sky is practically the limit when it comes to the java on the menu: Americanos, lattes, Machiatos and drip coffee.
“We are not Starbucks,” Ariana said. “Nothing unicorn. Not a lot of colors. None of that stuff. More than anything, it’s more appealing to the coffee enthusiast, I want to say.”
They also wanted their pastries to stand out. How could Commonwealth have French pastries as an authentic deliverable? They hired a third-generation chef from France.
The combination of French pastries, lunch and coffee is footing the bill for an aggressive expansion plan. Commonwealth Coffeehouse and Bakery has eight locations.
Neighborhood Eats showed up for a taste test at their newest location at 244 W. Evergreen, near San Antonio College.
Of course, the coffee samples perked us up. Ariana said they use Cuvee Coffee products from Austin.
Next, they served us the Viennois Au Nutella. It’s a small Viennese-style bread with Nutella and chocolate chips on top. Great!
The same can be said for the flaky dark chocolate filled Pain au chocolat.
Neighborhood Eats expected the croissants to be buttery and flaky. Expectations met. Taste buds said “oui!”
The CW Veggie is a breakfast offering with an omelet, two kinds of poblano peppers and corn on a croissant. Love this!
Neighborhood Eats also loved their turkey avocado sandwich: Cajun sliced turkey, avocado, kumato tomatoes, arugula, peppercorn sauce coupled with mozzarella cheese and a balsamic reduction.
Overall: Commonwealth Coffeehouse offers the comfort customers have come to expect at a coffeehouse. The space, at least at the location near SAC, is not overwhelming. What sets them apart is that the fare is not packaged, microwaved and served. It’s fresh fixings! The whole French chef thing gives them an edge. The coffee is good, too. Of course, this taste tester didn’t sample their whole coffee program. I’d be up for days on a Commonwealth coffee buzz!
Give Marvin your review of the Commonwealth Coffee and Bakery. If you have a restaurant suggestion for Marvin send him an email (Mhurst@kens5.com), tweet (@Mhurstkens5) or post it on his Facebook page. #KENS5EATS