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A woman's roots help feed Olla Express Café | Made in SA

A longing for something familiar drives one woman to just do it herself and create a thriving coffee business.

SAN ANTONIO — Andrea Ley's dream in it's infancy started on four wheels in her 1989 Volkswagen van that's decked out more like the 'ollas' or pots that she remembers her abuelas brewing coffee in.

Café de olla or coffee with spices and piloncillo is so much more to this Mexican native.  

"Café de olla represents to me that 'apapacho' from abuelas, you know this warm hugs that you can get from your abuela," owner, Olla Express Café, Andrea Ley said. "Back in my hometown in Mexico, I always get cafe de olla from my abuelas in her house, so for me it was that moment that you could feel very happy."

To share in that happiness, Ley invites you to enjoy a cup inside her new café or what looks more like her abuela's living rooms in Mexico.

"That's actually the vibe that I wanted to bring, because you can feel welcomed and feel that you are sipping your coffee, and that's the happy moment you need," Ley said. 

It was four years ago when Ley needed those happy memories to once again become part of her morning routine.

"Being abroad working at an IT company I was just missing my roots, my abuela, my family, my friends and I was craving café de olla. I was feeling really homesick," Ley said.

That's when she got the idea for Olla Express Café. 

Ley left the tech world to start her business and bring a bit of her home to San Antonio. 

"I want to stick to Mexican coffee because I really feel my cultural roots are being showcased here," Ley said. 

She is keeping the tradition but with a twist by roasting her own beans, creating a quicker piloncillo syrup and even offering a cold brew.

"I always say that I feel happier now," Ley said. "I work more because being a business owner you have to wear a lot of hats, but I also feel that I'm fulfilled."

So whether you are looking for a bit of nostalgia or if you are the more adventurous coffee drinker, Olla Express Café promises to get you wherever you need to go.

"It's like a dream actually. I feel like all the hard work paying out," Ley said.