Meet the Eastonites Behind Cenizo Coffee
As the area around Easton Park grows, one of the most exciting parts is seeing new restaurants and retail pop up! If you’ve been to the food truck courtyard at Colton Bluff and Solari, you might have seen the coffee truck Cenizo. It not only offers delicious coffee, but it’s owned and operated by two Easton Park residents, Harrison Cook and Nancy Aguirre! We caught up with Harrison on the phone last week to get the scoop on finding the best beans, living and working in Easton Park, and more!
EP: Thanks for talking to us! So tell us, how did y’all come to open a coffee trailer?
HC: We’ve been thinking about it off and on for years! We’ve lived in Skyline Park since 2020, and we felt it firsthand — the closest coffee was 25 minutes away! In early January, Nancy and I looked at each other and said, if we don’t do it someone else will, so we did it.
EP: Oh wow, that’s fast!
HC: Yes, we went from a dream to reality in a couple of months! We had a lot of sleepless nights. We were trying to get to market as fast as we could because we knew there was a need for it. We incorporated in early January, and by early April we were serving product.
EP: What does Cenizo serve?
HC: We have a full café grade espresso machine by La Marzocca, with the water purification and everything that you’d get at a brick-and-mortar shop, so we can make all the traditional espresso drinks. We also have tea, Italian sodas, and pastries.
EP: Yum! Do y’all make the pastries?
HC: The two parts of our mission statement are community and quality, and that’s been guiding every decision we’re making – we want to serve Easton Park and southeast Austin. Also, we want to support local businesses, so we’ve sourced our pastries from Texas French Bread, another local business, and our beans are from not only a single farm in Nicaragua, but from a single family! The mom and dad own the farm, and the brother and sister roast them here in Austin and deliver the next day. It’s a higher quality bean than you’d find in 95% of places you go. Even the shirts we’re selling are screenprinted in southeast Austin. Everything we’re buying with exception of our cups is all hyper premium and local.
EP: That’s wonderful! Have you worked in a coffee shop before?
HC: Neither of us had any barista experience, so it was a big learning curve, but the coffee community has been so helpful and really embraced us. The family we’re sourcing beans from worked with us, and we went to their coffee shop and learned on their machines. Texas coffee traders came out to train us—we got a lot of hands-on training, and we’re really grateful for those community relationships. We’re first-time entrepreneurs, first-time baristas, this was our first time working in a trailer, and our first time creating a brand. I want people to know anyone can do it, it’s just when you get to speedbumps, you have to be able to push through it!
EP: Speaking of your branding, it’s great! Where did the name Cenizo come from?
HC: We originally incorporated with a different name, and when we started putting out content on Instagram, we got a message from a guy who was opening a coffee trailer on Manchaca with the same name! So we went back to the drawing board. We knew we wanted it to be representative of Texas and Nancy’s heritage — her family is from Mexico City. Some of our drinks have a Mexican influence, so we wanted to have a callback there. Cenizo is Texas sage, and also a type of agave, and it’s the Spanish word for ashen, so it incorporated a lot of the things we wanted. I should give a shoutout to Meg Burk, who did our branding; we gave her a vague idea, and she ran with it. She knocked it out of the park and was so much fun to work with.
EP: What hours are y’all open?
HC: We’re in our soft open now, which means sporadic hours, starting off with weekends and Tuesday through Thursdays. Our grand opening is May 6, and after that we’ll be open from 6 a.m – 2 p.m. every day.
EP: Great! Have you met a lot of neighbors?
HC: YES! We’ve met more neighbors in the last 3 weeks than we had in the last 3 years! I got home last night and a random car drove by and honked and waved. I just assumed it was a customer. We’ve already sold a handful of shirts. Our next door neighbor has come every day we’ve been open!
EP: That’s so cool. I know the community is so grateful y’all are open!
HC: We’ve had pretty good feedback from the community, and we love the community aspect of it. We’re building something pretty special, and we’re really excited about where it’s going! We haven’t actively marketed other than that posting on Instagram and the Facebook group, and it’s been busier than we expected! I actually had a customer come up on Sunday that doesn’t live in EP, but he said, “I would have bought here had I known this trailer was here.” Then they walked back down towards the model homes after getting their coffees!Thanks so much to Harrison for taking the time to tell us his story. We can’t wait to try a latte! Want to be able to walk to Cenizo Coffee? Come be our neighbor! Browse our builders or come out and see the model homes for yourself!