by Lorie Lewis Ham
A few months ago a new coffee shop opened in downtown Reedley called Mama’s Café. My daughter and I now visit there on a regular basis. This is something that has been missing from downtown for awhile now-it is nice to have somewhere other than Starbucks to go to for good coffee and a nice place to hang out. But Mama’s offers a lot more than that. Recently we sat down to chat with owners Jose and Jacqueline Escoto to learn a bit more about this unique shop.
KRL: What inspired you to open a coffee shop?
Jose and Jacqueline: Our inspiration for opening a coffee shop was due to the need for a safe place to gather in downtown. We have been in business in downtown for eight years and have a loyal customer base. Through this, the boutique became a place of gathering where customers felt safe to open up about their personal life and struggles. We thought of incorporating a café into our current location but after much thought and perfect timing, we decided to create Mama’s Café as its own entity.
KRL: How did you come up with the name of the shop?
Jose and Jacqueline:The name for the shop was inspired by our vision to create a place of comfort with recipes like Mama used to make.
KRL: Why did you pick that particular location?
Jose and Jacqueline: Being in downtown for eight years, we have always thought that building could make for a nice business. With a little TLC, we knew there was potential. We loved that it was spacious, located at a great intersection and has tons of windows for natural daylight. Ultimately, we wanted to see life in the building for our downtown.
KRL: How long did it take from idea to opening?
Jose and Jacqueline: We had a total of three years of conversation around a coffee shop setting to where we are today. We brainstormed around the idea of implementing this into our existing location, but then held off. When the building went up for lease, we quickly shifted our focus into potentially making this Mama’s Café.
KRL: Do you offer free wifi?
Jose and Jacqueline: We do offer free wifi!
KRL: Are you originally from Reedley?
Jose and Jacqueline: Jacqueline is from Parlier. Jose is from King City. We met at Fresno State while Jacqueline was part of a sorority; Phi Mu and Jose belonged to Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
KRL: What is your business background?
Jose and Jacqueline: Jacqueline has her Bachelors degree in family consumer science with an emphasis in fashion merchandising. We both have owned and operated our own clothing line Fly Kidz for eight years.
KRL: I know you also own Jacklyn Dee Boutique-how long has it been open? What sort of things do you sell at the Boutique?
Jose and Jacqueline: Eight years ago we started our first business, Fly Kidz. Fly Kidz is a clothing line that we design and manufacture across the United States. Because we had the ability to print clothing, our customers started requesting personalized items including spirit wear, business attire, and sportswear. When we expanded our location to 1036 G St, we went from 600 sq/ft to 3,500 sq/ft, we had enough space to provide a storefront in which Jacklyn Dee was introduced to Reedley. The type of items you can find at the boutique are clothing, accessories, and shoes. We also have home décor and gifts that are being relocated to Mama’s Café.
KRL: What types of food and coffees do you offer at Mama’s Café?
Jose and Jacqueline: We offer a full espresso bar with our own unique specialty menu of our cultures’ favorites that include a Horchata Latte, Abuelita Chocolate Latte, Mazapan Latte, and Churro Latte. We also have iced tea, milkshakes, and delicious pastries that include our popular macaroons! If you’re feeling a little hungry, we offer fresh butter croissant sandwiches all day and on Fridays and we have a delicious Posole that sells out quickly! We also have Belgian waffles topped with fresh fruit and hearty oatmeal bowls.
KRL: What of the things you offer are your favorites?
Jose and Jacqueline: Our specialty lattes that cannot be found anywhere else! And our milkshakes especially on these hot summer days. Our freshly baked cookies have also been a big hit.
KRL: What days and hours are you open?
Jose and Jacqueline: We open Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. and on Saturdays for 8-4 p.m.
KRL: Future plans and goals?
Jose and Jacqueline: We have been constantly evolving since we opened. We have identified based on our first five months of being in business is that we have lots of room (1200 sq/ft) of open space that works out great for luncheons, meetings, and Bible studies. We want to continue to host and grow these avenues for our customers.
You can find Mama’s Café on Facebook. They are located at 1059 G Street, in Reedley, California.