August 9, 2023 818 PM
ALPINE — In late July, Alpine resident Jose Grajeda celebrated the grand opening of his new business venture and the town’s newest coffee operation — Joe Crow Coffee is now serving up both hot and cold caffeinated beverages out of a trailer truck along westbound U.S.-67 at North 8th Street.
“We have a full espresso bar for drip coffee, Italian sodas, iced teas and things like that,” said Grajeda.
Grajeda was born in Chihuahua City, then raised in Ojinaga and moved to Detroit for high school with his family. After high school, he moved back to the Big Bend region, settling in Marfa, and commuted to Sul Ross State University to study business administration. During that time, Grajeda worked a handful of jobs, from working in the kitchens of Pizza Foundation to doing door-to-door sales. He also worked at the now-shuttered local coffee shops Frama and Plaine — the inspiration for launching his own business.
Grajeda’s introduction to coffee goes back to the age of eight, sharing cups of coffee with raw milk with his grandparents. But it was while working at Frama and Plaine that Grajeda honed the skills he said helped Joe’s Crow become a reality.
“I look up to [Frama and Plaine owners] Daniel and Jessie for not just how they do business but for how they are,” Grajeda said. “I learned how to be in the moment and manage my time working.
“I like that whole human side of taking care of your own business,” he continued. “I want to run an efficient and beautiful business that sells quality products.”
Grajeda experienced a temporary setback when he injured himself setting up a shade structure after a very successful first weekend, resulting in two broken toes one day before the second weekend of business. Family and friends rallied to help him recoup — Marfa locals Angela Morgan and Sam Watts launched a GoFundMe to help raise some funds for Grajeda as he healed. Grajeda bounced back and enjoyed an even more successful second weekend.
“They have helped us so much emotionally and economically, as it’s hard for me to ask for help,” said Grajeda of the support from his friends.
Joe Crow Coffee is open Monday to Saturday, from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.