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The University Star

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The University Star

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Stellar Coffee Co. closes its doors after more than decade-long history

Stellar+Coffee+Co.+barista+Isabella+Anderson+helps+a+customer%2C+Saturday%2C+Sept.+9%2C+2023+at+Stellar+Coffee+Co.+in+San+Marcos
Marisa Nuñez
Stellar Coffee Co. barista Isabella Anderson helps a customer, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023 at Stellar Coffee Co. in San Marcos

After brewing coffee since April 2013, Stellar Coffee Co., located in downtown San Marcos, closed its doors permanently on Sept. 9. 

In March 2022, Hope Tate took ownership of Stellar Coffee Co. with her husband Trent Tate. Things started off on a good note until financial issues arose. After initially agreeing with an owner finance, a deal to receive a loan from the previous owner of Stellar Coffee Co. instead of a bank, Hope was set on being able to pay back the loan amount through Stellar.

After Hope became more familiar with the financial costs behind Stellar, the initial decision to close began.

“I realized that in all of those 10 years of operating, Stellar would have never qualified to get a loan for that much money,” Hope said. “The previous owner wanted his money and I couldn’t give it to him.”

Making desperate attempts to keep Stellar alive, the financial issue started to weigh on the Tate family. In 2022, Hope seeked for a distraction to get her out of postpartum depression and looked no further than Stellar. 

With a second nature in coffee and coming from a family of local business owners, Hope was upset to see the negative effect the financial issues at Stellar had on her family.

“Instead of having a positive effect on my family like I was hoping it would, it was pretty negative,” Hope said. “Owning a business is really hard, especially coffee. You don’t make money with coffee. You do it because you love it and we’re not personally in a place where we can fund it.”

After seeing the negative impact owning Stellar had on her family, Hope ultimately decided it was time to close. Although customers of Stellar are upset by the closing, some are understanding of the decision.

“It’s a hard decision to make, especially when you have a whole community that loves your product and your business, but at the end of the day, family does come first,” Julia Maldonado, political science senior, said.

Like many coffee shops in college towns, students hold an appreciation for spaces designed to study and get work done. Stellar differentiated from other coffee shops as it was closer to campus, making it walkable for students. 

Maldonado enjoyed the quiet and comfortable environment Stellar created, allowing her to hone in more on her school work.

“I really liked Stellar because it was kind of like a distraction-free zone, everyone was there to do the same thing,” Maldonado said. “I think being in an environment like that where the business is supportive of the people in a college town really helped.” 

Like Maldonado, many other Texas State students are saddened to see Stellar go. Last semester, Diana Lara, public administration senior, regularly went to Stellar once a week. While also appreciating the space given to her to study, she appreciated the employees that would make each visit worth coming back.

“I met one of the staff members, Riley, and she made a drink inspired by her and since then I would regularly get that drink,” Lara said. “I’m kind of sad because this made it my favorite coffee shop in all of San Marcos.”

Since Stellar helped so many college students, Maldonado is hoping another coffee shop or a relaxing space similar will replace Stellar’s spot in the near future. 

For now, Hope is appreciative of her experience at Stellar and San Marcos and hopes the community is also able to find its new Stellar soon. 

“For me it’s bringing my family a lot of peace and new dreams and a rebirth of new things,” Hope said. “I hope that gives people peace and I’m very grateful for everyone that was a part of this journey for me because it was really beautiful, yet really hard.”

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