Longview residents George and Mercedes Kotchev bring new location to their Uncle Joe’s coffee and cones south of town.
Coffee and Ice Cream opened in downtown Gilmer just over two years ago.
The couple are moving forward with renovations to a location at 711 Estes Drive, Suite 100, next to Domino’s in a mall near the Estes Parkway Walmart SuperCenter in Longview.
“The location there is really perfect,” said George Kotchev. “You’ve got Tatum, Lakeport, and the south side of Longview that they really don’t have anywhere for a cup of coffee.… There’s a lot of businesses out there that – they just want to have a place to go to. one hour of peace. It is a wonderful place for us. “
They plan to adjust their hours to accommodate shift workers employed nearby at Eastman Chemical Co., for example, by opening early, maybe 5 a.m., and staying open later, maybe until. 22 or 23 hours.
The location will have drive-thru. The Kotchevs hope to open before July 4.
George previously worked at Eastman and his wife was a barista in various cafes before opening their business.
“We have a lot of our clients from Gilmer; a lot from the Gilmer community, they come to Longview,” said George. “Honestly, they hated that we weren’t there. The comments we hear are that once they try our coffee everything else is not as good as ours. They really got used to the way we make our coffee. . “
George said he grew up in Europe.
“When you grow up in Europe you are kind of raised on coffee,” he said. “We had a lot of ideas – what do we want our coffee to look like.… We use a style that would work best with our recipes. We really researched what would taste the best.”
The business started out with just coffee – hot drinks, smoothies, cold drinks. They also serve boho tea. Then they “stumbled upon” a small Texas company that makes “amazing” Mexican style ice cream, George said. They started selling it in their store in January.
“We’ve had ice cream from all over the world,” and this is really the best, he said.
Their company name plays the word “cup of Joe” and serves as a joke about the atmosphere of the small town where their business started.
“It’s a small town, so everyone has an Uncle Joe,” Mercedes said.
“It could also work at Longview,” said George.
They were greeted by the Gilmer community, the couple said, and they fell in love with the city.
“Our customers are no longer customers. They are family,” Mercedes said, adding that they felt the same for their employees.
Plans have been announced for a possible Starbucks that would be a few blocks from them on Estes Parkway. However, the couple said they weren’t worried.
We know we’re better than them because our customers tell us, “George said.” We’re not a business. We are a very small family environment. “