SAN ANTONIO – Editor’s note: This content was created exclusively for KSAT Explains, a new, weekly streaming show that dives deep into the biggest issues facing San Antonio and South Texas. Watch past episodes here and download the KSAT TV app to stay up on the latest.
One of San Antonio’s most well-known coffee connoisseurs and advocates for locally owned coffee shops is Spurs guard Patty Mills.
Mills started the famed Spurs’ “Coffee Gang” as a way to bond with teammates on the road or at home.
From former Spurs like Manu Ginobili and Boris Diaw to current players Bryn Forbes and Derrick White, Mills has used the coffee get-togethers as a way to get to know his teammates better. The Australia native even gets his coffee fix during games or before practice.
“The go-to is a flat white. I have a double espresso when I work out so whether it’s free work or during workouts at halftime of a game,” said Mills. “If I’m relaxing and want a consistent little slip away, then it’s a good house blend.”
In May, Mills took his love of coffee to a new level. He organized a city-wide fundraiser to help victims of domestic violence.
With the help of eight local coffee shops, Mills organized the Give Mama Coffee Campaign on Mother’s Day.
“This has been a really special journey that we’ve been on, to be able to build something that has meant a lot especially to me, who has been so much a part of the San Antonio community for quite some time now,” said Mills.
Mills encouraged San Antonians to shop at participating coffee houses and then wrote a check to Family Violence Prevention Services, a battered women and children’s shelter in San Antonio, where he doubled the sales total.
The campaign also helped bring business to San Antonio coffee shops hurt by the pandemic.
“From a small business standpoint, what it has done is it’s brought the coffee community together, which actually hasn’t been done before,” said Mills.
Gold Coffee at Freight on S. Flores Street was one of the shops that got a boost from the campaign.
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Ohhhhh man.... We can’t wait until tomorrow. If you haven’t noticed, @balapat rounded up a bunch of killer shops that he wanted to drive business to for Mother’s Day. Then, on top of that, he made a pledge to double the TOTAL SALES of each shop on Sunday and donate it to @fvps_bwcs YO. That’s rad. We are BEYOND honored to be a part of this endeavor and are stoked to see the community come together during such a polarizing time. PLEASE NOTE - YOU HAVE TO WAIT TO ORDER UNTIL TOMORROW. Sales for the donation will only be reported for Sunday. So, please, If you’re hoping to help and be a part of this, WAIT UNTIL SUNDAY. Love ya. More updates and relentless reminders about this coming throughout the day
Owner Jason Tantaros has been serving Mills coffee locally for about eight years.
“The first time I met him, I had no clue who he was,” said Tantaros. “To me, he was just a customer.”
Tantaros said once he got to know the Spurs guard, he understood how much Mills cared about the local coffee industry and community.
He was honored to be part of the campaign to help domestic violence victims in Bexar County.
“It was really great to have someone come to us and ask us to be a part of something,” said Tantaros. “Just to be able to make such a huge impact for such an ignored cause really meant a lot to us.”
“To be able to bring people together, share some good vibes but really make an impact on the things that matter.”— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) May 14, 2020
Through the #GiveMamaCoffee Drive, over $100K will be donated to @FamilyViolence7!
Good on you @Patty_Mills and everyone who made this an unforgettable initiative! pic.twitter.com/nRDNxxISRR
Mills’ Give Mama Coffee Campaign raised nearly $104,000 for the shelter.
“That day was crazy. It was wild,” said Tantaros. “We experienced something I don’t think we ever thought as a business, it was a moving experience.”
You can watch the full episode of KSAT Explains: Coffee Culture in San Antonio below.