New Southtown coffee spot to help asylum seekers

Café Cotidiano serves coffee from parking lot of San Antonio Mennonite Church

A donation-based coffee shop in Southtown aims to help integrate families seeking asylum to San Antonio community.

SAN ANTONIO – Diversity is brewing in San Antonio’s newest coffee spot in Southtown. Café Cotidiano celebrated its grand opening Sept. 26 in the back parking lot of the San Antonio Mennonite Church.

The bakery and coffee trailer is run by the pastor of the church, Katie Best-Richmond, who said its to help families in San Antonio seeking asylum.

“Our church has seen an influx of asylum seekers and people who need a place to stay and need support during their long journeys,” Best-Richmond said.

The coffee shop is run by volunteers and asylum seekers themselves.

“Our idea was, how can we create something that is able to support these amazing families that are in our community and is able to draw in the whole community into a parking lot?” she said.

Café Cotidiano translates to everyday coffee in English. It’s a name that honors the lives of the families being helped by the San Antonio Mennonite Church.

Café Cotidiano in Southtown hopes to help families seeking asylum through coffee. (Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

“We always want to try and position (the asylum seekers) as the teachers, and kind of be in the place where we get to receive and we get to learn from them,” Best-Richmond said. “We’re hoping to kind of be able to empower all of these families, be able to do job training and help spark the imagination of all the amazing things that they can do in our community and the different ways they can be a part of our community.”

The items on the menu are part of the asylum seekers' culture and stories.

“We’re doing homemade dulce de leche lattes, Mexican mochas, café de olla latte,” Best-Richmond said. “So, we’re trying to really draw on all of these cultural influences from the families, from my family, from everyone in our community.”

Baked goods like the rum cake featured on its Instagram are also available for purchase, however, there’s not a set price.

“We’re also going to be donation-based so, it’s kind of a pay what you want (concept),” Best-Richmond said. “We want to make sure that our coffee is accessible to everyone that our coffee represents.”

According to Best-Richmond, all proceeds from Café Cotidiano will go directly towards helping the families.

“Whatever money we need to live and be active members of the community, that’s also what (asylum seekers) need,” Best-Richmond said. “(They) have housing expenses, food, doctors, lawyers and everything that goes with having kids. A lot of these families have kids so, vaccines, school clothes, (and) bicycles, so they can get places.”

Help may also be available for new families in San Antonio seeking asylum, according to the church.

Café Cotidiano is located at 1443 S. St. Mary’s St. near Brackenridge High School. Their hours are Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information on Café Cotidiano’s mission or to seek help, click here.

About the Authors:

Alicia Barrera is a KSAT 12 News reporter and anchor. She is also a co-host of the streaming show KSAT News Now. Alicia is a first-generation Mexican-American, fluent in both Spanish and English with a bachelor's degree from Our Lady of the Lake University. She enjoys reading books, traveling solo across Mexico and spending time with family.