The long awaited Sunshine House Coffee started by Audrey McCleary and Kelli Hindes, who are 50-50 partners, is open today and all weekdays from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Sunshine Coffee located at 1752 E Highway 97, Jourdanton is so much more than caffeine in a cup. It is a gathering place for coffee, community, and kindness and dedicated to quality. It is a coffee shop, a tea room, a smoothie and juice bar too with a soon to come full menu of breakfast and lunch items.
Audrey and Kelli encourage everyone to come sit at their community table and get to know your neighbor. “Our farmhouse-industrial vibe and cozy atmosphere make it a great place to catch up with friends or have a meeting. We are more than just drinks. In addition to our wide variety of hot and iced drinks, we provide savory and sweet food options. RISE to Health and Wellness, operated by Kelli, will also be creating keto, paleo and gluten-free items for our menu. So, whether you’re stopping for your morning coffee, breakfast, sweets, or an afternoon snack, we’ve got you covered.”
“At Sunshine House Coffee we are excited to serve fair trade coffee and loose-leaf teas,” said Audrey. “We also have frozen drinks, smoothies, healthy shakes, smoothie bowls and sparkling handcrafted beverages and cold brews. We strive to use locally sourced ingredients to support our community and provide the freshest, highest quality offerings.”
The drink menu at Sunshine House Coffee was designed to not be intimidating but is packed with tons of caffeinated and non-caffeinated specialty coffees. Sunshine coffee uses a local coffee roaster, “What’s Brewing in San Antonio.” According to Audrey, “Our coffee is roasted fresh every week and ground fresh before crafting each cup. Since coffee is 99 percent water, Sunshine House Coffee uses only the best. We have a reverse osmosis water filtration system that removes all impurities then we add the appropriate mix of minerals back in to create the perfect water for our coffee and tea.”
Menu choices range from brewed coffee, espresso (hot or iced), cappuccino, affogato (double shot expresso with a scoop of Blue Bell), specialty lattes, frozen blended beverages and a wide variety of loose leaf teas ranging in flavors from island breeze to spicy chili pepper.
Audrey, who is known as a premiere mixologist, concocted an apple pie black tea fog. “We’re calling it a fog,” said Audrey. “It’s all-natural tea, no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. That’s the same for all of our looseleaf teas. Most of them are organic, but they are all natural, no added anything. We brew them here and we can serve them iced. We can serve them hot. This is our fog where we steam milk and serve it with steamed milk. We have probably 30 more flavors in the back. You can smell them in their little jars on the shelves.” The apple pie black tea fog that was served during this interview tasted a lot like a love and a hug in a cup. It was sweetened with locally sourced Rakowitz honey that added just the right amount of sweet. Down the road Audrey and Kelli are interested in doing tea parties and having old fashioned tea with real tea cup and saucer sets. They have so many plans for the two businesses as well as for the outdoor patio where they plan to have events, live bands and possibly farmer’s markets.
Sunshine House Coffee is beautifully designed inside, and it is easy to tell this was a large investment. Audrey hired a baker who was trained at Bakery Lorraine in San Antonio and has a culinary arts degree. She is starting as a barista and baker, but they are hoping to transfer her to baker full-time. Sunshine Coffee is equipped with a full course kitchen that the McClearys built out.
Audrey and Kelli hit it off instantly when they met at Bible study. A sign by the register says, “Powered by Jesus and Coffee” and that about sums up this dynamic partnership. “I would at Bible study every week talk about what’s the progress on the coffee shop and Kelli would ask how’s that going? Then at one point I said, ‘Maybe this isn’t the direction I’m supposed to go in,’ and I just dropped it for the time. Then Kelli texted me and said, ‘Let’s talk before Bible study today. I have an idea how our businesses might work together.”
Audrey said that Kelli told her about Rise to Health and Wellness that morning. “We thought of all these ways that our businesses could blend,” said Audrey. “Then we started looking for buildings that week actually. We looked at some buildings and none of them worked. We walked in here and it was hideously ugly, and the realtor was like, ‘Eh,’ and I think our husbands were like, ‘Eh,’ but we said ‘It’s perfect.’ Everybody else was like, a taxidermist business was here. It was the Bean Pot before that.”
But, all Kelli and Audrey saw was potential and that it was perfect immediately.
Kelli and Audrey spent all last year together cleaning the building out. “This is my baby,” said Audrey pointing to the coffee shop. “That’s her baby,” said Audrey pointing to Rise to Wellness. “We just meshed together perfectly. We love each other, and it worked out so good.”
“We’re opposites, which is even better,” said Kelli. “In what way? In every way!”
“I’m about details and precise and let’s do it like this and let’s have a plan and preventative maintenance, preventative everything,” said Audrey.
“And she is good with numbers,” said Kelli.
Kelli says “I am more about let’s see what happens.” But, they both have their heart, mind, body and soul focused on health and wholesome foods and beverages. “I have found that we experience our deepest joy and contentment when we are participating in the very thing God himself specifically designed us to do,” said Kelli. “I believe that this is why helping to change lives through support and encouragement is not only a calling I’ve had on my life, but without a doubt, my highest honor. I find that many people believe their physical wellbeing is something that is out of their control. It is my personal mission to walk alongside, support and encourage those who have goals to feel better, lose weight, overcome ailments or disease and long for a generally healthier life! As a health coach and personal trainer, I find the marriage of both lifestyle changes and a heightened awareness of what affects our everyday lives negatively is where true healing begins. Kelli who is married to Cuatro Hindes and has three children, Riley, 15, Preston, 11 and Gracie, 3, is an Institute of Integrative Nutrition Certified Health Coach, a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer and is currently enrolled and taking classes at School of Applied Functional Medicine. Besides nutrition, Kelli plans on having yoga and stretch classes. “We’ll have personal training too for all ages including the elderly where mobility is so important. We want to have this whole building be something different in the community and offer something different that will be of benefit to everyone who wants to live a healthier and happier life.”
“Oh my gosh, there’s so much we can do here,” said Kelli. “We’ll start seeing clients and having little coffee talks. Then hopefully sign people up at Rise for three months to change their lifestyle, not work you out and starve you. That’s my goal. To nourish you. Audrey and I together, this is our ministry. We will say that to every person.”
“It’s most important to us that people know we just want to love,” said Audrey. “We just want love in our communities and for people to feel loved when they walk in here. That’s the most important thing to us if we can do that and we can have it here.”
Sunshine House Coffee was born after a lifealtering event for Audrey and Kevin McCleary. Their children, Madison (18) and Tanner (11), lost their lives in an auto accident in January 2017. In order to honor their children’s legacy of kindness, compassion and empathy, the McClearys started a movement and a 501c3 nonprofit titled #spreadkindnessforMandT, encouraging others to perpetuate their legacy by performing purposeful acts of kindness for others. The Jourdanton and surrounding communities rallied behind the McCleary family, offering continued support and embracing the kindness movement as evidenced by many random acts for strangers, seen all over town, the country and even the world and posted to social media.
Audrey and Madison loved to visit coffee shops together and often joked about having their own coffee shop. Opening Sunshine House Coffee is the McClearys way of honoring their children, giving back to the community and continuing their platform of kindness by creating a gathering place focused on coffee, community and kindness.
The name for Sunshine Coffee came from a song that Audrey sang to Madison and Tanner, “You Are My Sunshine.” They were also the sunshine in their home and are represented in the Sunshine Coffee logo by the two coffee beans.
“When you can’t see the sunshine, BE the sunshine,” is the Sunshine House Coffee motto.
Audrey created an art installation memorial called “Wall of Sunshine” that can be seen on the front outdoor patio by Sunshine House Coffee. “We’ve been working on it for quite some time and just finished putting it up. We have over 40 children’s names from our community on it so far. I created a QR code under each child’s name. That way, you can scan it with your phone and it will take you to a slideshow of pictures of each child.” Audrey is still working on completing all the QR code links to slideshows. She hopes parents of local children who have passed will let her know about their child and become part of the “Wall of Sunshine.”
If you’d like to learn more about #spreadkindnessforMandT, visit their Facebook page @ spreadkindnessforMandT. If you see or perform a purposeful act of kindness and want to share with us, they’d love to see it. Just post to social media with #spreadkindnessfor- MandT. Also, please make sure and like and follow Sunshine House Coffee on their Facebook page and visit their website at www.sunshinehousecoffee.com.