Food & Drink
Meet the Owners of Local Coffeehouse Third Gen Coffee
Third Gen Coffee, owned by local husband and wife team Marlon Reyes and Rachel Lanigan, celebrated its one year anniversary June 5, 2018. Coffee is a true passion of theirs, and they are completely involved in the process from start to finish. As the name implies, the family is third-generation coffee farmers.
The couple met in 2007 while attending the University of Louisiana. Rachel is from Louisiana and Marlon is from Honduras. Although neither are from the area, they decided to settle in The Woodlands. “The Woodlands was our first choice because it feels very comfortable for those of us with young children,” said Rachel. ” The international airport nearby makes it easy to travel back to Honduras frequently.”
Coffee is culturally important to both Rachel and Marlon, even though they are from completely different parts of the world. Coffee fosters a relation with family and friends, and creates a break in the day to connect. Explains Rachel, “It has always been a passion of ours. Coffee is a strong part of both of our cultures. In Honduras as well as in South Louisiana, coffee is shared daily with family and friends. We drink coffee all day. Especially in the afternoons, everyone sits down with a pot of coffee and sweet bread. It is a nice way of taking a break and connecting with each other. Being able to do this with the community of The Woodlands has been rewarding for us. Definitely, it makes us feel more at home here.”
The name Third Gen is both a promise and an homage. “The name Third Gen Coffee represents us, as we are third generation coffee farmers. It is our way of appreciating the hard work of the generations before us,” states Rachel. “Marlon’s grandfather, Jesus Reyes, was the first in the family to cultivate coffee. At the time, it was very difficult to make a profit as a farmer. Eventually the farm was lost. Decades later, the children of Jesus returned to coffee farming. In 2010 we started planting our first project.”
Rachel further expounds on the process of coffee as it relates to the family, “It is mostly self-taught; Marlon has been drinking coffee from a very young age. The more you drink, the more you notice different tastes depending on the variety of coffee plant, the roast level and brewing method. He became curious as to why coffee tastes or smells the way it does. There is a lot researching, practicing, and getting out to see how the rest of the world grows and brews coffee.”
Not only does the family behind Third Gen source their own coffee, but they use fair trade coffee and support local business as well. “Primarily we source from our farm in Honduras, but we like to serve coffee from different origins as well. We buy through Copan Trade, a coffee importer located in Tomball, Texas. They have direct trade relationships with many different coffee growing regions around the world. Direct trade is meaningful to us because we know the hard work involved with farming. With direct trade the farmers are getting the best price for the coffee, which in turn supports their farm, the quality of coffee, and ultimately their quality of life,” said Rachel.
To ensure the coffee is at their standards, “We stay involved and present in our projects as much as possible. It is important to establish strong relationships with everyone along the coffee production chain, from farming, roasting, and serving in our coffee shop. It also helps that everyone shares a passion for coffee. We have a great team back home in Honduras and here in The Woodlands,” said Rachel.
To complement and enhance the coffee, Third Gen offers food items such as pastry, oatmeal, and sausage rolls. The coffeehouse tries to keep drinks on the traditional side while being flexible with customer’s tastes. The focus remains on coffee, which is why the menu is simple but hearty.
While The Woodlands is currently the only location for Third Gen Coffee, the couple would love to serve other areas and are always on the lookout for another special location. The family loves their roots and and loves coffee, “We love being coffee farmers. We love sharing this passion for the coffee process with you and love getting to know our customers,” Rachel adds.
The family’s favorite coffee is Honduran, but they enjoy trying out other coffee shops and traveling as much as possible. Rachel and Marlon enjoy working in the shop and are there most of the time. They travel when they can, revolving trips around kids and coffee shops they want to try.
Third Gen Coffee is located at 25136 Grogan’s Park Drive in Grogan’s Park Center. Visit the website at www.thirdgencoffee.com.