The pandemic changed the way a lot of local entrepreneurs run their businesses. “Pivot” became a buzzword.
For Jerome Gordon, the pandemic changed the way he did life. You might even say it changed his life in “astonishing” ways.
“I always had dreams of starting my own company, but the moment was never quite perfect,” Gordon said. “When the pandemic hit, it opened my eyes to the realization that there will never be a ‘perfect’ moment to start a business.”
Gordon recently opened Astonishing Coffee, 10226 Hammerly Blvd. in the Spring Branch Management District, combining his experience in importing and love for coffee.
Gordon started his first career in his home state of Florida in August 2011, when he worked in an entry level position with a freight forwarder. In November 2015, he took a promotion to become a customs brokerage manager and moved to Houston.
As his company was about to be acquired by a competitor, Gordon decided to take the plunge.
“With the stress of being in freight forwarding for so many years, plus the ongoing acquisition, I figured it was time for a change,” he said.
Using his past business expertise, Gordon began importing “good” coffee. Not only did he have experience with importing but he also had experience with coffee or, perhaps more accurately, with drinking bad coffee at the office.
So, in his new venture, he wanted to make sure the coffee was indeed good — and that it wasn’t confusing.
“I hope to bring not only great tasting coffee to the community but a place where you don’t need to learn a different language to order a latte,” he said. “I always found ordering something at the big chain coffee franchises was intimidating for casual coffee drinkers, and I wanted to change that.”
Why “Astonishing Coffee?”
“We were looking for adjectives of ‘excellence’ and ‘astonishing’ stood out,” Gordon said.
You can order Gordon’s featured roasts online, but you can also get them at the new coffee shop.
Sourced from the Murang’a region and roasted locally in Houston, Astonishing Coffee’s Kenya Coffee offers a bold and rich taste with notes of citrus, wine and berries.
The Colombia Medium Roast coffee hails from the Antioquia and Quindio region and offers a fruity flavor profile along with subtle hints of cocoa and nuts.
Coffee not your thing? Astonishing Coffee also offers teas, iced teas and bottled drinks.
The food menu features bagels and cinnamon rolls and a freshly sourced selection of items from Houston area favorites Sinfull Vegan Bakery and Three Brothers Bakery.
Gordon, whose parents are Jamaican, said he hopes to mirror the vibrant diversity of the Spring Branch community through the café and his employees.
Astonishing Coffee, located across the street from Spring Woods High School, boasts a brand new, Spring Branch-specific mural along one wall.
And, while the mural is no doubt referring to the coffee in featuring phrases like “sourced worldwide,” it could also describe the people and businesses of the Spring Branch District.
“Being located in a diverse area is one of the many factors why we chose this area,” Gordon said.
10226 Hammerly Blvd
Houston, TX 77043
— By Dorothy Puch Lillig