Caroline Perez knew she wanted to be among the first to order from the new Starbucks located at the intersection of Hwy 77 and Gen. Cavazos Boulevard.
The Bishop High School sophomore had been anticipating its opening for months.
“This is perfect,” she said. “We live right across the street, so I’m going to be here every morning before school.”
While the store was scheduled to open for business at 5 a.m. Monday, Caroline and her mother, Lydia, decided to get ahead of the anticipated opening day rush.
“We got here around 3 a.m.,” Caroline said. “We were here before the workers and everyone, but it was definitely worth it.”
Once inside, Caroline said she made sure to order her usual drink, an iced caramel macchiato.
“And it is fantastic,” she said.
Her mother, who went with a “nothing fancy” freshly brewed coffee, agreed.
“It’s really good,” she said. “It’s strong. I like it and I like all of the different kinds of sugar that they have.”
The new Starbucks marks the return of the franchise to Kingsville after the first store closed in 2008. Another location opened at Texas A&M University-Kingsville a couple of years later, but does not feature the full menu offered at larger locations such as the new store.
Caroline said she would occasionally visit a Starbucks in Corpus Christi, but was never able to do so very often “because it’s just too far away.” As for the TAMUK location, she said as a high school student, traveling to the university to pick up a coffee “wasn’t really ideal.”
“It was always closed when I could go,” she said. “And there’s no drive-thru. Here, we can pick it up and go.”
Around 11 a.m., civic leaders and Starbucks employees gathered outside of the store to hold a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the grand opening of the new location. Live music played from the patio area as a regular stream of customers filed into the store to place their orders.
Selina Ortegon ordered herself a strawberry refresher before heading outside to enjoy the live music. She said the new store was in a “great location.”
“And the service was fast,” she said. “Now that it’s in town, I’ll probably be coming out once a day.”
Kierra Munson said she loves Starbucks and is excited to have a larger store in town.
“I’ve been drinking it since I was little,” she said as she enjoyed her frappuccino, which she called her “go-to” drink. “I won’t say that I’ll be here every day, but I’ll probably be here every day.”
As for Caroline, she said she enjoyed her drink so much that morning, she and her mother made a return trip to the store just a few hours later.
“I had to have another one,” she said.