Local Gem: Cool Beans ATX
Time to talk about one of our Austin favorites — Cool Beans ATX. Founded by Priscilla Jerez (who was inspired to create lean Mexican-style cuisine to pursue a vegan lifestyle), Cool Beans incorporates veganism into authentic Mexican dishes. Learn more about how Priscilla got her start below.
Q: What inspired you to start Cool Beans? Did you have any role models or learn from someone, in particular?
A: Once I became vegan I started learning more about cooking and food. I suddenly became more aware of the challenges to cooking by removing meat and dairy, and I loved it. I learned from everyone and took every opportunity to learn.
I picked up tips from some vegan bloggers, my mom's recipes and even just talking to farmers at the local markets about different vegetables and how to cook them. Through these endeavors, I got to live a healthier lifestyle, I was able to learn the new things about cooking. Ultimately, this empowered me to create things that are dear to my heart and culture and have my own vegan twist to it.
Q: Do you have any tidbits of advice for people with passions, in general?
A: Its important to have passions. Sometimes they are hard to find, and sometimes it finds you.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Life can be a crazy rollercoaster and steer you in all kinds of directions, but do what feels right to you and what makes you happy! Indulge yourself in all the passions you possess.
Q: What have been your most challenging moments in your career, thus far?
A: The most challenging moments I've had were getting up the courage to put myself out there and meet new people and figuring out those “ I have no Idea what I am doing!” moments are authentic. I’ve gotten to learn about my determination and how it's possible for me to make it in a place that intimidates me so much.
Q: What's your day job (if this business isn't your day job)?
A: Being a BOSS all day! [laughs]
I do Cool Beans all day everyday, whether it's networking, emailing, meetings, paperwork (oh, goodness the paperwork) and booking events. In restaurant biz, there is always work to be done, but I love it!
Q: When you're discouraged, what do you run to or away from?
A: I’ll be honest, I sometimes am scared of success. I am afraid of what might happen if i succeed and if I fail. I’m very lucky to have my partner Rolando with me for this whole ride. We are a great team, and whenever I'm feeling scared or discouraged he’s there by my side. He's my No. 1 supporter, I am grateful for him and for my family and friends—old and new—that help me continue on this journey.
Your favorite band at the moment: I have to admit, I am currently listening to Flight of The Conchords. I’m also pretty obsessed with The Strokes, Marvin Gaye and Julieta Venegas.
Your favorite book at the moment: The Alchemist
“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist