Deaf Business Spotlight: Pepperbox Coffee (Austin, TX)

March 17, 2017


[Transcript]  ALEX: Hello! The Daily Moth usually covers Top Stories, Deaf News, and Deaf Bing. Now, here’s something new.


In partnership with Convo, we’ll do a Deaf Business feature every Friday where we spotlight various Deaf-run businesses all over the U.S.


The first spotlight will be on — PepperBox Coffee — it is a trailer coffeeshop in North Austin. It only opened three weeks ago!


{Begin Video}

TAMARA: Hi, this is Tamara Ocuto. I’m the Community Curator for Convo. I’m here today at Pepperbox Coffee.


MARIO: Now, I’ll show you what our espresso looks like. The top has a foam layer, with a light brown body that becomes darker towards the bottom. I’ll show you its rich colors now.


APRIL: Enjoy!


TAMARA: Thank you.


TAMARA: I’m drinking the Dirty Harry, which is a chai with espresso. It’s delicious.


MATILDA: I got the Dirty Harry. It tastes just great.


MARIO: We just recently hired a student from TSD (Texas School for the Deaf). Her name is Rebecca. She’s a very cool, bright lady who works hard. Why did I pick a student? Because, when I look back at my high school years, I've never had opportunities to work with Deaf businesses. There was no exposure. Now that I’ve set up one, I want to share it with the next generation. This is how we give back to our community.


REBECCA: Our Deaf Bing is when a hearing customer comes up to the window, unsure how to communicate, we point them to this sign.


[SIGN: "THE QUICK AND THE DEAF. USE SELF-ORDER." with a hand pointing down to the menu.]


REBECCA: Another Deaf Bing is when we have a group of Deaf customers chatting, it’s hard to get their attention when their order is ready from inside the trailer, so we use teamwork. We will get a nearby person's attention and they will do the same until we reach the customer. That's our Deaf Bing.


MARIO: In regards to our name, Pepperbox Coffee. Pepperbox is a gun from the 1830s, and it looks like this. See the chamber on this? It’s similar to a revolver - which originated from the pepperbox - except revolvers have a single barrel. Why did we select “pepperbox” for our name? Because it was an original design, and it’s very unique. Not many people know about this gun. It represents the Deaf community. The hearing community at large don’t know much about us Deaf people, so we are unique and original.


NICK: Growing up in Seattle, Mario and I were accustomed to the small, simple drive-through coffee places with only one barista. I wanted to bring this here, knowing that it was an easy setup for Deaf people to run. When I shared with Mario this idea, we got really excited.


MARIO: Yes, so I brought my knowledge from my studies in Business. I had a passion for business, and I wanted to make it happen here. Austin is home to many Deaf businesses, so we wanted to be a part of that trend, too. We made it happen!


REBECCA: Our hearing customers are so friendly. There are no barriers. They see that we’re Deaf, and then it’s just business as usual. They’re happy to support us. The Austin community is just wonderful.


{End Video}


Nice! I got to order myself a Dirty Harry soon! For more information about Pepperbox, please check out the links.

Convo’s Community Curators will continue to find and spotlight Deaf-owned businesses. Come back next Friday to see the next one!


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