Coffee Yan and Paws at the Frisco Fresh Market drew inspiration from the popular pet cafes in Asia.
The Frisco Fresh Market is in full swing this month. And with many spring festivities on the calendar, market vendors Winnie Tam and Julian Chung are eager to showcase their unique coffee menu to a big crowd — and bring attention to a cause close to their hearts.
The couple runs Coffee Yan and Paws, a coffee stand at the Frisco Fresh Market that donates to local no-kill animal shelters for every pound of coffee purchased. Tam and Chung, who are originally from Hong Kong, say they drew inspiration for the concept from the pet cafes that are popular in many Asian countries.
“They can do some coffee shops or pastry shops that allow pets to come in at the same time as their owners,” Chung says. “We were kind of thinking about the same idea, but we know that city regulation won’t allow us to do that. So, how about we make a contribution to the local rescues and local shelters and also associate with the Frisco Fresh Market to host some adoption events.”
Tam and Chung helped host and provide coffee for a mobile adoption event in April in collaboration with the market and the DFW Humane Society. They have also worked with Cody’s Friends Rescue and the Legacy Humane Society.
“We love dogs,” Tam says. “We want to adopt more, but we just cannot. We have two at home already.”
The couple has adopted dogs from shelters since 2009, and the two dogs they have now are Simba, a chow chow mix, and Michiko, a rottweiler mix. The couple previously had two other dogs together: Momo, another rottweiler, and Ginger, a German shepherd.
Aside from their adoration for man’s best friend, Tam and Chung also share a love of coffee. Their most popular item on the Coffee Yan and Paws menu is the pour over, which is available in dark roast, medium roast and decaf.
Some other hot drinks from the menu include espresso and hot chocolate. Their mocha, honey lemon tea, Hong Kong-style milk tea and blue tea latte can all be served either hot or cold. The menu also offers cold brew, nitro cold brew, handcrafted yuzu and orange cream sodas, and mocktails such as a strawberry mojito soda and peach bellini soda.
“My favorite is actually the milk tea,” Tam says. ”I pre-brew it at home and then bring it over [to the market]. We tried and tried to improve it so the taste is close to the Hong Kong style.”
In addition to ready-made drinks, Coffee Yan and Paws also sells bags of coffee beans for customers to brew at home. Chung says the beans come from various regions of South America, and they’ve given them names like Cutie Pup, Pooch and Tailwagger Espresso. The beans are available at the market and on their website.
“We have the dark roast from Peru and we have some medium roast from Bolivia, and also Nicaragua,” Chung says. “We also have the espresso roast that we use for our espresso drinks, which is a mix from Peru and Colombia.”
In addition to the regular menu items, Tam and Chung enjoy experimenting with new drinks and like to add new options each month.
“From time to time, we have some new items for special holidays, and then we will add it to the menu permanently if the item is popular,” Chung says.
The couple says their dream is to grow the business so that they can open their own brick-and-mortar shop someday. For now, they continue to open their coffee stand at the market every Saturday and Sunday while Tam works a job in logistics and Chung works as a system engineer during the week.
The couple hopes that whenever they interact with customers at the market on weekends that they not only offer good coffee but encourage people to adopt and foster dogs from local shelters.
“What we want to tell everybody is just, you know, to adopt and don’t shop,” Tam says. “This is all we want, to spread that to the customers and everybody.”