The Purple Bean Cafe
The Purple Bean Café is the brainchild of LaValle Twibell in September 2009. Her father had been unemployed for over a year and her husband had just been laid off. She saw an opportunity to use her family’s many talents to create a small business opportunity doing what she loves to do, COOK!
Her original business model was for a small bakery-coffee shop that she hoped to locate somewhere in East Austin. LaValle has many connections to the East Side. LaValle’s father had grown up in East Austin out near Ed Bluestein off a rural dirt road and graduated from Johnston High School. Her grandfather had owned a small Bar, The Oak Tree, off East 12th Street during the late 70s and early 80s. She and her husband Troy had raised their oldest daughter, Alura, in a small house at the intersection of Pershing and MLK Blvd during the 1990’s. Alura went on to attend the magnet program at Kealing Junior High. She began looking for rental property for a small café between Caesar Chavez and 11th Street in the spring of 2010 and had narrowed the search to 3 possibilities when her father unexpectedly passed away.
As a result, LaValle had to scale back her vision and decided to start out as a mobile food vendor selling coffee, pastries, and sandwiches. Within 2 weeks she found an ad on craigslist for all of the equipment she would need to start her coffee trailer. The 12ft trailer was purchased from the owner of Man Bites Dog who was selling it to move up to a full restaurant which LaValle took as a good sign that Papa was up there somewhere looking after her. While out looking for a location to set up a trailer she ran into Blake Shandley, a local property manager and real estate broker. Blake suggested LaValle set up shop under the breezeway of the East Village Condo. Two weeks later, the Purple Bean Café was up and running!