Coffee shop owned by nurses looks to overcome COVID-19 pandemic

HOUSTON, TX (KTRK) -- Lisa Jansky, RN and Gerald Roca, RN have a combined 31-years experience as dialysis nurses. They're still active in that field, but they added a new title in December 2018 - coffee shop owners. The two co-own French Press Coffee House in Northwest Harris County.

"The concept came out of New Orleans," said Roca. "A buddy of mine started it and, when I moved to Houston, I wanted to bring the concept here."

Their foray into owning a coffee shop hasn't been easy. TxDot, as part of its US-290 expansion project, began construction in front of their shop in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic has also hurt sales at French Press Coffee House. They've stayed open, using curbside and drive-thru service, and have recently reopened their dining room, but business is down.

"We're holding steady at about 50-percent of our normal sales," said Roca. "We're slowly progressing and, hopefully, it will get better with time."

Slower sales haven't stopped Jansky and Roca from giving back to others in their original field.

"One thing I've done is take pastries and coffee to nurses in the hospitals," said Jansky. "We realize what they're going through."

The duo say there are similarities between nursing and owning a coffee shop. For example, the water they make their coffee with utilizes the same reverse osmosis system they use with dialysis patients. Roca and Jansky also say their nursing backgrounds allow them to apply hospital-grade sanitation standards to their business.

"We're still very positive about what we're doing here," said Roca. "One of the reasons we opened this coffee shop was because we wanted to get ingrained in this community and become one."

French Press Coffee Shop is located at 13126 FM 1960 Rd W, Suite 150.
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