Coffee culture in New Orleans is a world of its own, and a popular franchise based in the Crescent City is set to make its DFW debut in the next month or so.
PJ’s Coffee, founded in New Orleans in 1978, is known for its small batch-roasted Arabica beans. In the decades since its debut, it has expanded through Louisiana and other Southern states, with several spots planned in the near future for North Texas. One of those locations, at 13605 Midway Road Dallas, will be the first in the area to be owned by a Black woman.
Franchisee Brittany Willis’s road to opening her coffee shop has been a long one. The NOLA native actually landed in Dallas in 2005, when her family evacuated from Katrina. On trips back to Louisiana, Willis would always stop at a PJ’s, she said. When she decided to invest in a business, her mind immediately landed on PJ’s.
“I got to thinking about how I really wish we had something like PJ’s back in the North Dallas area,” Willis said in a story on the PJ’s website. “It was me looking at it as an unmet need and the fact that this is such a great brand.”
Willis signed her franchise agreement in early March, just as Texas was beginning to shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. That might have delayed the opening, but it also allowed Willis to find a location with a drive-thru window, for patrons who want to get their coffee to go. Willis said the location “invokes the soul and unique experience of PJ’s Coffee original location on Maple Street in New Orleans.”
The Midway Road location of PJs, slated to open right after the holiday season, is just one of several headed to the DFW area. Willis said she might even open a couple more locations herself.
“It was fitting that I could take this full circle and bring New Orleans with me here to Dallas,” she said.