TSTC alumna brings taste of Colombia to the Valley

The coffee shop features artwork from local artists, as well as momentos from Colombia. (Courtesy: TSTC)

Inspired by the coffee farm on which she was raised in her native Colombia, Johanna Lozano began her coffee company, Cafe Canasto, in 2018.

Lozano received her Associate of Applied Science degree from Texas State Technical College in Business Management Technology in 2015. She went on to work for the Texas Department of State Health Services before resigning in 2018 to make her love for coffee her full-time job.

“I grew up on a coffee farm in Colombia,” she said. “I have always been passionate about coffee. I saw the opportunity to start importing my own coffee, so I created the Cafe Canasto brand.”

For 1 1/2 years, Lozano catered and distributed her coffee brand all over the United States. This year she opened her own coffee shop in Brownsville to serve an array of Colombian treats and coffee creations.

“After seeing how well people were embracing a different culture and our Colombian food and drinks, I decided to open my shop,” she said. “Cafe Canasto finally opened its doors to the public in March.”

This important chapter in her life could not have been accomplished without those who are most important to her.

“I have loved my entrepreneurial journey very much,” Lozano said. “My husband has been my biggest supporter, and the community has truly given us their love.”

Some of Lozano’s fondest moments are the extracurricular activities she participated in at TSTC.

“Serving as the student government president left me with many great memories,” she said. “It not only allowed me to advocate for students, but I grew tremendously as a person.”

Student government was not the only opportunity that she had to reveal her leadership ability.

“Because of TSTC, I was able to become involved with the community,” Lozano said. “I was able to go to Washington, D.C., to meet other student leaders from all over the nation.”

Lozano said her time at TSTC gave her a learning experience that benefits her business venture, and the support she received outside the classroom is something she holds dear.

“TSTC is not only a great school that provides you with the necessary tools and knowledge to succeed, but the leaders there are very supportive, and that really makes a difference in students’ lives,” she reiterated. “Honestly, I could write a book about all the help and professional tools I received at TSTC.”

Cafe Canasto is located at 4008 Paredes Line Road in Brownsville.

To learn more about TSTC’s Business Management Technology program, visit https://tstc.edu/programs/BusinessManagementTechnology.