WESLACO, Texas – Steven M. Valdez, executive director of the Economic Development Corporation of Weslaco, says he and his team are not just trying to pull in new businesses along I-2, or Expressway 83 as it is more popularly known.

Speaking at a groundbreaking ceremony for Dutch Bros Coffee, he said it is important that he and his team focus also on areas north and south of the expressway.

The Dutch Bros project is a case in point. It is being built on seven acres of land at 326 N. Westgate Drive, just north of Business 83.

Steven M. Valdez

“What I find amazing about your choice to choose Weslaco is where you chose in Weslaco,” Valdez told representatives of Dutch Bros., speaking from the podium. 

“A lot of times when we try to recruit companies to our community, the first thing they want is visibility. They want high traffic. They want other anchor stores, and we have that here. But, most times they want that on the expressway. They want that frontage so it isn’t just the community of Weslaco that is supporting that one company, but also others that are driving past that would stop and see.”

Valdez added: “They (Dutch Bros.) chose just for us, just for who we are. And that impresses me the most and that excites me the most because because they’re coming here. So, Dutch Bros., thank you so much for choosing us at the heart of the base of who we are in our community. So thank you guys.”

The Rio Grande Guardian International News Services secured an audio interview with Valdez, a few days after the Dutch Bros groundbreaking ceremony. The purpose was to re-emphasize the point that Weslaco EDC also wants development north and south of the expressway.

Here is the interview:


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The groundbreaking ceremony for Dutch Bros featured various speakers. One of them was Weslaco Mayor Pro Tem Jerry Gonzalez. He said:

“Dutch Brothers are not just coffee shops. They’re businesses that play a critical role in providing employment opportunities, not just for Weslaco but for people here in the Mid Valley and also the entire Rio Grande Valley. Economy is an essential aspect of any community. Job creation is crucial, crucial for economic growth. The more people that are employed, the more money they have. They spend back in the local economy so that our community can thrive, so that we can have a better quality of life. The benefits will just keep rippling out. More job satisfaction can lead to greater stability for families. More stability for families can lead to making the move to live here in Weslaco.”

Juan “J.J.” Serrano, jr., is board president of Weslaco EDC. He said:

“Coffee shops are an integral part of any city and can act as a venue for socializing, networking, and even holding meetings. Dutch Brothers is known for its exceptional customer service and friendly atmosphere, making it a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike. Dutch Brothers coffee is known to play a big role in supporting the community often hosting fundraisers for local organizations and charities. This great organization and the EDW have the same values and I am honored to now announce that Dutch Brothers will join the Weslaco family because we are an extremely great match. I’d like to thank the person most responsible for securing Dutch Brothers here on this very location, the developer Craig Garansuay. He has played a crucial role in developing the Shops at N. Bridge. And now the Shops at Westgate. With all these new retail shops coming into Weslaco the sales tax base will increase. This will generate new jobs. And this will create new spaces for people to work and play adding to our quality of life.”

Garansuay, president of the Garansuay Group, said: 

“This has been really exciting, the team effort that everyone has put in to this project. Not only this project, but our other project, located off the expressway. The greetings and the warmth that we’ve experienced from the community as well as the retailers has really been great and led to this project. So we wouldn’t have been able to do it without the Economic Development Corporation. We want to give recognition to these guys; (they’re) doing a great job using those funds to do what they’re supposed to do so that we can increase the sales tax base, create more jobs and revenue for the city. So we look forward to continuing to finish phase two over here. We’ve got some exciting new prospects that we’d love to share with you guys in the next coming months. And we look forward to the grand opening. So thank you guys.”

In a news release, Garansuay said: “We believe that public-private partnerships, like those promoted by EDCW, play a crucial role in stimulating economic growth and stability in communities by working together, businesses and local government can identify opportunities for investment and growth by developing strategies that benefit the public.”

Kyla Batista, regional operator for Dutch Bros Coffee, noted that her company started out of Grants Pass, Oregon in 1982.

“When I started, in 2015, we were only in seven states, mostly towards the Pacific Northwest. So it’s just really an honor to be here and working for a company with such humble beginnings and such strong roots and operate in a entirely new community and serve you guys and serve the community down here in Weslaco. So thank you for having us and we’re really excited to be here.”

In his remarks, Weslaco EDC’s Valdez looked around to see who Dutch Bros Coffee will have for neighbors. They include a bank, some restaurants, a school and HEB. He said everyone working in these locations would need a cup of coffee in the morning. “So really this is a prime location,” Valdez said.

He added: “Again, what impresses me is that we like to see Weslaco growing north and south away from the expressway because that’s really where the heart of Weslaco is. So thank you for choosing this location. And we’re excited to see what’s going to happen.”

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