A longtime member of the community in the Westlake area is looking for a new home. Michael and Susan Sexton, owners of Trianon Coffee in the West Woods Shopping Center, will see their lease expire at the end of this year. Michael Sexton says the shopping center’s new management company did not offer a chance for the Sextons, who have owned the shop since May of 2013, to make a counter offer.
New property managers, the Maryland-based First Washington Realty Inc. reached a new lease agreement with Summer Moon Coffee Bar, an Austin-based coffee shop that opened its first location on South First Street in 2002, serving wood-fire-roasted organic and fair trade coffee. The West Woods location will be the 10th for Summer Moon, which has shops throughout Austin and in other Texas towns.
Despite regularly meeting all of their financial obligations and investing money into the shop last year, Michael Sexton says he believes Trianon was not allowed to stay because the strip mall’s new ownership wanted a shop with a different kind of appeal.
“We’re certainly being forced out,” said Michael Sexton, who opened the shop with his wife, Susan, as an opportunity for their son, Joseph, to pursue a career in coffee. “We’re not shiny and bright enough for the new owners who came in.”
While Summer Moon, which is in expansion mode in the Austin area, will be moving into the space next year, co-owner Justin Terry made it clear that his business never lobbied to have Trianon removed.
“We wanted to be in Westlake and we’ve been searching high and low,” Terry said. “We got a call from the owner of that building and he informed us he would not be renewing that lease.”
Terry and his family own the most of the existing and upcoming Summer Moon locations, though they do have a couple of licensees in the Austin area, as well as in markets like Frisco and San Antonio.
“We’re a mom-and-pop shop. We’re not a big bad corporation,” Terry said.
Norma and Edmond Bazerghi first opened Trianon in 1985 in the strip mall at Bee Caves Road and Walsh Tarlton Lane, and Michael Sexton gives the couple much of the credit for business’ success.
“The foundation they put in is why the community loves the shop so much,” Sexton said.
Sexton also points the Westlake and Rollingwood communities as integral parts of Trianon’s success and says that he and his family have always considered themselves stewards of the business entrusted with the care by their longtime customers.
Though he acknowledges that five months is a very small window in which to find a new space in which he can re-open Trianon, Sexton says he has not given up hope completely.
“There’s always the chance you can get a miracle,” Sexton said. “You can never count that out.”
The Statesman has reached out to representatives of First Washington Realty Inc. for comment.