Local Pastry Chain Teams Up With New Houston Coffee Shop

CRAVE and MAVEN Coffee + Cocktail's collaborative cupcakes, the Carillijo (left) and Espresso Martin

It was only a few weeks ago when MAVEN Coffee + Cocktails, owned by Houston Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr., entrepreneur Juan Carlos Martinez de Aldecoa (whose family owns Giant Texas Distillers, formally known as Gulf Coast Distillers) and Blake Fertitta (yes, of that famous family) of Rex Hospitality Group opened to the public. The team’s coffee is already being featured in a collaboration with Houston pastry shop chain, CRAVE

Customers with a sweet tooth can now order cupcakes in Espresso Martini and Carajillo flavors at the original CRAVE at 1151-06 Uptown Park, the West University location at 5600 Kirby and MAVEN Coffee + Cocktails at 1717 Allen Parkway. Those attending Astros games at Minute Maid Park will also find these at the MAVEN Coffee + Cocktails cart in section 104.

The interior of CRAVE and MAVEN Coffee + Cocktails' Espresso Martini cupcake
The interior of CRAVE and MAVEN Coffee + Cocktails’ Espresso Martini cupcake. Courtesy photo.

A launch celebration is planned on Saturday, June 1, that not only offers customer discounts but will also raise money for a local charity. Hosted by CRAVE, MAVEN and Tito’s Vodka, all day Saturday, June 1. During the event, guests will get 15% off their total when they order both limited-edition cupcake flavors. In addition, each cupcake purchased at MAVEN Coffee + Cocktails will generate a $1 donation to the Down Syndrome Association of Houston, which is marking its 50th year. (CRAVE is also donating a percentage of proceeds to the charity.)

“We are thrilled to announce our collaboration with a like-minded, locally owned company like MAVEN,” said Elizabeth Harrison Cooper, co-owner of CRAVE, via a press release. “Their dedication to utilizing only the highest quality ingredients aligns perfectly with our mission and we are proud to serve these new cupcake flavors that were created by local talents right here in Houston.” 

Ribbon Cutting at Maven Coffee.
Ribbon Cutting at Maven Coffee. Photo by Ryan Baker.

To make the new Carajillo cupcake flavor, CRAVE incorporates MAVEN coffee concentrate into both the cupcake and the buttercream. The frosting also gets an infusion of Licor 43, and the cupcake is decorated with housemade candied orange peel. The Espresso Martini one is filled with a pastry cream dosed with both MAVEN coffee concentrate and Tito’s vodka. It’s then finished with frosting also infused with the coffee and vodka, and topped with a MAVEN coffee truffle.

Owners of both MAVEN Coffee + Cocktails and CRAVE are already eyeing their next moves. A peek at the coffee company’s Instagram page reveals a forthcoming location at Sawyer Yards, as well as an interest in expanding distribution of its cold brew concentrate. For its part, CRAVE is already planning its next collaborations. One will be with Sprinkle Pop, which specializes in over-the-top cupcake decorations. The collaborative flavors will be Luau, Strawberry Lemonade and Peaches and Cream and available at CRAVE’s Uptown Park and West U locations. The second will happen later this summer with a still-to-be-revealed artisan ice cream company “that sells out within minutes”. (Could it be Underground Creamery, a Montrose-based brand known for its limited supply, Inventive flavors and social media drops?)

“Our summer lineup of flavors inspired by Houstonians and their brands will be a fantastic way to keep our customers satisfied this summer,” said Harrison Cooper. “We’re a local business that loves supporting other local businesses, and we can’t wait to roll out CRAVE in new ways and locations this season.” 

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