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Springville coffee shop offers traditional Mexican food, handmade drinks

By Harrison Epstein - | Feb 18, 2023
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Antonio Castillo makes a latte at his restaurant, Pueblo Coffee on Main, in Springville on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023.
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Carne street tacos sit on a table in Pueblo Coffee on Main in Springville on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023.
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Antonio Castillo pulls a shot of espresso at Pueblo Coffee on Main, in Springville on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023.
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Antonio Castillo stands in front of Pueblo Coffee on Main in Springville on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023.
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Enchilads suizas sit on the counter of Pueblo Coffee on Main in Springville on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023.
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Antonio Castillo cooks carne for street tacos at his restaurant, Pueblo Coffee on Main, in Springville on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023.

Every customer who walks into Pueblo Coffee on Main is greeted with a similar interaction. Antonio Castillo, owner and operator, welcomes people with a smile as they walk in and “treats them like family.”

The restaurant, 388 N. Main St., Unit 10, in Springville, opened three months ago and last week expanded to include dinner services with a menu blending breakfast staples, like pancakes and avocado toast, to Mexican classics near and dear to Castillo’s heart.

Specifically, Castillo and his cousins picked their favorite breakfast dishes that grandma would make when they were kids. Thus, customers can choose from authentic chilaquiles, sopes, breakfast burritos and, importantly, tamales.

“She always talked about her tamales, how one day her tamales were going to make her a lot of money,” Castillo said.

Three kinds of tamales are available, but only on weekends due to the time it takes to make each batch by hand. Customers can choose from beef, green with chicken/pork or rajas, which are sliced poblano peppers and cheese.

Occasionally, Castillo and the family make special items available including birria, pozole and, at the moment, enchiladas. The dishes are a labor of love, an act of family.

On any given day, Castillo is joined in the restaurant by his cousins, his wife and their kids, Marco and Melody.

Castillo’s grandmother died in August 2022 and, while she isn’t there in person, Castillo feels her presence everywhere he goes.

“She’s here with us, man. We feel her spirit,” Castillo said. “Even as she was, you know, fading away, she was still always talking about food. She loved food, loved to cook — it’s just something about food. She just loved it. You know? So she allowed us to watch her cook and learn from her and stuff.”

She came to the United State in the 1970s after immigrating from Mexico and dreamed of opening a restaurant on her own, said Castillo, who grew up in Los Angeles and moved to Utah County “in search for a better life” with his mom already living in the valley.

He came to Orem in 2008 as an “at-risk young adult” and connected with people at Utah Valley University, where he eventually graduated.

“Growing up in a gang-infested community, you kind of get drawn into that, right? If you’re there, it’s hard to get away from that,” Castillo said. “I came out here with the mindset of doing good, so focusing on myself, surrounding myself with good people. And I was able to do that.”

Upon graduation, Castillo worked for the Provo City School District, teaching special education classes and coordinating gang prevention efforts. Even today, Castillo still works as a family engagement specialist at Orem Junior High and with the Alpine School District.

Doing everything keeps Castillo busy, he said, but it’s all worth it. While the food is central to what’s new at the restaurant, Pueblo Coffee on Main was built on the coffee offerings.

Pueblo Coffee Co. started as a roaster in Provo, making and selling coffee to a host of local restaurants including Black Sheep Cafe, Communal, Block Restaurant and The Brunch House, all in Provo, along with Joe’s Cafe in Orem and a handful of other locations from St. George to Logan.

Even the name of the restaurant and the roastery is a testament to the ultimate goal.

“(People) always ask, ‘Why Pueblo? Why’d you choose Pueblo?’ I’m all about building community,” Castillo said, referencing the definition of the Spanish word meaning “village” or “town.” “The idea is to build a community of coffee, bringing in coffee lovers or people that are experiencing coffee.”

Like the food menu, coffee offerings combine American standbys with cultural classics. Customers order everything from drip coffee and Americanos to what Castillo considers the signature cupfuls — the Mexican Mocha, Horchata Latte and Mexican Hot Chocolate.

While the coffee is roasted in Utah County, some of the beans are grown in Guatemala while others are produced by Las Adelitas, an all-female coffee bean farming collective in Hidalgo, Mexico. Las Adelitas sold 20 sacks of specialty coffee to different companies, including Pueblo Coffee, thanks to a friend of Castillo’s who still lives in Los Angeles.

Across the board, Castillo sought to offer a consistent experience that lent back to his childhood for customers. Sometimes that means chorizo burritos and street tacos, but it’s also a sign that spice levels, particularly in the salsas, are similar to food in Mexico, rather than most Americanized Mexican restaurants.

Every item up for sale and every meeting with a customer is about love and connection. Castillo loves what he does, the people around him and those willing to take a chance on the restaurant. Even after he and his wife moved to Los Angeles, they came back to Utah County and he wanted to offer his neighbors an experience they can’t find anywhere else.

Pueblo Coffee on Main is open from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends. They reopen for dinner at 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.


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