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Inspiring Conversations with Billy Schiel of Honor Society Coffee

Today we’d like to introduce you to Billy Schiel.

Billy, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
In 2013 I began experimenting with coffee roasting. That led to the launching of a full-on coffee roasting business called Righteous Bros. Coffee Roasters. The business continued to grow and eventually became what is known today as District Roasters. I exited that business in 2016 to pursue a full-time calling into pastoral work. During the “dumpster fire” of a year that was 2020, I was spending time on lockdown at the house with my family. During these times, the entrepreneurial juices were flowing hot and heavy and I decided to start an online coffee distribution hub with my 3 boys who were teens at the time.

We determined to call it Honor Society Coffee Co. and officially started our business in December 2020 with an e-commerce site going live in February 2021. From that moment on we continued to look for a retail location in my hometown of Tomball and then in 2022 we found the perfect spot at 105 Houston St where the espresso bar known as Honor Society Coffee Co. is located.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
I feel like the road from starting a full-on roasting company to opening a full-service neighborhood espresso bar has been very circuitous and filled with many seasons. The normal emotions of fear, anxiety, and doubt have ridden in and out like the ebbing ocean tide.

At times, it was just easier to let the dream lie dormant in the corner spaces of my heart and mind while trying to hold on to the hope that it would become a reality one day. I would say once, Matt and I landed on this retail space in July of 2022, things just took off like a rocket. They’ve gone relatively smoothly since then and because of our amazing coffee-making squad and the team at Honor Society, it’s been really really rewarding!

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
We are a full-service neighborhood espresso bar and specialty coffee roaster. We offer specialty coffee drinks and locally sources pastries from Manna Bakery. We also host live music shows once a month that we’ve dubbed ‘The Live Oak Sessions” because our 130+-year-old Live Oak tree serves as the backdrop to the “Live Oak Stage”.

Our product, team, and exceptional hospitality set us apart from others. At HS we believe that every person has eternal value and worth and we want to “honor others above ourselves”. People are the reason we’re in business and coffee is the fun connecting point to get to welcome people from all walks of life into our “living room” on Houston Street.

What I’m most proud of is the way our products represent our passion and ethos in both design and coffee. Our vibe is modern with clean lines and just the right pop of color to help make things come alive. Our approach to the space is minimalistic with the right functional design that is both catching the eye and useful in our day-to-day operation.

Our full menu of espresso-based drinks at Honor Society is prepared with great passion and precision by the best coffee-making squad. We take pride in developing an array of rotating seasonal and fun in-house drinks inspired by our baristas. We offer bulk coffee to go for events and baked goods as well.

Our motto is “Never Drink Bad Coffee”. We can help with your private event or whatever coffee needs you might have.

We love surprises, fun facts, and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
I think people would be surprised to know that I first started roasting coffee as a hobby in my kitchen on a cast iron skillet. This was not ideal, but it helped me develop some very key principles for roasting that I still hold on to today.

We roast to taste what we personally enjoy and then trust that others will enjoy it also.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Billy Schiel and Matt Brantner

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