BEEVILLE, Texas — Dhaval Patel has owned Coffee Barrel in Beeville since 2017. As a business owner there, Patel tries to involve his business in the community as much as possible.
For Patel, the focus of Coffee Barrel is focusing on using profits for four community pillars: sustainability, education, healthcare, and economic livelihood.
“The profit gets turned into programs the team and I implement, we’ve got 11 community programs in those four areas," Patel said. "It’s important because every community that I’ve been in thrives and is positive if all of those pillars are successfully being engaged in."
Patel has lived on four continents, and visited around 90 countries in his life, and brings those life experiences to his business. Around two and a half years ago, Patel started "Uncommon Table," a meal event hosted at Coffee Barrel where he and his team make a meal focusing on a specific culture.
“The way to bring people together is through food and beverage that’s unique and different. So, when we started this, we said let’s do the same thing here, use our world travels and bring culture, food, wine, and freshness into our community here in South Texas, and Uncommon Table was born,” Patel said.
Uncommon Table incorporates the sustainability pillar, as most of the food served is local, either from nearby farms, or grown on-site at the Coffee Barrel community garden.
“Sustainability is important, because it’s about our children, and our children’s children, and the future generations," Patel said. "We want to leave what we have at least in the same condition as what we have when we pass away."
However, Uncommon Table is so much more, as Patel views it as a place for people to come together to enjoy a meal, enjoy each other’s company, and learn about a new culture.
“This experience is for everybody. Everyone is uncommon, everyone is different, let’s work together, let’s come and meet your neighbor," Patel said. "Mother Theresa said, ‘do you know your neighbor?’ and that’s what it’s really about; this is a great way to do that over food and beverage."
Uncommon Table is popular. Patel said he typically posts about an upcoming Uncommon Table event less than a week prior to the event, and seats usually fill up in less than 24 hours.
“It’s a unique place here in a small, rural community," says Lorenzo Garcia, who has been attending the Uncommon Table events since their inception. "It's just something different, something enjoyable."
The community aspect is a big driving force to people attending the events as well.
“It doesn’t matter who you are, and where you are in the world, there’s a bonding that takes place, and we can build a community,” said Madeline Madden, who has also been attending the events since the beginning.
Patel announces details of the Uncommon Table events on the Coffee Barrel Facebook and Instagram pages. The cuisine varies, but plates are typically cheap; lunch and brunch cost around $10, and dinners cost a little more.