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Texas Southmost College opens Scorpion Café

TSC partners with U-Mix to give students on-campus options

U-Mix owner Ernesto Escudero, Immediate past chair Ruben Herrera, TSC President Dr. Rodriguez, Board of Trustee Secretary Alejandra Aldrete and Board of Trustee Chairwoman Adela Garza celebrate the unveiling of the Scorpion Café sign.

Texas Southmost College students now have a place to chow down or get a cold drink during a busy day on Campus. TSC has partnered with Brownsville-based frozen yogurt and snack company U-Mix to offer unique options.

Scorpion students packed the house and there was a palpable buzz on the second floor of the Oliveira Student Services Center Wednesday afternoon.

TSC Board of Trustee Chairwoman Adela Garza along with her fellow trustees in attendance Ruben Herrera, Immediate Past Chair, and Alejandra Aldrete, Secretary, were beaming with pride when they saw the café finally ready to come to life. Garza reminisced on her time as a Scorpion student. A place to eat, relax and socialize was at the center of many of those memories.

“When I came to TSC we had a cafeteria and we have great fond memories,” Garza said. “That’s where we hung out most of the time. Together with my trustees it was exciting to put so much thought into this and develop this space. We’re changing lives. We want to give you all, the students, the experience that we had. We’re always thinking about the students, we have an amazing board that works well together and things happen when you work well together.”

A large crowd of Texas Southmost College students and employees gather on the Second Floor of the Oliveira Student Services Building to be a part of the ribbon cutting and grand opening of the Scorpion Café on Wednesday, August 31st at TSC’s Fort Brown Campus in Brownsville.

After a countdown, the ribbon was cut, and the Scorpion Café was busy feeding and serving hungry students who were able to try options before today’s full launch.

Computer-Aided Drafting student and Brownsville resident Alberto Vasquez was taking in the moment with a group of friends at newly placed tables that serve as a dining area.

“We’re pretty excited,” Vasquez said smiling next to an empty tray of nachos. “It’s amazing that we have a café. It was delicious and the smoothies were amazing.

He was finishing up sampling some of the food and drink selections that will be available for students and employees starting today. He admitted it was a struggle to solve the lunch question before the grand opening.

“Before I would have to drive home, which was like 20 minutes there and back, it wasn’t the best use of my time and gas. Now that we have our own café it’s awesome.”

Arwen Perez-Baez is a 20-year-old General Studies student who was smiling with friends as they enjoyed the new spot on campus. She also told stories of how frustrating walking to nearby places was in the middle of a busy day.

“You know how long our commute is to get to any place? 20 to 30 minutes on foot,” she said. “So, us having a food place here? Delicious. I love Mexican food, I’m Mexican. The chilaquiles were really good. And I’m always going to be getting quesadillas I’m a quesadilla chick.”

U-Mix owner Ernesto Escudero was on hand for the ribbon cutting, grand opening while also getting feedback from eager students and staff who got to try free samples of smoothies, yogurt, pizza and more.

Texas Southmost College alumna Samantha Leal speaks in front of a crowd prior to the ribbon cutting of TSC’s Scorpion Café. Seated from left: U-Mix owner Ernesto Escudero, TSC Board of Trustee Secretary Alejandra Aldrete, Immediate Past Chair Ruben Herrera and Board of Trustees Chairwoman Adela Garza.

“We’re very thankful to the Board of Trustees, President [Jesus Roberto] Dr. Rodriguez and all the staff that was involved,” Escudero said. “If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be here. This didn’t happen yesterday; we talked a lot before COVID and then things slowed down and recently we got back into it.”

This is a project that TSC’s Board of Trustees has been working on for some time now and the day has finally come to cut the ribbon and invite everyone on campus to see the new space and enjoy some food and drink.

“We are part of Brownsville, we are not foreigners,” Escudero said. “I always tell people ‘Try to support your local business.’ So the TSC Board of Trustees and President have been very helpful to try to bring somebody local. Other places go with someone large and multinational, here you are dealing with the owner.”

Brownsville Chamber of Commerce Board members and staff were also part of the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Options Galore
Students, employees and TSC visitors will have plenty of options when looking over the Scorpion Café menu. Selections include five waffles, seven crepes, 13 smoothies, eight frappes, 15 coffee and tea choices, four salads, five personal pizzas, 10 sandwiches, five wraps/pitas, four quesadillas and five burgers.

Escudero said the menu is variable and will listen to customer feedback to tweak and improve choices depending on the pulse of the campus.

TSC also has a ‘swag store’ near the Scorpion Café where students, employees, and guests can shop for TSC swag to show off their Scorpion Pride. These efforts are part of the college’s push to make the second floor of the Oliveira Student Services Building a spot for students to congregate, grab a bite to eat and have fun in the middle of their studies.