I knew as soon as I saw photos of The Factory that it was something special – magical, even. I had an inkling that it might become one of my new favorite Austin treasures. I love it when I’m doubly right.
Walking into The Factory felt a lot like stepping inside of a dream come true. I went from being outside of Northcross Mall to being transported to a land of swings and beautiful artwork and hanging lights and unicorns. Okay, I’m totally lying about the unicorns part. But it was so enchanting, I almost wouldn’t have been surprised. Co-owner Wendy’s talent for design is remarkable, especially when learning that she originally created the gigantic wall mural from her iPhone.
I could have been satisfied just staring at The Factory for hours, but the interior beauty was only the beginning.
I’m not somebody who often says sappy things like, “I can taste the love in this.” But, y’all. At this tasting, I swear I could taste the love put into every sip and bite. I think that’s partly because everything about The Factory is a labor of love. I knew this as soon as I started chatting with Wallace, who owns the café with wife Wendy.
When I asked Wallace to tell me more about how the café came to be, he launched into the love story of how he and Wendy first met. They were both attending college in LA when they found each other through mutual friends at a movie theater. Neither of them were fond of the other girl sitting nearest them, so they decided to talk to each other instead. And the rest is history.
History that has, thankfully, brought The Factory to Austin.
Everything about the café had me smitten, so it’s hard to begin listing the things that left me swooning. But I guess the drinks are a good place to start. The Viva Matcha Latte was one of the creations I was most antsy to try, and it did not disappoint. Made from premium matcha harvested from Aichi prefecture in Japan, this latte was hands down the best matcha I’ve ever had the chance to sip on or look at. Visually a work of art, it was the perfect amount of sweet, foamy and delicate to taste. It warmed my soul, y’all.
If the matcha warmed my soul, the Marymint Monroe refreshed it. Freshly picked mint leaves and concentrated cold brew over ice make for a heavenly and mojito reminiscent combination. I was convinced this drink was mixed with mocha, but the intense and divine flavor just comes from the high quality of coffee that is standard at The Factory.
I’m not done raving yet, guys. The Factory’s chicken and waffles is my new favorite brunch item. (A brunch item that tastes great all day, and pairs amazingly with the prosecco on tap.) The classic side of syrup has been traded in for an egg tartar sauce and coleslaw, and the result is completely exquisite. I could have easily devoured a bowl of the egg tartar sauce alone, and the eleven spices mixed into the chicken batter made for a savory and distinct flavor. Juicy and tender with just the right amount of crunch, the chicken paired wonderfully with the soft and decidedly anti-sweet waffle. This dish made a statement, and its a statement that I simply cannot stop daydreaming about.
The Factory, in and of itself, seems like the best of daydreams. The creations here are not just something to sip or nibble on, but something to take the time to enjoy and savor. Wallace explained to me that he had never really enjoyed coffee until he realized there was an art to making it. This art is one that he and Wendy have mastered. They have traveled the world looking for the finest ingredients, and the pride and joy they put into their work is immediately apparent. The café itself is devoid of WIFI, and is meant to be a place to relax and get to know friends and strangers alike. Walking inside is like a gentle reminder to slow down, to be fully present and to enjoy the magic that every moment brings.
The Factory is something really special. I told my best friend that I was having a hard time writing this post because, for me, the café embodied everything I adore about Austin. And that’s a lot of love to try to fit into one post. But I’ll try. The Factory is a little wacky, a lot lovable and above everything else, so very welcoming. When my first matcha got cold over the course of chatting, Wendy insisted on bringing me another. When I reached out my hand to shake Wallace’s on my way out, he requested a hug instead. This is what spending time at The Factory feels like. A big hug. A hug that includes coffee, and swings and waffles and good vibes. Austinites, rejoice.