Brooke Molyneaux was like a proud mama behind the counter on opening day of Maricopa’s newest coffee shop, Neaux Coffee.
Molyneaux, 23, had been a hard charger to get to this moment Monday morning.
As a little girl, she made and marketed dog treats door-to-door.
“She always loved baking, serving and making money,” another proud mama, Dayna Molyneaux, 44, said of Brooke. “Since she was little, she was always a negotiator. She’s had the entrepreneurial spirit.”
Brooke’s mom is among those working behind the counter. That wasn’t a particularly hard sell.
Brooke graduated in three years from Maricopa High, just across the street from her shop at 19428 N. Taft Ave. It took her only five semesters at Arizona State to earn her degree in Organizational Leadership – with no college debt – at age 20.
She’d worked at Starbucks and other jobs to build a savings, which she poured into the building she and her family helped build. Construction began just before COVID-19 hit. During the pandemic, contractors bailed on her consistently.
Consequently, completion was a long-time coming but, Brooke said, it was worth the long battle.
By 10 a.m. on opening morning, she’d already processed more than 100 transactions, most of them drive-through. By then, she’d already put in an eight-hour shift, after arriving at 2:30 a.m., eager and anxious to be ready for the 5 a.m. debut.
The shop is open 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Besides an array of coffees, the shop also offers iced tea, flavored lemonades and Italian sodas, including passionfruit citrus. For those seeking more than a caffeine jolt, pastries of locally sourced ingredients, syrups house-made daily, avocado toast, cheesecake-swirl toast and flavored oats are on the menu.
“The first day went amazing,” Brooke said. “The staff is awesome. The customers are excited. There were no blips, everything was smooth.
“I’ve lived here for 13 years, and I just thought a nice, locally owned drive-through shop like this was something that Maricopa was missing.”
Brooke’s dad, Chad Molyneaux, 43, who is in the construction business, said the tone of the new shop fits Maricopa’s small-town feel.
“Maricopa is the biggest small town,” Chad Molyneaux said. “You go downtown and you run into people you know. That’s going to happen here, too.”
Dayna Molyneaux said passersby literally were waving and cheering on the family as they worked to finish their building.
“They would stop and encourage us, and we don’t even know them,” Dayna said.
“Brooke has put her life savings into this. I’m so proud to see her take it and run with it and come to this point. She was just determined.”