Campus News

Berwyn Cafe owner seeks success

By Arielle Vega | Posted November 19, 2015


The Collegian got the chance to sit down and talk with Vero Castro, owner of the Happy Buddha Café, located at 6836 Windsor Ave. in Berwyn.


Can you tell us about the certificates and degrees you earned in college?

VC: I’m an electronics engineer and I graduated from UIC. It took me a while but I just graduated three years ago. As an adult it took me a while because I was always putting it off. I did this because I always had pretty decent jobs and a good career but it was always in the back of my mind.


You said that you have done some public speaking at the local high schools in the area for career nights. What did you find most rewarding about that?

VC: Since I went to school at Morton East, I felt like I was personally more related to the kids going there, as opposed to people who just drive into Cicero for Career Night. I wanted to show the students that I was a kid here, too. I choose different choices instead of taking the bad routes. You can get out of it because you have hope and potential. I just wanted them to know that they have choices. I liked that I could relate more to the kids and what they may have been going through because may have went through it.


What in inspired you to name the place the Happy Buddha Café?

VC: I have always liked the look of the fat Buddha. I also studied Buddhism and meditation for a while. When I was creating the café that is what came to mind. I wanted to create an atmosphere where people could just come in and feel a really good vibe.


What made you want to open this café?

VC: I’m a coffee aficionado 100 percent. I drink five cups of coffee throughout the day. I own a construction company so there’s always room for coffee shops. Since I would spend like $25 in one day because I like good coffee, one day I thought to myself, why not just open my own?


What is your favorite thing on the menu that you would recommend?

VC: I really like the Sukha [soo-ka], which is our chicken salad panini—we also offer it in a wrap. It’s really good and our flavored ice coffees are just phenomenal.


Do you have any further plans for the cafe?

VC: Yes, I actually want to expand this to the business next door to me. I am also looking into having open mic nights, having BYOB nights and obtaining a liquor license for that. I have many friends that are very creative like poets, artists and singers.

Right now I already run two different businesses and this is my third. I want to get this going because I have a vision for the café that still isn’t complete yet. Right now this is just something I do on the weekends. I do have a full-time manager and a full-time staff during the week. Since I still have more for this place I want to concentrate on that and follow with that.

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