When the hummingbird landed in Rudy’s hand, he took it as a sign. The bird is the symbol of his native region in Guatemala, and the only bird that can fly backwards. “We turn to the past to give us perspective on the present,” he says. The hummingbird now serves as part of the logo of Kapej, a café and art gallery founded by Rudy and Laura Lopez.
Kapej is located at 415 Camden Street across from Madison Square Park and within walking distance of Cadillac Lofts. It is open Monday through Saturday 8am-6pm and the gallery is open to the public and all the artwork is available for purchase.
Opened in 2019, Kapej represents the Lopez’s efforts to share their cultures with San Antonio. Rudy, his Central American culture, and Laura, her Serbian culture. Laura explains that in their countries, coffee shops are an experience, not just a quick stop.
That’s why they have committed to making everything from scratch. And they mean it. Rudy even makes his own caramel and pumpkin spice. The coffee, bread, pastries, and sandwiches are handmade and expressions of Rudy’s culinary artistry.
Laura, the visual artist, has created a gallery of local artists inside Kapej. Her own art is an expression of the local cultures and traditions of the places she’s traveled to all around the world. “I love all media and I always try to learn something new,” she explains.
Kapej hosts new local artists every 1–2 months, with November and December 2020 featuring Alexis Bierman, a mosaic artist and Mark Heibert, an abstract painter. This is Kapej’s way of supporting local artists during a difficult time as well as contributing to the culture of San Antonio. As Laura says: “We need to constantly bring something more to the culture and refresh it.”
Spots like Kapej offer a way for locals to support the artistic, culinary and entrepreneurial DNA of the community during an economically volatile time. “Every business is basically somebody’s dream,” Laura adds. “Small businesses are important to San Antonio because they give personality to the city.”