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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Struck by the moon

Some+of+the+pastry+for+sale+from+Moonstruck+Pastry+and+Coffee+Co.+during+the+College+Station+farmers+market+on+Saturday%2C+Sept.+16%2C+2023.
Photo by Photo by Jaime Rowe

Some of the pastry for sale from Moonstruck Pastry and Coffee Co. during the College Station farmers’ market on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023.

The most common thing a camper trailer is used for is typically, well, camping, but a College Station native has reinvented it. Sugary treats and espresso drinks are sold out of a white camper with a pink ceiling — not something you see every day. 

After realizing her natural gift of baking, Rebeca Cruz opened Moonstruck Pastry & Coffee Co. in April of 2021. Now, regulars and new customers alike can find her set up at the Saturday morning Farmers’ Market in Downtown Bryan, The Local at Lakewalk on Tuesdays and a few First Fridays if the weather is good, Cruz said.

“I never really liked College Station growing up,” Cruz said. “I just feel like I never had my place to fit in, and that completely changed when I found the market. I found my people, and I found people who wanted to support businesses like mine [and] wanted to build meaningful relationships.” 

Cruz said she began baking as a young girl but decided to study telecommunication at Texas A&M. After a few semesters, she said she realized starting a business was something she wanted to pursue full-time. Now, customers go to the Farmers’ Market early before she sells out of her croissants, cakes and croquembouche, a french pastry she is well-known for, she said. 

“It’s a little difficult because you can burn yourself pretty easily,” Cruz said. “I think I’ve made, at this point, thousands of croquembouche. It just comes pretty naturally to me. Practice helps a lot.”  

After hearing high praise from her older sister, industrial and systems engineering senior Emaly Vrooman said she decided to check out Moonstruck at The Local. She fell in love after her first visit, she said. 

“I would say honestly I love her croissants, whether she does the regular croissants or the chocolate filled ones or the raspberry ones,” Vrooman said. “They’re literally so good. I studied abroad in France, and her croissants rival the ones I had in France.”  

There is no permanent location for Moonstruck. Rather, Cruz said she travels around town in her camper trailer she found on craigslist and fixed up. In addition to selling pastries out of the camper, Cruz has a full espresso bar inside and makes specialty drinks like the Silver Moon, an iced coffee with cold foam. She gets her beans from Polite Coffee Roasters, a local coffee shop in Bryan. 

“I love [Polite],” Cruz said. “They have the best coffee in town. They also got their start at the farmers market, which is also why I love them.” 

Other than a barista that helps out on coffee orders, Cruz said everything at Moonstruck is run by only her. Getting business insurance, a trade name and everything up to code was a bit stressful, Cruz said, but she joked that all you have to do is Google it. 

“I honestly just figured it out on my own,” Cruz said. “It was actually really fun getting to be creative and getting to make my own website, getting to curate my Instagram or going to the market and doing my whole set up.”

For a more personalized experience, Moonstruck also caters for weddings, birthdays, graduations and ring days. 

“My family loves her cakes,” Vrooman said. “Any time we have a special event like a graduation or a birthday, we order her custom-made cakes for our big celebrations because we are all such huge fans.”  

While deciding on a name for the business, Cruz kept her own family in mind. The name ‘moonstruck’ caught her eye when reading a book and reminded her of her mom, she said. Ever since she was little, her mother has been her biggest supporter, according to Moonstruck’s website

“My mom’s last name is Luna, which means moon in Spanish, so I kind of wanted the name to be family-related,” Cruz said. 

Cruz currently bakes out of her home kitchen. If Moonstruck is selling at the Saturday Farmers’ Market, she said prep will begin on Thursday and she will bake all day Friday. For more space, Cruz is leasing a building near Downtown Bryan and is working on converting it into a commercial kitchen and cafe space, she said. 

“With the space I’m leasing, one of the goals is to do maybe monthly cake decorating classes,” Cruz said. “We just come together as a group, have a good time and then you can take your cake home when you’re done.”  

When she’s not icing cakes or decorating cookies, Cruz said one of her other hobbies is pottery. She started molding mugs around the same time she opened Moonstruck. 

“I just started making mugs and putting ‘Moonstruck’ on them, and I never actually thought people would want to buy them, but they did,” Cruz said. “I don’t sell them all the time, but every now and then, I’ll post them for sale on Instagram.”  

Cruz spent this summer living above Musette, a restaurant in Kennebunkport, Maine owned by a chef she used to work for, she said. The bread they use is gluten-free, which Cruz said she will begin incorporating into her own business. 

“For my friends with gluten and dairy intolerances, she’s even catering to that audience,” Vroom said. “She made this business by herself, from the ground up. I love supporting small businesses, but her specifically. It’s actually so good, I really look forward to eating her little treats. It’s one of the best parts of my week when I get to see her.”
 

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  • The owner, Rebeca Cruz, cuts a slice of her cake to give to a customer during the College Station farmers’ market on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023.

  • A ceramic arrangement lays out in front of the Moonstruck Pastry and Coffee Co tent during the College Station farmers’ market on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023.

  • Owner of Moonstruck, Rebeca Cruz, hands a customer their pastries during the College Station farmers’ market on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023.

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