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Chill Vibes at Cafe 406

Updated: Mar 17

(This article was written by Lisa Campos and appeared in the March 2024 issue of Explore Harlingen Magazine.)


Café 406 is one of Harlingen’s newest dining establishments. They serve coffee, tea, artisan cookies, paninis, and flatbread pizzas for dine in, drive through, or delivery. Dine-in patrons are encouraged to work or study in the café while utilizing the free Wi-Fi. Cookies are also able to be packed and shipped anywhere in the United States.

 

The owner of Café 406, Erika Shaw, is from Maryland but moved to Harlingen seven years ago. She has always been passionate about cooking, feeling most at home in the kitchen at a young age. Some of her fondest memories involve cooking and baking with her family. She has collected many cookbooks over the years and enjoys watching the Food Network to unwind.


Cookie display case at Cafe 406.
Cookies at Cafe 406. Photo by Cafe 406.

A friend encouraged Erika to start selling her cookies at local markets four years ago, believing that would be the easiest transition for her to sell her food. On November 24, 2023, Café 406 opened with Erika’s gourmet cookies as the main attraction. She added coffee and tea, and then supplemented the menu with paninis and flatbread pizzas. Café 406 features weekly meal specials with an entrée, side, and drink for a low price. Customer favorites include the margherita pizza made with fresh mozzarella, the churro cheesecake cookie, and the chocolate chip pecan cookie.

 


The Greater Chamber of Commerce selected Café 406 as the recipient of the Small Business Grassroots Initiative (SBGI) program and held a ribbon cutting ceremony on January 26, 2024. This program grants Café 406 with a one-year membership with the Chamber for free. Café 406 was nominated for the SBGI by Chamber ambassadors who saw Erika as the type of self-starter entrepreneur who could benefit from the program.

 

In the short time Café 406 has been open, Erika has hosted several pop-up markets to showcase local businesses and welcomes artists to display their art for sale in her café at no fee. She is also a community-minded individual who donates cookies for charity events when she can.

 

Erika’s immediate plans are to upgrade the furniture to make the space more comfortable for guests. The current kitchen only has an oven so Erika is limited to items that she can bake. Her long-term goal is to have a fully equipped kitchen so she can cook different types of food and expand her menu. She would also like to collaborate with local restaurants who don’t sell desserts so they can offer her cookies at their locations.

 

Café 406 has started hosting private parties and would like to have more event hosts contact her about using her space for their intimate gatherings. Having a full house with the sound of happy patrons enjoying the food makes Erika’s heart happy.

 

Erika Shaw with a celebratory cake
Cafe 406 Owner Erika Shaw celebrating the opening of her cafe. Photo courtesy of Cafe 406.

The future of Café 406 is bright with such a creative, talented, and hospitable host. Café 406 is located at 406 E. Harrison. Their hours are Sunday, 9 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 8 pm, and Saturday, 9 am to 8 pm. You can call them at 956-230-0697. Online ordering is available. Order bulk cookies or preorder seasonal cookies at www.erikasgourmetcookies.com. To place a café order, go to https://orders.cake.net/11473050.

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