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TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

TCU alumni connect with each other at Guy Fieri’s Dive & Taco Joint in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. on Friday Oct. 7, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Tristen Smith)
How TCU's alumni chapters keep the Horned Frog spirit alive post-grad
By Addison Thummel, Staff Writer
Published May 11, 2024
TCU graduates can stay connected with the Horned Frog community with alumni chapters across the nation.

Moonstone owner fulfills husband’s dream of running cafe

The night before he left for Iraq, Capt. Bradley Thompson grabbed a napkin and started brainstorming about opening a coffee cafe near TCU.”He wanted it to have a nice ambience with ‘Frenchy’ music,” said his wife, Rachel Ruiz.

Thompson decided to name the cafe Moonstone because of its sacred meaning in many cultures where the gem is considered magical and brings good fortune.

Upon his return from the war, Thompson got right to work. He became a ROTC instructor and recruiter for TCU, but, in the meantime, he personally renovated an old attorney’s office across the street from the TCU Bookstore, developed the logo and advertisements and created a Web site.

Tragically, Thompson died in an accident at home a week before the grand opening when he tripped and fell unconscious.

“He was finally happy,” Ruiz said. “This was his dream that was meant to be our future – we would grow old together running the cafe.”

Despite the pain, and against the advice of others, Ruiz chose to follow through with Moonstone.

“Floors still had to be installed, and there was painting and electric work left to do,” Ruiz recalled. “Brad even left a big hole in the ceiling. But there was no way in hell I was going to just walk away – this is what his heart wanted.”

Now, four months later, Moonstone is where the French Club meets every Monday, where 30 people pack into the side room for an occasional poetry reading and where a one-man band is scheduled to play every Friday. Where once there was a hole in the ceiling, now there is a blue “sky,” with plans for clouds to be added soon.

Ruiz runs the cafe and maintains a full-time job. Her younger sister, Kelli, “takes care of things” during the day.

Moonstone sells Boba (or Bubble) tea, which is an Asian beverage made with flavored tea and tapioca pearls. The drink can be ordered over ice or as a smoothie and is served with a big fat straw that is wide enough for the pearls to be consumed with every sip.

Boba tea isn’t the only product that makes Moonstone different. Patrons can purchase Italian soda and Segafredo coffee – only Del Frisco’s and Texas de Brazil also carry this Italian import – along with yummy homemade pastries.

Works from local artists hang on the walls and are available for purchase. Students in TCU’s art department are welcome to bring their own works for consignment.

The only painting that will never be for sale is the first one that can be seen upon entering Moonstone.

“Napoleon belongs to Brad,” Ruiz said. “He found it while we were shopping one day and asked that it be his next present.”

After Thompson died, Ruiz found the painting and bought it. It honors his military background as a strategist and Bronze Star recipient. Soon, Thompson’s picture will hang alongside a plaque and shadowbox as an acknowledgement of his dream-come-true.

Ruiz has her own dreams for Moonstone. She has already bought furniture for an outdoor patio and is working toward having multiple locations. But the shop, located at 3027 Cockrell, is the only one Thompson built with his own hands.

“It feels good to come here,” Ruiz says. “I know he’s happy that I’m able to do this for him. This is all for him.

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