Brian and Jennifer Royo dreamed of creating a hometown hangout for Katy families, kids, and even dogs. Find out their magic formula for success.
KATY MAGAZINE - NOVEMBER 2017
By Natalie Cooke Clark
Dreams of a local hangout
It all started with a drink and good ‘ol family chat and that’s just what the Royo’s want people to experience at the ever-growing popular No Label Brewery in Katy. “We wanted a place where family and friends would feel comfortable to just hang out,” said Jennifer Royo. No Label Brewery is a local brewery owned by Brian and Jennifer Royo. “We knew we wanted to be entrepreneurs, we wanted to work for ourselves but the idea for No Label came from a family conversation while enjoying a drink,” explains Jennifer Royo. Her husband, Brian Royo grew up in Katy. “I love Katy but always felt that there was something missing where kids and families can come together,” says Brian. Since then No Label has been doing just that, bringing people together in an atmosphere fun for the whole family. From the Wednesday night “Geeks who Drink” trivia to Hotdog night with Monday night football and the usual Saturdays with live music, Katyites are enjoying themselves at No Label.
The Royo's celebrating Oktoberfest at No Label Brewery
No Label started with tastings but those gatherings quickly grew and now they are open seven days a week. Though people should always check their website for an updated schedule, it’s easy to find a fun event. To add to the family feel for the place, Brian built a playground.
Family and dog friendly
No Label is more than a business; it’s a family business. Travis is almost 5 years old and Joseph just turned one. The sight of the young boys running around the property is a frequent one and it adds to the family feel because it’s just how the Royo family is. “We want everything to be family friendly and even dog friendly,” says Jennifer. One brew, Ridgeback Ale was named after Hailey, the Rhodesian Ridgeback and Royo family dog when No Label was founded. Now Roxy, the yellow lab acts as the current brewery mascot and is a hopeful of a brew one day.
“I love Katy but always felt that there
was something missing where kids and
families can come together,”
- Brian Royo
Balancing the boys and the brewery
The Royo’s work each day finding a balance between running a successful business and maintaining the home life they want for themselves and their boys. “We are very fortunate to have both sets of parents here in Katy and they are both retired,” says Jennifer.
“On most days we get Travis off to kindergarten, then take Joseph off to one of the grandparent houses, then it’s off to the office.” Jennifer handles most sales and marketing while Brian works on accounting and other important aspects of the business. Even with family support sometimes the boys end up at the office but this is just the kind of flexibility the Royos wanted. “I have toys under my desk and a pack-in-play at my office,” says Jennifer. “It’s been trying and the hardest things is to walk away from work. Of course we take it home. We watch TV and talk about work, we eat dinner and talk about work. We both like work and we love what we do but we try to keep the two separate as much as we can.” They even got work phones to help separate business from personal especially when they take family vacations. As the business has grown so has the staff allowing the Royos the luxury to delegate and not let the business swallow up their family.
Made in Katy
They put their all into this business and it’s so much more than that. It’s a way of life. “This just made sense,” Jennifer says on the start of No Label. “The plan was always to have it here. I love Katy. This is home,” says Brian who grew up here, graduating from James E. Taylor high school and only left his hometown for college. When Harvey hit, the Royos, like so many were moved by the Katy community spirit and felt called to help. “While we were flooded out from the business for a while, both our homes and the business were blessed and escaped flooding,” said Jennifer. “We were devastated to see those affected around us and we quickly got No Label up and running and hosted a donation drive.” They collected so much that quickly they saw sites turning away help and donations. “This is really a testament to how well and how fast Katy helped their own.”
The Royos plan to serve Katy by supporting local charities and hosting events to help the local community. While their brews are seen throughout the Greater Houston area and all the way to Austin and San Antonio they do not have plans of expanding their label outside the Lone star State. They are expanding by getting their brew pub license. “This just gives us another way to offer our brews and will allow us to offer wine,” says Brian.
Their entrepreneurial passion
The Royos always envisioned themselves as entrepreneurs. “This is life, not just a 9-5. You work harder for yourself than anyone else,” says Jennifer. “But it’s important to take time for yourself whether you think you need it or not.” While they are a Katy success story they serve as inspiration for other Katy families dreaming of that family business. “Set your sights and go after it,” says Brian. “Stick with it and remember why you started it.”
So, why No Label? As they say on their website, “No Label best represented how our personalities and beers are too unique to be labeled or classified.” While the family-friendly, dog-friendly business celebrates originality and uniqueness, one thing is for certain: Katy pride flows proudly in the many brews of No Label and the Royo family.
For upcoming events or info about No Label Brewery, visit https://nolabelbrew.com
NATALIE COOKE CLARK is proud to be back in her hometown with her husband of 10 years, two beautiful children and 6 furry children. Natalie is a dance instructor/choreographer at Connolly Dance Arts as well as a writer, speaker and lover of all things Disney.