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The Stories of Connection

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I will tell you all a little secret. I have always wanted to own a cafe. Why, you ask? It is not simple explanation however, it is a simple answer. The many Stories of Connection.

 

"As a young person, we love our stories and tend to enjoy the capacity to connect."

 

Let's start at the beginning. I was always inspired by and drawn to human connection in its various forms. From a young age helping my father with grabbing coffee for the customers he was working with, working in my grandmother's floral shop helping her with everything from organizing and putting away the wholesale orders to taking customers' orders (when it was an easy order to take), going with my other grandmother to the local woman's shelters (one of which she founded) and volunteered at, to volunteering to help set up both my family's local brick and mortar business to a couple of other local businesses that moved into our community. As a young person, we love stories and tend to enjoy the capacity to connect.

When I was a little older, one of my first jobs was roasting coffee at a local cafe. The atmosphere for human capacity development was almost perfect and I was hooked. I enrolled in the cafeteria food program that taught kids how to cook and eventually put them through a culinary program. I also involved myself with Tourism BC which was teaching kids in high school about the hospitality world through a program called SuperHost. I was 14 years old and I had planned my life out.

 

"So I travelled and lived abroad for a long while. I did the Bourdain thing before it was a "Bourdain" thing."

 

By the time I was 19 years old, I had finished culinary school, finished a certificate program through BCIT called Marketing Management, and taken two night and weekend courses on entrepreneurship. Oh.....and I had worked at four different (and unique) local coffee shops ( two were roastery cafes) to learn via experience. Although I was racking up the experience in the food service industry, I felt it wasn't enough. I wanted to learn and experience more about human connection. So I traveled and lived abroad for a long while. I did the Anthony Bourdain thing before it was a "Bourdain" thing. You know what you learn when you get out in the world with an open mind? Everyone, no matter colour, creed or country, EVERYONE has an amazing story to tell and we wish to connect to do so. And they do it at their local cafes!

When I got back to Canada, I continued in the food service world as a cook and chef. I worked in a lot of different places from corporate to mom & pop shops however, the one place I always gravitated back to were local cafes and eateries. I finally learned why we both love and despise Starbucks and why Tim Hortons became our quintessential "Canadian" badge of patriotism. I learned that "third wave" coffee places were not really "third wave" so much as they were helping us re-connect to our communities once again, like cafes have been doing all along in second and third world counties (and like they were doing here in Canada until the corporate mind took over in the 90's).

 

"I learned that "third wave" coffee places were not really "third wave" so much as they were helping us re-connect with our communities once again....."

 

One can witness and learn amazing stories off births to deaths, language to religion, sadness to hope, or hate to love in a local cafe. A whole chapter to one's own life novel can be learned over a cup of coffee (or tea). Maybe that is why books and coffee are a great pairing. Coffee, in and of itself, is full of wonderful stories in a world of novels. This is our "why" to our (my partner and I) decision to roast coffee and open a roastery cafe. To share our stories or novels and enjoy a good cuppa coffee (or tea) with you all. We look forward to connecting with you real soon.

Much gratitude,

Carly Ashdown

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