Man...I don't know why I always get the urge to write these things so late at nite...but here I am...1am on a Monday...blogging. Toronto's going through a major heat wave at the moment, so it's not like I'd be able to sleep anyway, and with the humidity it's more like I'm going to "swim" to bed...
BUT! That's not gonna stop me from talking about Day 1 of Week 2.
Today, I found myself at 'Pennylicks Gourmet Cafe' - a cute little coffee shop in Kensington Market, Toronto. This is a totally bohemian area of the city, with plenty of graffitied walls, screen-printing shops, and hipsters riding bikes.
The shop owner, Steve, was interested in the OWJ program right off the bat - stating that it was something he wishes he'd had the opportunity to do 20 years ago!
I spent the morning with Steve's brother (and shop co-owner), Chris - getting the shop ready for the day. We went over the basics of coffee making, brew strengths, taste, and some important points of small-business ownership. Steve came in for the afternoon, and very kindly sat down with me to chat.
WATCH Steve discuss his tips for finding a career that makes sense HERE: "Life Points with Steve"
The brothers have owned the shop just over 2 years. Steve has worked his other job as a Mechanical Engineer for years, but coffee has always meant a lot to him. During his teen years he often found himself working in cafes, and eventually the thought of being his own boss really started to appeal to him.
Steve and Chris found the cafe (formerly a furniture store), and snapped it up. After gutting everything and rebuilding it up to city codes and standards, they opened Pennylicks. Apparently the name comes from an old ice cream cup that was called a "penny lick" because of the price and what you had to do to the cup in order to get your money's worth of ice cream...an interesting precursor to the ice cream cone.
Now the cafe serves gelato, sandwiches, and COFFEE!!
Ever since I traveled overseas, coffee has become very dear to me. To me it means comfort, community, and inspiration. The feeling I get from sitting down with a great cup of coffee can't really be paralleled. Whether my company is that of a good book or a good friend, a good coffee can lift my mood after only a few sips.
I even got to try my hand at making a few drinks, although I wouldn't really recommend anyone actually drinking them...;)
And even though it's almost 2am now, tomorrow I'll be up bright and early to head to work...good thing I'll be at a coffee shop!