By Bradley Turcotte –
Caffeine-saturated Kitchissippi will perk up a notch when a Second Cup franchise begins brewing at 1235 Wellington St. W., the former location of the iconic World of Maps.
The shop joins The Ministry of Coffee, Equator Coffee and several Bridgehead locations, among others, dispensing java along the neighbourhood’s most popular strip.
Julia Desjardins and Steve Schofield were visiting the area from South Keys and Sandy Hill respectively on December 3 and stopped for hot chocolate and coffee at Il Negozio Nicastro. Julia favours Morning Owl coffee while Steve begrudgingly admits he’s a Starbucks man.
Both agree Wellington Street West is oversaturated with coffee houses yet Julia says “too many choices” can be a good thing.
“We had to walk two damn blocks to find this,” Steve laughs. “It’s trendy. People like coffee. It’s a social thing. Coffee is like a hug.”
Westboro resident, Emily Bradley, doesn’t think there are too many options for a cup of joe in the neighbourhood.
“I prefer Starbucks but I do like Second Cup’s white hot chocolate,” says Emily.
The Canadian company hopes residents will embrace their new location they’ve strategically placed in a “vibrant neighbourhood that continues to revitalize and grow and that reflects Second Cup’s independent spirit,” says John Kazmierowski, Second Cup Vice-President of Development and Construction. “Second Cup is the only National Canadian Specialty Coffee retailer. Our cafes are locally owned and operated by franchisees or operators within the community, which means they are committed to providing the very best service.”
John adds the chain will compete with the abundant competition by being the best, not the biggest.
Additionally, John previews, the new café will “reflect the local neighbourhood with a custom curated mural by a Canadian artist and offer fresh, locally baked goods.”
The exact opening date of the new Second Cup is not known, but it is expected to start serving customers in early 2017.
As for the former tenants, World of Maps owner Petra Thoms is not bitter about leaving the location they occupied for 18 years. The idea to move to 1191 Wellington St. West had been percolating for years.
However, Petra claims the property owners at 1235 Wellington Street West, the Routeburn Group, sought out a business like Second Cup to raise the rent significantly. The Routeburn Group was in talks with Starbucks before the American company demanded too many renovations, according to Thoms.
Second Cup snatched up the location and Petra is “ecstatic” in her new home.
“I think it speaks to the degree to which we have a walking culture here,” Kitchissippi Ward councillor Jeff Leiper says of the overflowing coffee choices on Wellington Street West. “The main street is an extension of our front yards. And, just like home, sometimes you need a pause and coffee to take it all in.”