Monday, 15 March 2010

The Demise of Intermission Coffee House

I have posted about Intermission Coffee House many times. Here , here and HERE and a few more.
If you never visited this local establishment, then you missed something special.

Today was a very sad day indeed. My husband and I have been regulars at Intermission Coffee House since it opened about 2 1/2 years ago. It is owned by young couple with three children trying to make a go of it. The coffee is excellent! The atmosphere is relaxing and we have met some very nice people there.

But it seems that Saskatchewanites would rather support Tim Horton.

We both arrived at our usual coffee spot at 7:30 am this morning to find it papered up and closed - permanently.
I wanted to cry. Partly because it is a great place, but mostly because Intermission House didn't make it and that is such a terrible shame!

Personally, we are  willing to pay a little more for good coffee in a nice atmosphere. In Victoria (and many other cities we have visited especially on the west coast) there are little coffee houses on every corner - people slow down, they chat, they get to know one another over a cuppa coffee. It is a little bit of community - a community of assorted people chatting about the weather, the RoughRiders or politics.... over a coffee and cinnamon bun. Even for 5 min on the way to work - people talk to one another.

But in Saskatchewan we just want to line up, never say a word to the person in front of us or behind us, better yet go thru the drive thru and avoid all conversation and get cheap coffee.

I am not complaining about Tim's coffee - I like it - it is just that I would rather support a young family with my purchase and somehow I don't think Mr Horton is struggling to put a meal on his table.
And I like the community atmosphere in a small family owned cafe. 

So we buy our coffee at the little cafe, our meats at Summet meats (sole ownership) and in summer we enjoy the farmers market. If we ate more bread we would buy Jim Downey's bread on Central Ave. And occasionally we do. For us, it is about meeting people in our community - and supporting one another and not some unknown wealthy entity.

So I am sad, very sad, that my favorite coffee shop is closed. I am sad that even though Rob worked 11 hr a days, 6 days a week for the last 2 1/2 years, roasting the finest coffee I have had, he just couldn't make it. It just doesn't seem right. It isn't right.

So here it is... my last photo of Intermission coffee house.

Wishing you all the best and the Lord's blessing on whatever path you take from here, Rob.
Going to miss my vanilla bean decaf and the African Fog.
Going to miss sitting in those comfy chairs with my sweetheart on a Saturday morning sharing one of your scrumptious cinnamon buns. 
We are going to miss you and all your great customers.


Kate said...

We try to support local business as well but so many people aren't aware of it! That is so sad. I have seen that shop many times {it's beside my fave restaurant} and the aroma was to die for! I am doubly sad I never stopped in. I'm positive you are right. Mr. Horton is doing just fine. One of our favourites is the shop by the gas station just a little further down Central. Isn't it terrible I can't remember the name? We just call it "That place with the to die for cheesecake." The weather is going to be ok for the next few days, so everyone should take a walk around their neighbourhood and scout out some FAB locally owned eateries!

Julie Cortens said...

McKenzie Cole coffee shop?
Great place to have a meeting in that back room!
Also owned by a local guy - I think it is the same fellow who has the flowers on the Pharmasave lot every spring.
Pharmasave - another great place run by a young, local resident.
Another locally owned coffee shop is Reggies behind the Coop on Attridge - near the Dairy Queen.
Good idea - get out there and discover your neighbourhood. We find all these place by going for bike rides.

Bamm-ela said...

You know, I just saw the Intermission Coffee Shop for the first time when I was in Saskatoon last week. I thought, "Oh, there's the place Julie always talks about" and made plans to visit next time I was in town.
I don't drink coffee and I should be avoiding things like cinnamon buns, so I would not have been an ideal customer. But tea is a good thing and I would have liked to have stopped in for the atmosphere.
I agree with you. The locals often do it the best, and always re-invest in our own communities.
The other big issue I have with Timmie's place is the absolute environmentally toxic impact it has thanks to its 'drive-thru' service. We have counted upwards of 20 vehicles in line, engines running, streets blocked for people's "convenience". Honestly, I think drive-thru's should be banned (and yes, I had children and yes, I parked the car and took them into the restaurant). Besides, handing hot coffee to drivers is a hazard. Had a friend who drove her brand new car through the front window of a restaurant on the first day she passed her driver's test. Within the hour! Reason? Placing hot coffee between the thighs can be painful and divert your attention from the task at hand. I know they have since invented cup holders, but some folks are certainly still doing it.
Speaking of car accidents, um, Mr. Horton actually died in a car accident sometime back in the 60s or 70s. So he's not only not local, he's not benefitting in the least from the exponential growth of his business.

Julie Cortens said...

Thanks Bamm-ela.
Good point on those toxic drive thru line-ups
Didn't know Mr. Horton had left this world. I am sure his beneficiaries are doing well. But hey I am all for hard work and prosperity - but the cheapest most convenient option is not always the best for our community and environment.
On the to do list - find another little coffee shop for our sat morning date.
City Perk (807 7th Ave. North)
Fine Art Cafe (702 14th Street East)

Anonymous said...

I saw Robert a few minutes ago as a moving truck loaded a bunch of their ovens and I think their big roaster. Such a sad sight.

Mrs Manz said...

That IS too bad. :(

A few other places to check out would be the one on Lorne Ave (Tastebuds), and Mystic Java in College Park Mall (by Charlie's seafood Market - AMAZING fresh sushi for your Saturday supper - grin!).:)

Fine Art and City Perk are both very good - just hard to find seating in there sometimes (although they do have the deck in the warmer months.) and the fun of those areas is strolling with a coffee under the gorgeous big trees and fancy old houses.

Sigh. Sometimes I miss living in the city. (lol!)

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to add that I too was a regular customer at this fine establishment and was sad to learn it had shut down. It was so close to my place and I enjoyed walking over there to grab by favorite latte with french vanilla. All the best to the owners and I hope things work out for them.


Anonymous said...

Hi Julie. I just came across this post today.... Thanks for your support and your kind words. We had a great experience with Intermission, but unfortunately it wasn't lucrative enough to hire more help to give us a bit of a break, and when another business was interested in the space we decided we were getting too tired to continue on the way it was. It all happened rather quickly, and we were sad to go, but life has been much more relaxing since! Thanks again for supporting Intermission, and talking about it!

Sheri (Rob's wife)

Julie Cortens said...

Hi Sheri!
So good to hear from you and very happy to hear things are going well - at least more relaxing. I hope you two have found time for a holiday or two.
Still haven't found a Sat am coffee shop that quite makes the grade with Intermission......