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Green Beanery

Posted by Staff / Posted on January 7, 2009

Green BeaneryGreen Beanery is part coffee equipment store, part cafe. Walking in through the front doors at Bloor and Bathurst, there's nothing but a sea of bodums, home roasters, espresso machines and, uh, a few toasters. But beyond the shelves of equipment there's a number of tables to chill and savour a coffee and one of their basic sandwiches or baked treats.



Shazam / September 25, 2010 at 11:09 am
Boring. The staff was snooty, and the ambiance not overly welcoming or special (ooooh "rustic" meets "modern", look how scuffed their floor are! How quirky!). The coffee was okay, but not amazing enough to bring me back again. AND THE MUFFIN WAS SO GOD DAMN DRY.

Regular Customer / October 26, 2010 at 08:59 pm
I was at this cafe today and witnessed a horrible incident. The very snooty owner forced a 92-year old man to leave the cafe. He was peacefully reading a newspaper and a woman who looked like the owner asked him to leave. We were all watching as another customer stepped in to try to ease things over.
I agree with the reader above. The place is boring,coffee so-so, the cups are always dirty, the staff very snooty, and to boot, they are rude to elderly people. Not my kind of cafe, not my kind of Toronto. I'm never going there again.
CMac / October 29, 2010 at 10:58 am
WARNING - I purchased an automatic espresso maker from Green Beanery. I paid $1,349 + tax. When I took it home it did not work. I brought it back for an exchange or credit - I was not looking for my money back - and they told me they do not take back "used" equipment. I said it was not used - I could not use it because it was broken. They said I needed to contact the manufacturer and get it fixed under warranty. Lesson learned - DO NOT EVERY BUY EQUIPMENT FROM GREEN BEANERY.
Agustin / November 21, 2010 at 09:14 pm

I was today at this store (Bloor & Bathurst) with my family while waiting for the Santa Claus parade; I understand it was a busy day and I had to wait more than 20 minutes to get my order. I was willing to wait because of the special day, however the lady that looks like the "manager" was totally unable to handle the extra flow of customers resulting in a long line of unhappy customers. What I really condemn is the manager's attitude; she was completely rude and lacks any customer service skills..end of the story we had to leave the store empty handed and frustrated after being mistreated for the lady mentioned above. We will never be back there again.
b / March 12, 2011 at 08:36 pm
The sea salt chocolate chip cookies are worth selling your soul for.
darrelle / March 29, 2011 at 09:11 am
I'm a regular here and I would not go anywhere else --- they have amazing fresh roasted coffee and the staff has alwys been friendly and really welcoming to me. This spot is by far my favorite place in the city to hunker down and get some studying done.
Green Bean = Mean / April 21, 2011 at 06:48 pm
Awful service, snotty servers. I was interested in some of their products and wanted to ask a question yet somehow 2 servers and a woman that looked like the manager managed to ignore me (despite having no other customers up front) for at least a few minutes - I was standing right under their noses.

To whoever the owner or manager is: you need to lighten up on your staff and make them want to work there, they all seem like they dread their jobs and are doing it just for the money. Working in a coffee shop can be fun and rewarding but you're doing something that takes that away from your servers - fix it.

Lastly, your bathrooms are disgusting. Simple solution, have your staff check them at the end of their breaks and clean them at the end of their shift
Annexcoffeeaddict / July 16, 2011 at 07:17 pm
I seem to end up here a lot just for convenience's sake; aside from their convenient location, their late-running hours are great and their coffee is pretty good too. (And some of the food is okay.) But every time I come, I remember how little I actually like being in this place.

That's purely because of the staff. I can think of one staff member who's consistently friendly while everyone else I've spoken to has ranged from indifferent to unimpressed to downright rude. I wonder what it is that makes them so unhappy about their jobs?

For example: One time I came in, made eye contact with and smiled at the server who was standing at the cash. He looked me right in the eye, then silently turned around and walked away. I mean, what IS that? Seriously, what?

As a freelancer fighting cabin fever I take my work to cafes a whole lot. I have a strict policy with myself about buying things at regular intervals in order to earn my place when I spend lots of time in one spot; I end up spending tons and tons of money in a single visit this way. But, as many times as wanting to work in a cafe at a later hour of the day has driven me to the Green Beanery, their attitude always drives me back out after about one drink. Today was the same as always. I think it's finally time for me to give up and look somewhere else.
Elaine / September 14, 2011 at 01:07 pm
People need to do a little more research. The founder of the Green Beanery - Lawrence Solomon is currently a writer for the National Post, who is a self-described "environmentalist" who fervently denies global warming, and is a big supporter of the coal industry. A right-wing nutbag masquerading under a "cloak of green". All profits from the Green Beanery go to an "environmental" organization that he owns.

I realize that there are a lot of businesses with even more questionable business ethics, but we'll all be much better off supporting another locally-owned coffee bar. (And one with better service at least.)
Daniel / October 19, 2011 at 01:47 pm
The only cafe I have ever gone to that makes you feel worse than when you went in. This place is horrendous. Awful staff, awful coffee, and the ambiance is non existent. I will never go here again as it is quiet probably the worst cafe I have ever. Good luck green beanery
Jason / January 5, 2012 at 03:53 pm
WARNING: By supporting this coffee shop - you are supporting an anti-environmental organization 'energy probe' which is denies climate change, fights renewable energy development and is a vocal supporter of coal power. Look closely, they sell 'free trade coffee' not fair trade..

Check out this pro-coal article by the owner (and anti-green FP columnist) Lawrence Solomon
Mark / January 17, 2012 at 02:56 pm
@Elaine & Jason You make him sound like the worst person in the world simply because his world-view is more researched and not 100% congruent to yours. I assume "more-researched" because he obviously makes his living this way and you don't sound like you've actually done any.

Jason, did you read the article you linked? He's advocating keeping our coal plants running, rather than replacing them with "feel good" wind plants, which are hardly feasible in Ontario. He gives reasons such that, 1, they don't provide enough power; and 2, don't provide steady power, requiring fossil-fuel backup anyway. He didn't mention it, but another factor I'm aware of are the giant environmentally-disastrous batteries required to even out the energy supply that wind provides.

Being a climate change sceptic isn't the same thing as being a denier. I personally think there's probably enough evidence to support man-made climate change, but I think it's silly to just believe everything you're told and not ask questions.

Energy Probe is primarily known as an anti-nuclear organisation (because it's prohibitively expensive in our age). They also want you to use less oil (thus advocating road tolls), and promote other energy and environmental conservation. They might be a bitter pill to swallow though because they often argue from an economics standpoint.

You might not agree with his beliefs, but simply because his conservation and environmentalism takes another tack doesn't mean it's completely invalid.


AS FOR THE COFEESHOP ITSELF, I've bought various bits of gear from there, the prices are outstanding and compete with Amazon, but stopped buying their roasted beans. For some reason they just don't taste nearly as good as what I get from Moonbean or Ezra's Pound.

I don't know anything about roasting coffee myself nor live somewhere where I could do anything about the smoke, so I can't say anything about their green offerings.

They have a pretty solid website to order gear from and I appreciate that I can just pick it up in store to save on shipping.

The staff have been pleasant and helpful when I've been there, but nothing exceptional.
Sara / January 29, 2012 at 11:47 am
Thanks for all of your comments. I was thinking of placing orders with this company but from your feedback I refuse to support a company that has unfriendly ways of dealing with the public. I can't believe they would kick people out and that the owner would treat people that way. I can't stand to shop at places like that. If they are trying to promote good things for the environment then they should treat all creation with respect. They need to learn more about Mother Earth.
My Visit / January 29, 2012 at 11:54 am
I grabbed a coffee and cookie while waiting for a friend and asked if they had any newspapers lying around. The counter person said sorry this place isn't really one of those library coffee spots. The person next to me who evidently overheard told me they never have papers here for people to share. She added - it kinda sucks that way. And I have to say that the Americano is MUCH better across the street at Aroma!!
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Rena / February 6, 2012 at 07:19 am
I read the reviews before I went, so I thought I'd be fair and give my honest opinion.

-The bathroom was clean, so I don't know if they've improved it since all the complaints.

-The staff were nice but kind of clueless. There was a huge line-up and four people behind the counter, but only one guy taking orders and then making the drinks himself. I was third in line and had to wait a little over five minutes. I don't know what the other people were doing, but when I worked in food service, you step in and help clear the line first and then go back to whatever.

- The coffee was yummy!

- The ambiance was nice- I love the bright windows and open space.

- The pastries were mediocre and not worth as much as they were charging. I would still rather go to Aroma a block over for some good cookies or croissants.

So, I guess I'd only recommend going if you just want something to drink and don't mind waiting around. It was a nice place to sit in, though.
Sunil / May 23, 2012 at 03:18 pm
It’s ok... I personally will not support them as it funds a pro-coal, anti-environmental think-tank (must be short term thinkers). Aroma right across the street is a better option (although I can’t comment on who owns that one)
steve / May 27, 2012 at 04:03 pm
i have never had a problem, order online pick up when ready in & out no fuss no muss
i think some of the customers have mental issues learn to relax
Steve replying to a comment from steve / May 28, 2012 at 03:02 pm
Amen! I've had nothing but great service here... People need to realise they are doing both the selling of items and being barristas.... some transsactions will take longer - relax!
Green Coffee Bean / August 7, 2012 at 11:29 am
Wow, that's what I was searching for, what a stuff! present here at this blog, thanks admin of this web page.
Dan / December 7, 2012 at 02:04 pm
Went in today to buy a French Press for my wife and some beans for Christmas. No one would make eye contact with me or the three other customers looking around. Four staff just hanging around behind the counter. Got fed up and left. Just ordered it from $99 + free shipping. And I really wanted to support a local bricks and mortar business.
Ctalk / April 25, 2013 at 06:59 pm
Flies. Does no one else notice the flies?? More so in the summer months, but there have been so many times I've gone to order a cookie or something and immediately lost my appetite when I see flies walking all over the baked goods.

Insects and that kind of thing don't normally bother me, but this is the only establishment in the area that seems to have this issue and it makes me wonder why.
Amanda / December 17, 2013 at 01:29 pm
*****THEFT ALERT*****

My friend had her backpack and laptop (Macbook Pro) stolen **HERE** at GREEN BEANERY in October. One of the staff did her best to help but advised us that this is the **FIFTH** incident of laptop theft at their cafe this same month and believes they are being targeted. Sadly, even after all those thefts, management did not take proper precautions )e.g. security cameras) to deter crime.

Their coffee and hot chocolate were both mediocre and their pastries are edible at best. There is nothing remarkable about this cafe but its price and crime rate.
easy / December 20, 2013 at 02:57 pm
Felt so rushed ordering, staff seemed so grumpy, and ended up with stale tasting overpriced coffee. No wireless either. Get over yourselves.
Camila / December 29, 2013 at 12:20 pm
I've lived nearby for a few years and have been going for a while, I've never had any issues except for issues I find with other cafes elsewhere/in the area (things like overpriced cupcakes).

I've used the wifi belonging to their neighbours, I believe it's Gino's Pizza&Wings and Pizza Pizza. I do wish they'd have better teas than the boxes of Stash but a lot of cafe's are like that, I guess in the Annex you have to go to David's tea for good, original loose leaf varieties.

Aside from the tea, I've had good experience with espresso here, I'm not particularly picky but I've been quite happy with their coffee and love that they sell French press for sharing or for more than one cup.

Aroma across the street is really loud and feels crowded because it's long and narrow, Green Beanery is much more open and I like their seating. Starbucks next to Aroma is quite small and gets crowded and is always loud and as much as I love them every time I go in there I hear the staff complaining and shooting shit, the point is this happens everywhere. Interesting characters including older men who are a bit rough around the edges shall we say hang out at that Second Cup.

Consider the competition when deciding where to go in this neighbourhood, because the other options include Starbucks, Second Cup, Tim Horton's and Aroma - none of which are environmentally friendly.

I know some of the complaining comes from people who are just dropping by the area for a coffee with a friend but I've spent quite a bit of time drinking coffee and reading in the area at libraries, cafes, and other spots and overall I choose Green Beanery over a lot of places.

If you still don't like Green Beanery and don't mind noise I'd recommend future bakery, especially because of their sweets selection that includes a lot of cake.
Bell the Cat / October 10, 2014 at 02:55 am
Wow - the comments are awful. I've had nothing but good experiences at the beanery - maybe I need to keep my eyes open.
Shocked / August 5, 2015 at 08:49 pm
Horrendous service. Mediocre to lower end product. Crowded and dirty space.
I would have to say it's probably THE WORSE COFFEESHOP i have ever been to.
Take a lesson from Mr. James will you? I don't want your business to fail but it just might with the pace you're going at. Cheers.

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