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Cafes

It's Jenny Espresso Boutique

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on November 19, 2012

its jenny espresso boutique torontoIt's Jenny Espresso Boutique is a familiar-looking espresso bar in Cabbagetown right by Berkeley Street. The cafe is familiar for a very good reason, since it has pretty much has stayed the same (aesthetically, that is) since its time as Mylk Uncookies not too long ago.

its jenny espresso boutique torontoBut now ownership of the business has changed hands, and with it comes the inclusion of meat and dairy options (but fear not, vegans, there are still plenty of dairy- and egg-free cookies and other treats on offer).

its jenny espresso boutique torontoThe new proprietor (yes, her name is Jenny) operated a Pumpernickel's down on Front for the past 13 years, eventually giving up the business when financial constraints became too much.

"Cadillac Fairview was the landlord," she tells me leaning up against the It's Jenny bar. "I had to do all these renovations, and it was too much. I lost my money."

its jenny espresso boutique torontoBut rather than give up on the food industry altogether, Jenny started looking for a new business to adopt. She was wary when a realtor friend told her about a fairly new business for sale in Cabbagetown, but she decided to check out the space anyhow.

"The last time I really looked at this neighbourhood was years ago," she says. "And at that time, I thought it was really dangerous."

its jenny espresso boutique torontoRecent, tragic incidents aside, Jenny was impressed by the look of the cafe and the new "feel" of the neighbourhood, as she says. So she took over the business and made it her own, merging her catering company into the existing cafe framework.

its jenny espresso boutique torontoStill pulling Social Coffee & Co. espresso and serving Tealish teas, It's Jenny has brought "meatier" snack options to the space (excuse the pun) including grilled chicken breast panini ($5.99), tuna wraps ($5.99), and organic egg white and havarti sandwiches on multigrain ($3.50). In short, the types of items customers can order through Jenny's catering company.

its jenny espresso boutique torontoBut keeping with old traditions, the cafe offers homemade vegan cookies such as chocolate chip walnut and gluten-free peanut butter ($2.00), as well as almond and soy milks (+$0.60) to go along with regular milk for your coffee. Jenny also makes a signature "healthy tea" using red ginseng from Korea, plus ginger and goji berries ($3.50).

its jenny espresso boutique torontoNot much of a ginseng fan, however, I stick to coffee during this visit. I order an Americano ($2.70) which is made here with the espresso poured over hot water, retaining the colour and consistency of the crema. I sense that the pull might have been a bit short, but the cup serves as a nice, mild midday pick me up. And unlike my last visit to 253 Gerrard, this time, I add milk.

its jenny espresso boutique torontoPhotos by Jesse Milns

Discussion

7 Comments

Alpesh / November 19, 2012 at 11:24 am
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I loved Mlyk Uncookies and was a bit disappointed to see ownership change (i did always wonder how they managed to stay open in that location). But it looks like Jenny has respected the previous vision and has expanded on it. Best wishes and hope this little gem prospers.

P.S. Love the decor and glad this hasn't changed.
Helen / November 20, 2012 at 02:37 pm
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As an avid coffee lover, I've tried many coffee places around Toronto. I went into this cafe expecting the same desent coffee you get from most places. Boy was I wrong!
The coffee was delicious and I decided to spoil myself with organic peanut butter cookie and it was equally delicious!
Happy to see this place get some exposure!!
Rachel / December 2, 2012 at 01:46 pm
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I live right on Gerrard and heard about the new cafe decided to stop by.
Small and friendly place. The store owner Jenny was helpful with helping me pick out a vanilla latte and paired it off with a chocolate walnut cookie. It was gluten free and really good. I went back for another, instead got a bowl of chili which was also really good. I really like it. Great place to relax and they have wifi.
Daniel / December 10, 2012 at 05:20 pm
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Great place. The sandwiches are good and their coffee is better then most. It's a great place to study.
Alexandra / January 11, 2013 at 03:51 pm
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Love this place. Their tea selection is amazing and I love their variety of cookies. I tried their pecan shortbread but their power bars are crazy amazing. I try to go by and have their power bars. It's not your regular protien bar that taste like saw dust, it's incredibly soft and delicious.
Salter / January 20, 2013 at 11:09 am
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Don't overlook their excellent espresso coffee beans if you're a home barista. I'm glad Jenny took over from the previous owners.
Sandra / February 20, 2014 at 11:19 pm
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The espresso beans that they use here are fantastic. Also, I'd have to say I'm absolutely addicted to their almond milk that's made in-house. A splash of that almond milk in the americano?....mmmMMM! Can't get enough. Also, the sandwiches here (breakfast & lunch) are delicious.

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