Mercury Organic Espresso Bar
Mercury Organic Espresso Bar has been doing something right. This bustling cafe near Carlaw and Queen is known for their artfully crafted espresso, lattes and fresh-pressed organic lemonade. They also have a great selection of organic teas, juices and a daily selection of fresh baked muffins, cookies and biscotti. Co-owner Matthew Taylor recently filled me in on what makes the cafe such a neighbourhood success story.
What is the concept behind Mercury Organic Espresso Bar?
The idea behind it was pretty simple, really. It was to build the type of coffee shop that we (James, Matt and myself) would want to hang out at. Nothing too fancy, or too quiet. Just good coffee, bare bones and rock 'n roll.
The cafe seems to be constantly busy. I guess you guys are coping nicely despite the Starbucks across the street.
The Starbucks thing was never an issue. We knew they were thinking of moving in across the street long before we took the spot where we are. In the beginning there were a lot of people who tried to create some sort of rivalry between the two shops and push the whole David and Goliath thing, but really, we weren't too concerned. They have their thing, we have ours and that's that. Water draws its own level.
Who's your typical customer?
I believe that a Mercury customer is someone who appreciates great coffee. We bring in some of the best coffees in the world, from some of the most reputable roasters in North America. Then secondly, I guess, would be someone who's socially and environmentally conscious as all our beans are Direct Trade or Fair Trade. All of our milk and other condiments are certified Organic and our paper products and take out containers are all eco-friendly.
What's the secret to your success?
I don't think it's a secret really. Quality product, knowledgeable staff, fair prices. Simple.
Where did the name Mercury Organic come from?
One of the first places we tried to get for the shop was the old Mercury Dry Cleaners spot further east on Queen, which still had the really cool old-school hand-painted Mercury logo on the front window. Well, we never ended up getting the location, but we decided we really liked the name so we kept it.