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Cafes

Sunny Joe's Cafe

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on July 19, 2012

Sunny Joe's CafeSunny Joe's Cafe feels like a country corner stop, Now, I know it's kind of hokey to say, but I couldn't help thinking of an old Muskoka coffee and convenience store as I approached the new Sorauren Avenue cafe.

Sunny Joe's CafeSurely the lineup of colourful Muskoka chairs helped to suggest that cottage country vibe, and so too did the park across the street and the relative absence of other retail in the area.

Sunny Joe's CafeFormerly a convenience store (go figure), this space has been redone to partially remove an aged drop ceiling (revealing gorgeous old tin) and add in some cafe essentials including an outward-facing window bar. There's free WiFi available, though seating is somewhat scant (just six stools) so most Sunny Joe's customers have grabbed their fix to go.

Sunny Joe's CafeI head over to the Victoria Arduino espresso machine where I meet Magali, who tells me her husband, Peter, is the man behind the cafe. ("Not Joe?!") "I'm a teacher," she says, "so I can help out for the summer."

Sunny Joe's CafeMagali says her husband previously worked in banking, but after a shuffle in the organization and a package offer, Peter decided to change his focus and try his hand at a neighbourhood cafe. "We just live around the corner," Magali says, "so we know the area."

Sunny Joe's CafeThe concept is indeed quite area-focused, offering espresso drinks using nearby Alternative Grounds beans and Augie's Gourmet Ice Pops, a Roncesvalles summer favourite. The baked goods (muffins, $2.00; cookies, $1.50; croissants, $1.75; pain au chocolat $2.00) are made by Magali herself with all of the ingredients listed alongside.

Sunny Joe's CafeI order an iced Americano $2.50 and before Magali prepares the shot, she reaches in a freezer and retrieves a blue container. The ice...? But it looks brownish...ah ha! Coffee ice cubes. Brilliant. "This way, it doesn't dilute the drink," Magali says, adding that they brew extra drip and use the remains for ice cubes.

The Americano indeed stays strong from the first sip to the last, boasting a strong, earthy flavour you tend to taste at the back of your tongue. I leave the drink black, though Sunny Joe's offers regular milk and cream along with almond and soy. It offers the perfect jolt and full-bodied flavour, with none of the dilution that typically comes with iced coffee.

Sunny Joe's CafeAlong with plenty of soft drinks (an homage to the space's convenience store days), green smoothies ($3.25), and snacks to help cool off, Sunny Joe's also sells books collected by a used book shop owner located in the loft space across the street; everything from Noam Chomsky and Stephen King to Archie Comics and Dr. Seuss. But despite the powerful seduction prowess of a finely worded rhyming couplet, it's the stellar iced Americano that will keep me coming back. And the Muskoka chairs — it's not the cottage, but it'll do.

Sunny Joe's Cafe

Discussion

14 Comments

tha / July 19, 2012 at 09:20 am
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Hope Joesph Mimran doesn't call copyright infringement on your use of the "Joe" signage.

Its the spitting image of Joe.
Brock / July 19, 2012 at 09:53 am
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Spot on for the Muskoka resemblance, reminds me of several places in Muskoka
ryth / July 19, 2012 at 11:59 am
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Doesn't look like tin ceilings to me. Clearly visible sound proof tiles maybe.
sydney / July 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm
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Sunny Joe's? Really? With such a drab and dull interior?
Are those toadstools for sitting on?
Blog T.O. - move on from Roncesvalles Village for a change. It's way too overexposed now.
Mr. Lazy Susan replying to a comment from sydney / July 19, 2012 at 12:17 pm
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Thank you for not typifying the leather-headed "arbiter" of good taste role which is so omnipresent in our age of anonymous, internet trash-talkery. Kudos to you.
Strav / July 19, 2012 at 04:20 pm
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Joe err Peter needs to smile more, and down the road get an air conditioner for those hot days. Nice place though.
Micheal / July 19, 2012 at 04:23 pm
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Great coffee!
Roger Cullman / July 19, 2012 at 07:42 pm
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This is a great little cafe near Sorauren Park. And they're featuring my fine art canvas prints on their walls until the end of July.
J / July 19, 2012 at 09:05 pm
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kudos to you guys for having a ramp at the entrance!
jessica replying to a comment from tha / July 19, 2012 at 09:26 pm
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it's like you've never seen a sans-serif typeface before.
Tom replying to a comment from jessica / July 20, 2012 at 12:16 am
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OMG is this a font off? A typography tip off? Get in there... Let's do this!!! Shut em down, Shut em, Shut em down! Show em that you're the best jessica! you got it all!!
DrillZaSKrillZa / July 20, 2012 at 12:18 am
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If anybody else comments LET'S.............SHUT 'EM DOWN, SHUT 'EM, SHUT 'EM DOWN!!!!
steve / July 24, 2012 at 11:59 am
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Sunny Joe "Pete" makes great coffee. Been there a couple times and have known him for years. He and his family have quite literally poured ;) their heart into this place. I know how proud they are about being a bigger part of the community. CONGRATS to Pete and Mag and the boys!
Steve / June 24, 2013 at 07:31 pm
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The reason for the "Muskoka" look, is the owner Peter (Joe) was born and raised in Huntsville (which is the northern most town in the district of Muskoka). I've known Peter all of his life (he's my younger brother).

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