It's so long (but not goodbye) for Alternative Grounds
On the second day of this month Roncesvalles stalwart Alternative Grounds served their last customer. Some might remember the cafe as one of the first in Toronto to offer 100% fair-trade beans. They set up on Roncey back when it was still identifiable as Little Poland and before the street became over-caffeinated with nearby competitors such as Lit Espresso, Belljar and Cherry Bomb. Shortly after opening they also began roasting beans in house, joining the Coffee Tree and Everyday Gourmet as one of the first local roasters in the city.
The decision to shut the cafe's doors had as much to do with the increased competition as the evolution of the business. In recent years, Alternative Grounds owner Linda Burnside has been spending more of her time growing the roasting and wholesale business and she felt now was the time to pursue it full throttle.
Roncesvalles residents might lament the loss of another neighbourhood stalwart, especially given the impending arrival of Tim Hortons in the old Granowska space. But sometimes change has a silver lining. Fans of Alternative Grounds beans will still be able to find or savour them at numerous spots around town including Good Catch General Store, Sunny Joe's, the West End Food Hub, Appletree Natural Foods, The Big Carrot, Noah's, the Nuthouse, Saving Grace, Flying Pony and a whole lot more.