adamson bbq

Toronto coffee shop distances itself from owner of Adamson BBQ

A cafe Adam Skelly of Adamson Barbecue opened under his umbrella of brands prior to his lockdown scandal says it is no longer under his leadership.

Fei Sugiyama, current Brand Director at Plaxton Coffee, says Skelly "lost his passion for the coffee shop from the very beginning," and that the cafe has since been transformed "from a sandwich cafe like Subway to a specialty third wave coffee stand."

Sugiyama says when it comes to the current level of involvement Adamson Barbecue and Skelly have with the cafe, though, it's not such a simple story.

"I took charge of the store two years ago," Sugiyama says, which is about the same amount of time the store has been open. "They don't touch this store so [there's] no association with recent news."

Sugiyama estimates Skelly especially lost interest in Plaxton around February 2019, says Adamson has been involved with the shop "only for delivery" of some supplies, and says that they have stopped stocking sandwiches made using Adamson meats "for now."

Sugiyama says after February 2019 he hired his wife and has run the store with her up to present day.

"The company still owns this place only on the documents because I am a foreigner," says Sugiyama, who is from Japan. "If I got a permanent visa, I could be owner officially, though."

Plaxton now considers itself like a specialty cafe one might find in Japan, serving thoughtfully sourced espresso brewed using the pour over method.

"Our coffee philosophy's background comes from Japan and New Zealand. We believe that coffee is fresh fruit juice so the natural bean's flavour, taste and aging are important to us like a fresh wine," says Sugiyama.

"That's why we focus on a very light roast unique espresso, filtered coffee and we proudly serve V60 pour over."

Sugiyama's visa issues complicate severing ties from Adamson completely, but he says the "situation is in progress."

Adamson Barbecue has been embroiled in scandal recently leading up to owner Skelly being arrested for defying lockdown orders in order to open his restaurant for indoor dining

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez


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