I like to find little coffee shops around the city when I get the chance. By and large I visit the same few places over and over. They work well with the my daily routines.
I recently was on vacation though, and while I didn’t leave Winnipeg, the extra time gave me the opportunity to discover some new coffee shops I hadn’t visited before. Over the last month I visited three new ones: Colosimo Coffee Roaster, Small Mercies, and Empty Cup. Each of these coffee shops has its own unique approach to coffee shop life.
Colosimo Coffee Roasters
Colosimo Coffee Roasters on Pacific Avenue, sits on the ground floor of the Sport Manitoba building. The space was previously home to Joe and Lily coffee. They also have a second location at 140 Provencher.
This is quite a small space. There is a counter by the window, and three small tables. As the weather was still quite warm when I visited, there are also a couple of tables available outside on the sidewalk.
I paid two visits during the time I was on holidays. Neither time did I order coffee. That’s all right though, because good coffee shops should also have enjoyable alternatives to coffee.
On the first visit I ordered a hot chocolate. It was rich, creamy and made for a satisfying break. The next time I went in I ordered their chai latte. This was a little different than most chai lattes I’ve tried. There was less spicy character, and a more sweet cinnamon flavour. I really enjoyed that.
I would choose two words to sum up the service. Enthusiastic and Welcoming. The staff seemed to be high energy, and very friendly.. Maybe I just hit them on a couple of days when everything was just going really well, but I enjoyed dealing with the staff on both visits.
One thing I noticed, but haven’t made use of yet, is that they offer there coffee beans in 2lb bags. You can get these and small sized bags, in-store or online.
Small Mercies, Surprise Among the Coffee Shops
There are places you expect to find coffee shops, and places you don’t. Small Mercies in Osborne Village is definitely in the latter category. Towards the end of my holiday time, my oldest brother Ian and his partner Glenda came into town for a visit.
We stopped for lunch at the Pho Hoang Vietnamese location in Osborne Village. After lunch we wandered through the village, on our way back to The Forks. Glenda wanted to look at some items in Small Mercies. While she was shopping Ian and I wandered a little farther into the shop, and discovered that there was a coffee counter in the middle of it.
We didn’t stop that time, but on the weekend, I went back to give the place a try. I ordered a latte. One of the things we had spotted was that Small Mercies has a courtyard off of it, that it shares with a couple of other shops.
Small Mercies doesn’t sell any treats, just beverages. They do though, have a good selection of cold, canned, and bottled drinks, if you are with someone who doesn’t want coffee. They also have a few seats inside the store, where you can sit and drink our beverages.
Empty Cup Collective
Empty Cup Collective on Academy Road is, like Colosimo, one of those coffee shops that has replaced another coffee shop. In this case the location was formerly a Starbuck.
Empty Cup Collective has five locations in the Winnipeg area. I was visiting Saint Aidan’s Anglican once Sunday during my holidays, and thought, given the way bus schedules work on Sundays, that I would leave home early and allow myself a leisurely morning coffee to start my day.
The interior layout looks much the same as it did in the days when it was a Starbucks. The paint scheme is different. with a more pleasant grey colour. Much like the new Thom Bargen location on Corydon, Empty Cup Collective offers a limited food menu beyond baked treats.
I wasn’t in the mood for a whole breakfast, so I ordered a blueberry Danish. The Danish was large and fluffy. I liked the flavour and found that it didn’t leave a heavy feeling in my stomach.
One other thing I noticed is that their prices for coffee beans were a couple of dollars lower that what you will find at many coffee shops around town. If you drink enough coffee that might be something worth considering in these high inflationary(really, historically normal) times.
Well, that’s three new coffee shops where I know I can stop in. These locations are generally a little out of the way for me. However, that’s kind of what I like about them. It’s good to know you can find good coffee and good coffee shops in areas of town that you don’t get to on a regular basis.