Le Café Coffee is a quaint little shop tucked away in Callender Square which is located along the town’s Main Street.
When owner Christine Tremblay set out to establish her business, she was determined to make her café a welcoming place for everyone, including those who might feel socially isolated.
Her husband is an Afghan vet, having completed three tours. He knows the importance of having somewhere welcoming to quietly sit and relax, or have polite conversations.
So the vision was quite clear when it came to renovating the space in time for last August’s opening.
“To have a safe place where if someone was in crisis, or just wanted someone to talk to, that this would help them to not isolate themselves. They could come out, sit down and chat if they wanted to get something off their chest, or just break that feeling of being stuck at home all the time. We wanted to make sure there was a small place for that, ” explained the owner about the little nook that was built specifically for that purpose.
“Outside of that, it is a small service to the community of Callander that we found was definitely lacking. It was just a long-time goal.”
Le Cafe has been serving up warm smiles, hot beverages, and tasty sweets ever since its doors opened.
“Basically anything that has to do with coffee we cover; lattes, cappuccinos, espressos, and your blended icy drinks like your Frappuccino. Anything you can get from your bigger chain, we can also make right here on site,” Tremblay explained.
“Everything is handmade, everything is sourced locally. Our baked goods and sweets are from our farmer’s market bakers and local higher-end bakers. So we try to keep everything local.”
That extends to the coffee.
“Our coffee beans here are roasted by Hades Coffee which is also in North Bay. So we try to keep everything at the artisan level, where there is a face to everything we do. That way it doesn’t lose that hometown, small shop feel.”
The owner is also open to menu suggestions.
“If someone says they like a certain type of drink, we’ll research it and make it if it is something we see a need for. We also do a couple of gluten-free options, we do dairy alternatives for people who have diet sensitivities. We have some small breakfast options like your breakfast pastries, waffles are our big one, we do strawberry, caramel, blueberry, chocolate, and maple syrup. You can have it any time of the day. It is a popular comfort food. We deal in comfort food for sure if someone is looking to get that craving out of the way.”
The summer months are busy serving up refreshing frozen drinks.
“The Frappuccino is like a milkshake without the ice cream. We follow the seasons like pumpkin spice in the fall. Now it is candy cane hot chocolate for Christmas, and gingerbread. When Valentine’s day comes around, we’re going to be doing a red heart Frappuccino. We always try to keep a little bit of creativity in what we make.”
It is a family-friendly environment, where people come in on a cold day and warm up with freshly made hot chocolate or even a classic grilled cheese sandwich.
“We have candy canes for the little ones when they come in, and pets are welcome, so you don’t have to leave your dog outside when it is hot or cold. They can come in as long as they behave.”
Open less than a year, Le Café Coffee is hard at work being a good neighbour.
“We’re just off and running, developing our brand, so the townspeople think of us,” said Tremblay.
“We do a lot of volunteer work like the Christmas lighting where we made hundreds of cups of hot chocolate at the community centre. They were passed out to people who came to watch the tree lighting. We also do catering.”
Le Cafe opened just as the summer tourist season was starting to wrap up, so attention will now focus on the winter season.
“We’re hoping once the lake freezes, we’re going to be out on the ice letting people at the ice hut village that gets built, letting them know about our ice hut special, which is four coffees and four of our tarts, a little takeaway combo for them.”
Le Café Coffee is “always evolving.”