The francophone community has embraced Café Postal, a new St. Boniface-based coffee parlour.
The café — located next to one of Western Canada’s oldest post offices — was opened in late October by long-time barista Adrienne Huard and her fiancé André Clément.
"I’ve worked in this industry for almost a decade now and we’re both coffee fanatics," Huard said. "We always talked about one day opening a coffee shop in St. Boniface because we felt that there’s been a demand here."
The shop is modelled after espresso bars found in France and Europe. The modern white and wood 430-sq. ft. interior also sports a menu that’s written in French. The sleek interiors paired with the charming views out of the front windows make the small space seem large and welcoming.
All of the wood used in the interior of the shop was handcrafted by the Winnipeg-based shop Wood Anchor, which specializes in reclaimed wood from sustainably harvested elms that had to be cut down because of Dutch Elm disease.
"All of this wood is completely local, and needed to be cut down due to disease, and we think it’s great that we were able to use it in this way," Clément said.
Clément and Huard hope that not only the aesthetics will attract Winnipeggers to their café, but also the quality of products. The two tested more than 20 different types of espresso before settling on Te Aro, a company from Toronto. The café also features a Marzocco espresso machine that was handmade in Italy.
"I think that what separates us from the chains is not only our espresso machine, but also having the customers being able to come in and meet the shop owners," Clément said. "People would rather support their community and we offer such a different experience here."
They also hope that the lively atmosphere that is often found in the café will attract people who want to experience more of Winnipeg’s francophone culture.
"Café Postal is a great place to come and feel the vibrancy of the community and you can come in here and almost always hear conversations going on in French," Clement said.
First-time customer Louis Bakó, who lives near Café Postal, said the shop will benefit the Provencher strip.
"People can come here and have a relaxing time with some really good coffee," Bakó said. "Anything like this on the street helps the neighbourhood."
Café Postal is located at 202 Provencher Blvd. It’s open Monday to Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Sundays.