It will come as no surprise to anyone living in St. James-Assiniboia that a sense of family and community permeates our neighbourhoods, businesses, churches and schools.
I have heard countless stories of residents growing up here and staying to raise their own children. I know of several families with three generations still living in the same neighbourhood.
Of course, everyone has their own special haunts. One of our favourite places to relax after a stroll is the Joe Black Coffee Bar on Portage Avenue, just across from the Assiniboine Park footbridge. The most comfortable spot is in front of the fireplace, but the patio and window are great for observing the park traffic.
Eventually, warm weather will bring busy park crowds, bike tours, seniors groups, runners and walkers, and the folks at Joe Black hopes everyone will drop in to see what they have to offer.
Their menu ranges from soup and sandwiches to the Joe Black flatbread pizza or naan-wrapped butter chicken, and much more. All of their baking and food is prepared on-site, with supplemental items from local bakeries, including some gluten-free and vegan items. I have a soft spot for the coconut macaroons, which are yummy and gluten-free (a double whammy)!
You’re really depriving yourself if you don’t try something while you’re there.
The owners, Danielle and Lino Correia and Nancy and Angelo Mastrolonardo, always envisioned that their coffee bar would be more than just a business — they wanted to be an integral part of the community.
For example, they are partnering with the Assiniboine Park Zoo and donating the proceeds from a special ‘polar bear drink’ to the zoo’s Journey to Churchill exhibit.
Other events designed to draw a variety of customers include jewelry parties, lingerie evenings, a Mother’s Day lunch and speed-dating nights.
They even held their first Storybook Time last Thursday, complete with cookies, hot chocolate and colouring for children aged three to seven.
If you collect Canadian Tire money, you can use it to pay for your food and drinks on April 24.
Joe Black features DJ Stop on Friday evenings, playing pleasant music at a level that allows for conversation. Live music is the highlight on Saturdays.
Visit www.joeblackcoffee.ca to check out their catering menu and calendar of events.
And let’s support our local businesses.
Wanda Prychitko is a community correspondent for St. James-Assiniboia. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org