(PHOTO: Thom Johnson will run Steelwool Cycleworks, the bike shop, and Kat Kosk will run Blumenstudio, the cafe-florist.)
UPDATE (AUGUST 6): They’re not quite ready to open yet. Posted to their Twitter feed yesterday: “.we still have a bit of tweaking to do .trims details bathroom & so on .please stay tuned for stittsville”
Stittsville will get a taste of trendy Hintonburg when Blumenstudio opens its doors on Saturday.
The new location will be at 1564 Stittsville Main Street, in the cinder block building that’s also home to Capital Cabinetry. Renovations have recently been underway to replace bricks with windows at the front, creating a street-side retail space.
I dropped in on Friday night and met Kat Kosk, Thom Johnson and Paul Idone, the trio who are behind the venture. They were expecting a late night ahead as they prepared for a partial opening on Saturday.
Idone was building a bar near the front for the coffee part of the business, Kosk was moving in plants (lots of cacti and big leafy greens) and Johnson was building a web site on his laptop. Kosk’s dog was there to keep them company.
Idone owns the cabinetry business, and Johnson his business partner. Johnson will run the bike part of the business, under the name Steelwool Cycleworks. Johnson’s also an owner at Talltree Cycles on Wellington Street in Hintonburg.
Kosk owns Blumenstudio on Parkdale Avenue in Hintonburg. It’s a popular high-end floral shop and cafe that’s been open since March 2011. The location in Stittsville will follow the same concept.
Kosk said they had lots of neighbours dropping by today to say hello, and they’re looking forward to meeting more Stittsville residents when they open on Saturday. Johnson’s bike shop should open a couple of weeks.
It’s great to see another interesting indie shop opening up on Stittsville Main Street. Welcome to the neighbourhood!
(Above: left to right, the owners of the Grounds include Robert Kinsman, Donna Kinsman, Patrick Caicco, and Marlene Caicco (absent). Photo by Barry Gray.)
When StittsvilleCentral.ca dropped in at The Grounds Cafe on Friday, they were dealing with a broken coffee grinder and an unruly (and expensive) espresso machine… just a few of minor issues in the final few days before the grand opening.
Pending permit approvals and some last minute touch-ups, the spacious restaurant next to the Food Basics in the Fairwinds Plaza (Huntmar at Hazeldean) will have a soft launch on Sunday for family and friends, and then officially open on Monday or Tuesday morning. We spoke to two of the owners, Patrick Caicco and Robert Kinsman, who call themselves “The Groundskeepers”. All photos by Barry Gray.
UPDATE (MARCH 13): Caicco says they’re planning to be fully open on Tuesday this week.Continue reading →
CAMPEAU DRIVE: Kanata North Councillor Marianne Wilkinson says that the full Campeau extension from Terry Fox to Huntmar isn’t expected to open until 2018. That’s on schedule according to the City’s Transportation Master Plan, which calls for completion sometime between 2014 and 2019. Continue reading →
The Fairwinds Community Association posted a short note on their website yesterday about a new coffee shop called “The Grounds” that’s coming soon to the neighbourhood. It’s expected to open near the Food Basics by the end of January, 2016.
The Grounds Café will be a community café. Locally owned, clean, comfortable, warm and friendly place to meet, greet and do business. The Grounds will offer exceptional service and be community focused. Excellent coffee, food, service and atmosphere. Freshly made sandwiches, soups & salads for breakfast & lunch. Fresh baking made local not frozen
EDITOR’S NOTE: Paul Jay practices the centuries-old craft of letterpress printing in the basement of his Stittsville home. Jay is one of the co-owners of Gaia Java, and spends time every month using traditional hand presses and lead type to print the coasters, bean bags and pastry bags for the coffee shop. Photographer Barry Gray visited Jay earlier this month to capture the process.
Gaia Java welcomes Justin Orok (Guitar) and Zakari Frantz (Saxophone) for a music night on January 2.
Regulars of Gaia Java will know both of these excellent musicians, each of whom has appeared in other ensemble configurations over the recent months.
In fact Justin was one of our inaugural artists, helping to kickoff the very idea of having a music night several years ago. I recall that back then his duo would play a few songs, have a break, and then play the same songs again (they were in the process of building up their repertoire!)
Things have evolved substantially since those days, and as well as jazz standards we hear lesser-known pieces and originals when Justin is playing. He has now migrated south to the sunny climes of Humber College in Toronto, which is a mecca for talented jazz youngsters from the Ottawa area – many of our ‘Gaia Java alumni’ are now gathered there, learning from some amazing mentors. I am delighted to have an opportunity to hear Justin’s well-constructed guitar style again, and particularly look forward to hearing how he connects with a gifted sax player.
Zakari Frantz has also graced us previously with his very interesting and enjoyable sax style. Although originally from Idaho, Zak is based around the Ottawa region where he hosts a Monday night jazz evening at Le Petit Chicago in Gatineau. He teaches at the Bells Corners Academy of Music as well as Shine Academy, and performs locally in a variety of ensemble configurations.
Zak has been very involved with the Souljazz Orchestra, and in 2013 they earned a second JUNO nomination for ‘World Music Album of the Year’. The band has just completed its 6th full-length album. Zak’s styles range from Jazz/Afro/Soul to Funk and Latin, and we can expect some very informed improvisation when his brain connects with Justin’s this coming Friday. Make time to come and hear the blending of these two talents as they help us kickoff the New Year in style.
We are closed New Year’s Day, but look forward to greeting you with optimistic wishes for another twelve months, so please drop by on Friday and come and hear this great music!
Kathleen Edwards, the owner of Quitters on Stittsville Main, is featured in the Toronto Star today.
It’s a chilly mid-November afternoon, and the floor-to-ceiling windows facing out onto the downtrodden historic main street of this small-town-turned-exurb are frosted over with condensation. Inside, though, warmth all around: Small groups cluster under the glow of Edison bulbs, seated on vintage-shop furniture. Edwards is cheery and upbeat, serving top-notch espresso and home-made cookies and muffins, which she’s taken to baking herself.
…Quitters, which opened in September, isn’t so much an ending as a beginning. Edwards needed to push reset, and out here, just a short stretch from where she grew up, she’s done that much. After years of living gig to gig in tour buses and vans, Edwards walks five blocks to the café every morning to bake muffins and get ready for the day.
…One day, she happened on an old, unremarkable box of a building on Stittsville’s main street, with ratty blinds pulled down and moldy insulation tumbling out of the ceiling. “And I could see it. I knew it would be great,” she says. Signing a lease, she gamely hoisted a sledgehammer herself and started ripping apart the old to make way for the new.
… Edwards knew she had to do something different. She circled back home and looked around. Subdivisions and strip malls, commuters and anonymity. For the first time in ages, she had time to think. And what her mind settled on was building something solid, in a community of which she could be part.
… “I’m an excellent barista,” she laughs. “I had to realize: Fame is not acceptance, it doesn’t validate you as a person. It means nothing. You know what means something? Having people from the neighbourhood come in, getting to know them, seeing their families, and hearing them say ‘thank you for giving us a place to go.’ That’s . . . awesome.”
Since opening on Thanksgiving weekend, Quitters has quickly become Stittsville’s biggest tourist attraction, thanks to a celebrity owner (Kathleen Edwards) combined with good coffee and a warm, inviting atmosphere. Here’s a guest post from Katie Shapiro from Kanata. It originally appeared on Apartment 613 and is republished here with her permission.
(By the way, Quitters will be closed from Monday to Wednesday this week due to renovations. They’re replacing those foggy windows at the front.)Continue reading →
James says: “Excellent excuse to leave the cars at home and walk in the Village. So the plan now is they have coffee – good coffee – and tea and a few others beverages. Eventually artisanal snacks and then salads lunches etc. It’s on its feet now and will progressively get moving! Good music too – and for me, that’s key to wanting to visit . They’re using Pilot Coffee from Toronto – said they’ve known the roastery for years, loved the coffee and Pilot has helped guide them with Quitters equipment. ”
So great to see @kittythefool get her great new Quitters Coffee open today. She and Rick will rule this venture. Stittsville will love it.
Stittsville seems to be a bit obsessed with Quitters Coffee, the new cafe that Kathleen Edwards is opening on Main Street later this month.
We posted two articles about Quitters on our web site last week which became the top two most-read stories of the week. We think that any excitement about new businesses on Stittsville Main is a good thing, so we’re happy to fuel the obsession in any way that we can.
Earlier today graphic designer Steve St. Pierre posted this on Twitter: