Hold Fast Cafe is the North End’s newest spot to get your caffeine fix.
“I knew for sure I wanted to be in the North End,” said owner Ian MacLeod. “It’s just such a wonderful atmosphere, it has a neighbourhood feel to it, and that’s much more my speed.”
Located at 5520 Almon St., the cozy cafe offers coffee, espresso drinks and baked goods like cookies, muffins and croissants. MacLeod is this week’s midweek mugging recipient.
“It’s just a warm, open, friendly environment that everybody is welcome to be a part of,” he said. “It’s a place to come and go, or you can hangout with me for the day.”
Born and raised in Halifax, MacLeod said he is proud to be working with local vendors to provide menu items that many people in Halifax already recognize and enjoy. The cafe’s treats come from 24 Carrots Bakery and Tart and Soul, while the drip coffee and espresso beans are supplied by Nova Coffee and Just Us, respectively.
“We have really good suppliers...we’re offering a consistent product constantly, and I think people really like that,” he said.
MacLeod had been working in the corporate world for nearly 20 year before deciding he wanted to try his hand at something different.
“I love getting to know people, so that sales part of me from the corporate world carries into this,” he said.
He said the cafe sees a mix of people from the nearby Canadian Forces base, the retirement community and students.
While it’s still early days, MacLeod is already planning ahead. He said he hopes to offer a greater lunch menu, and will be opening up patio space come summertime.
He said one of his favourite aspects of being in the cafe each day is “learning people’s routines and chatting with folks.”
“I love just leaning over the counter while somebody sits here, and if they want to chat I’m up for it,” he said. “I’m really just a people person, and I love getting to know new people.”