Barb Kaill, owner of the Lucky Penny Coffee Co, is this week’s Midweek Mugging recipient.
The colourful café on 6440 Quinpool Road offers up coffee, lattés, tea, baked goods, and a small lunch menu.
One of the more popular menu items is the rhythm and beet latté.
“We were just going to do it as Valentine's Day special, because it was pink and it was cute, but people went kind of crazy over it,” Kaill explained.
Her own favourite is the ginger mocha, which is made using chocolate and ginger syrup.
Along with its unique drinks, the café is known for its hip décor, including a statement wall covered in floral wallpaper, jars of pennies resting on the tables and framed illustrations created by local artists.
Kaill, who has a background in arts management, explained that she offers the wall space in Lucky Penny for free to a new artist each month.
“I’m really passionate about giving local artists…a place to display art, and to get better known in the community,” Kaill said.
Her passion to support local artists also extends to “makers,” people who handcraft items such as ceramics or jewellery. The café has previously hosted two pop-up markets allowing local makers to showcase their products.
Kaill said she is also planning to add a small retail section to Lucky Penny, in order to provide a space for makers to sell their items.
“There’s just such a plethora of super-cool people doing really rad stuff, and I just want everybody to get a chance to show off what they can do,” Kaill said.
Kaill, who grew up in the Quinpool area, said the café sees a large range of students, professionals, young families and retirees.
“My idea all along was just to make it a community place that would reflect this neighbourhood. And the Quinpool neighbourhood is so fascinating to me…we just get a really, really cool mix of people,” Kaill said.
For Kaill, the best part about owning her own café is getting to know the people who come through her door.
“I come to work everyday, and I’d say I know like 80 per cent of the people that come through the door, day after day,” Kaill said. “I either know them by face or by name, or by drink. You know you can have a personal conversation with them.”
“It’s just a really awesome community vibe…people always say you need to have a third place in life. You have home and work, and then that other place where you go,” Kaill said. “That is really what this is turning into for a lot of people, which is really cool.”