Monday, January 11, 2010

We Live + Learn.

It’s with a heavy heart I write this – but we did what we had to do.

We’ve had to back out of the offer to get the space we were so keen on, in Cabbagetown. Due to a series of escalating costs from ‘surprises’ and a general feeling of unease with the whole ordeal, our lawyer agreed with us on Friday we should walk away. We couldn’t convince ourselves there wouldn’t be more costly surprises ahead, and with the last increase in cost we were starting to stretch our resources a little too thin.

What does this mean for Café Novo? Well to start it means we’re back to searching for the right location. This hasn’t been a total loss however – we’ve learned a lot regarding the offer process, and what we need to know going in. If we approach another restaurant to purchase and convert to a café, we’ll be armed with a much keener sense about the process, and better able to protect ourselves all the while.

Sadie and I spent Saturday freezing our butts off walking around Cabbagetown, sussing out potential buildings. We’re a bit hung-up on the neighborhood; we will continue to search there in the event we can find another appropriate space. One space we’re very curious about, on Carlton Street about a block away from Parliament. Looks like it has great potential, just starting the process of trying to find out what it is, who owns it, etc.

We’ve got an appointment to view a new location tomorrow night, which is a recently closed café in the Junction area of Toronto. It has great potential, rent is low, and the right spot on the street. The Junction was an area I looked in initially, but didn’t look too long due to the amount of cafes recently opened – don’t want to get into an over-saturated market. With this café closing, and opening up the potential to get into an advantageous spot, we’re reconsidering. We’ll let you know how it goes!

In much better news, we have a website! My fantastic friend Marc is helping us with the design and hosting, and just put up the holding page. Check it out!

We’ll be keeping you posted about more website updates; it will eventually host this blog, plus a wealth of information about our place. In the meantime you can contact us with any suggestions / love / ideas at info at cafenovo dot ca, no spaces.

Until next time, keep warm and enjoy some hot cocoa for us!


  1. In regards to not wanting to get into an oversaturated market, I can't help wonder if the opposite is true?

    Take car yards*.

    If you open a car yard, you dont want to be situated across the other end of town from your rival.. you want to be right next door where you can pick up the traffic and the castoffs from dodgy joe's next door.
    Generally you find car yards all stick together in one end of the town district (at least, in New Zealand).

    Im wondering that maybe you would be better to be in amongst it, and benefit from the cafe-established fan base that comes along with the territory?


    (* car yards arent doing so well these days - but people always need to eat and drink!)

  2. Hello,

    I'm a total stranger, who was surfing the net across different sites and ended up here. I started reading your blog posts and found it so interesting mainly because I also want to go for something I believe in and like. A 9-to-5 job just isn't made for me :).

    I hope that it will work out for you and I'm looking forward for your shop to open up and hopefully be able to pass by one day :).

    It's really cool to see people going for what they love in life :). It should taste better too ;).