When you visit the all new Florence Café, on Centre street, in Pointe-St-Charles, you will most likely come across part-owner Jessica Colati’s friendly smile, and demeanour, mirrored in her welcoming staff.Florence Café opened its doors this May, in a newly refurbished building, and much to the neighbourhood’s delight!
If you enjoy a good morning boost, Italian style, you will not be disappointed! Classically roasted, and delicious no-fuss coffees; plus, this one is locally roasted. Take a pew, sit back, and enjoy the well-appointed airy space, decorated with contemporary personality, and with colourful art. Be met with beautifully refinished tables, in rich gold tones, hanging pothos plants, and floor-to-ceiling windows, backed by geometric architectural supports, an ideal blind from which to people watch, and meet your friends and neighbours.
If you’re in a rush, you can certainly grab your coffee to go! At Florence, you won’t feel bad about that either. The cups are completely bio-degradable, and the (also biodegradable) lids are uniquely designed for perfect fit, for zero straw waste.
In fact, every product in the space is eco-friendly, and sustainable by nature, or design. It was important to the owners that everything at Florence Café be environmentally supportive, local, and a positive: Net positive to the community, the suppliers (primarily from the local region, with a few supplemented from Eastern Canada). The coffee: Brewed in Terrebonne. The milk: Produced in Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, by cows fed with high-quality grasses and grains (with a vegan milk option as well, fed on sunlight and soil).
We experienced the most delightful tea fragrances, sourced from Toronto’s Sloane Tea, and our mouths watered at the fresh gelato and ice creams, made, in-house, by the owner herself. By the way, also available in a go-friendly pint size, perfect to be tucked away in your freezer at home, for your late night craves.
We lingered for a while. The general atmosphere is quite conducive to relaxation and observation, with a little distance from the concerns of the day. We chatted with Jessica about the importance of supporting local businesses, and of building stronger communities. We laughed at the thrills, and challenges, of being an independent business owner. Jessica told us of great restaurants on the Centre strip, and the surrounding streets, and what we all need to discover next, including the best secret spot for Chinese food, and weekly cinema in the park. We discussed City initiatives to improve neighbourhood attractiveness, problems and management (for the benefit of the existing community) that come with gentrification, irritations shared by everyone with pretentious staff in the café scene, and how it was important to create an environment at Florence in which everyone feels welcomed and comfortable at all times.
Pointe-St-Charles was an obvious choice for Florence. Jessica has lived in the neighbourhood for years. She knows every street, every corner, and business. She would not have opened Florence anywhere else. “I love it here, are you kidding!?” She exclaims before taking another sip of fragrant coffee.
This is Montréal’s perfect area! Everyone knows each other, and it has everything!… almost… All we need is a dry cleaner, and I would never have to leave!” Room for another young entrepreneur to make their place in their ‘hood.“It is relaxed, and I enjoy the Real feeling of community!”Jessica is all about her community. She plans to make Florence Café a hub for local artists; a place where they can use her walls to showcase their work, and offer beauty to the young families making homes of their own in P-S-C.
She is currently showcasing a neighbourhood local, whose works pop, filled with fantastic versions of wildlife in singing greens, and yellows and reds, as well as understated illustrations of local flora, by Marielle Lorraine Camozzi.
“Bring a friend, bring your mom, bring your dad, bring your dog, and if you have no one to bring, you can hang out with us, or get to know an author, or even yourself!”