[attach]5387[/attach]Ron Duffy’s career has come full circle.
Although he’s been running Circus Books and Music for the past few years, he recently branched out to open his own coffeehouse, a field he used to work in over 25 years ago.
“I really loved espresso makers and basically that was the ’80s part in my life and in the ’90s I worked for six years at a health bar and when I decided to do this I really thought I couldn’t do it without putting in a nice juice bar and some smoothies and fresh beverages and have the food part be less fatty, less greasy or less high in sodium,” he says.
Circus Coffee House, which is located on Woodmount Avenue just north of Danforth Avenue, offers a selection of espresso-based drinks, teas, smoothies, wheatgrass shots, soup, stew and rice bowls, which he says has become his signature dish. Duffy says he uses an old “workhorse of a Gaggio” machine to brew the beverages, which is how he first learned how to make espresso in his 20s.
As a vegetarian, Duffy says it was important the coffeehouse also reflected his personal life, which is why all the dishes are made without meat.
“There’s no way I was going to go something I didn’t feel comfortable with,” he says. “I haven’t really had any meat in about 20 years so it’s not something that is a few months old for me, it’s part of my lifestyle.”
Although he owns his used book and record store, which he started in 2006 with his brother Jim, this latest venture is his own project.
When Circus Coffee House’s location became available, he thought the size and space were right and liked the nearby small businesses, so he decided it was time to try it out.
“Having had some experience with the bookstore and having a good staff that I can rely on, I figured it’s not a bad time for me to step out and see if I can try something else, something different,” he says.
Since opening he says some of his highlights include being welcomed into the community and the success of his brown rice bowls, which are made with ingredients like tahini sauce, soy sauce, baba ghanoush, humus, spicy guacamole and vegetables.
Duffy, who has also been in local bands such as Change of Heart, hopes to grow the coffeehouse in the coming months.
“Basically the goal is to establish us as a very healthy go-to kind of place where they can get some good healthy food,” he says. “Goodness, quality for sure and healthiness.”