Ex-Leaf’s coffee shop comes to town

Call it a hat trick.

In February, Mountain Bean Coffee Co. opened its third location, and first in Toronto, in the Sunnybrook Plaza at Eglinton and Bayview Avenues. Backed by former Toronto Maple Leafs goalie, Trevor Kidd (a former Lawrence Park resident), the first outlet was launched in Victoria in 2006, while a Winnipeg location was added in 2008.

Replacing the Second Cup that graced the same spot for 10 years, area java-philes will notice Mountain Bean has a decidedly different tone from its predecessor. Piney-scented, wood décor; hanging lanterns and a fireplace at the back combine to create an atmosphere more akin to a log cabin mountains than a coffee shop at a busy intersection. Even the white, Starbucks-like coffee cups implore patrons to “sit down, relax, and enjoy the atmosphere — a place that could distract you from the world outside its doors.”

Blend names such as Campfire, Log Cabin and The Grizz (the store’s signature blend), back up the wilderness escapist theme.

Beyond aesthetics, the distinctive branding may be necessary in order for the store to try and carve out a space in the competitive Toronto coffee market. Caffeinated options such as Second Cup, Starbucks, McDonald’s and Tim Hortons abound in the area.

With that in mind, Mountain Bean has been working hard to try and woo customers. In February, the store dispensed hundreds of coupons for free drinks. More recently, they started holding Friday night movie events in the lounge area at the back of the store, where an LCD screen sits atop the fireplace.

If weather permits, the store’s biggest draw may well be its patio, which opens out from a garage-style door.

Mountains not included.

About this article:

By: Joshua Freeman
Posted: May 5 2010 4:50 pm
Filed in: Business
Edition: Toronto