Before opening Rustic Owl, Stacey Collrin spent months turning the former NDP campaign office into her boutique art gallery and café.
“I was here 10 hours a day doing renovations,” she says. “I had a business plan down pat but for the three months leading up to opening I mostly had a renovation state of mind.”
Rustic Owl serves up a variety of cold and hot beverages, including coconut mocha and pumpkin spice lattes made with real pumpkins and coconuts, baked goods from Desmond and Beatrice and a rotating selection of sandwiches, salads and all day brunch options.
As a nearby resident of her Bloor Street W. and Dovercourt Road café, Collrin saw a need for more community-friendly spaces, she says.
“There are a lot of good restaurants opening in the area but they often open up after 5 p.m. so I definitely thought there needed to be more of a daytime hangout spot in the area,” she says, adding she has nearly a decade of experience in the service and event planning industry.
Although artwork and owls are also found in the front of the café, the back section has a dedicated gallery currently showcasing a collective of roughly 20 artists, designers and photographers. The café is also home to acoustic performances.
“This is a really great neighborhood,” she says. “Even leaving here to head home I pass so many faces and neighbours and people that come in that I know and it’s awesome to get to know the people of the neighbourhood.
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