SAVA Crepes and Coffee, a café that serves sweet and savoury crepes, as well as coffee purchased from other local businesses, opened Nov. 20, 2021 at 2674 Yonge St. — and closed for indoor dining again just over a month later.
Although owner Sofia Reshetnikova was disappointed, she was not that surprised.
“It was a little bit naïve to think COVID variants would not resurge,” she said in an interview.
That being said, timing wise, she was “glad they closed after the holidays,” since January tends to be a slow time for businesses, especially for cafés as “everyone is going on a diet and watching what they spend.”
During the recent shutdown when customers were only able to order online, Reshetnikova took the opportunity to decorate the café with plants and paintings from a local artist. She plans to rotate the artwork every season in order to give different community artists a chance to display their work.
Originally from Russia, Reshetnikova, said, “In our culture we also have crepes,” also known as blinis. When Reshetnikova lived at home, her dad would wake up every weekend, while the rest of the family slept, to make the blinis, a tradition he still upholds, and which helped to inspire Reshetnikova to open SAVA.
Everything at SAVA is made using only the finest quality ingredients, she said. All of the crepe dough, as well as many of the crepe fillings, are made in-house.
Reshetnikova chose the midtown location because it is a family-oriented neighbourhood. She kept kids in mind when creating SAVA’s menu, intentionally including a Nutella and banana crepe which she knew would be especially appealing to kids. SAVA also offers vegetarian options, as well as gluten-free crepes for customers with mild gluten allergies.
As some people are not yet comfortable going back for indoor dining even if it is allowed, SAVA’s triangular shaped “COVID-friendly” crepes have been specifically designed so that they can be eaten on a walk without making a mess.
Covid precautions are taken very seriously at SAVA, including reduced capacity from four tables down to two, sanitization and ensuring that customers are all vaccinated and masked.
SAVA offers a points-based loyalty program. As this gives staff the opportunity to get to know guests by name, Reshetnikova feels this helps give them a bit of the personal experience they have been lacking during the pandemic.
She said she wants people to feel “comfy and cozy and welcomed, like they are visiting an old friend.”
SAVA is open Tuesday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m..