With inflation cutting back their earnings, coffee shops on Danforth Avenue are eager with new ideas to bring their shops back to life after the pandemic.
“The inflation is eating the earnings,” said Luis Hernandez, co-owner of Pomarosa.
He had been able able to maneuver around the pandemic and help the business survive, last year posting a record number of sales. But, due to inflation, Pomarosa did not profit as much as it has in the past.
Coffee shops in the area are getting creative — experimenting expand their menus and even bringing more people in with live shows.
This is the case with Red Rocket Coffee, which is owned by two brothers. One brother manages Red Rocket’s two stores — one on Danforth Avenue and the other on Wellesley Street — while the other focuses on the food.
Emy Morales, barista at Red Rocket Coffee, said the coffee shop has been able to survive thanks to its customers in the area.
This coffee shop offers a warm environment where families can be seen spending time together after a busy day. It also offers fresh pastries made in-house at its Danforth location.
“They plan on expanding the menu,” Morales said.
They tried selling sandwiches a few months ago but had to stop as “we didn’t have the resources to keep it going,” she said.
Pomarosa is not far from Red Rocket on Danforth.
It was opened in 2017 by Luis Hernandez and his wife who let their Venezuelan and Colombian roots be the main influence in the shop. Hernandez said he had always dreamed of opening his own business and bringing Latin American culture to Toronto.
During the pandemic, they expanded what the coffee shop could do, by selling retail items, offering takeout, opening the patio, and getting their liquor licence.
Now they want to expand even more.
“We started as a coffee shop and now we are expanding to a restaurant,” Hernandez said.
Their next step is creating a dinner menu. He wants to bring new food to the restaurant that is a fusion of all of Latin America.
“We have classic things, but everything has my touch,” Hernandez said. He plans to add the new menu soon.
Close to Donlands Station on Danforth is The Only Café, which sells not only coffee but also alcohol and is currently looking to hire kitchen staff to bring back its food menu.
They are also bringing back their events and have live music every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday night.
Every Tuesday they have Ricky Toledo a soul, rock, and R’n’B band. On Thursdays, they offer open jam nights. And on Sundays, it rotates between two bands, Po’Boy Jeffreys and Calamity Jane, and Isaak Bonk and the Roast Chicken Ramblers.