The cool fall breeze filters its way down King Street West in Dundas, Ontario, but Detour Cafe withstands the chill and also the volumes of people hustling to get relief from the weather, and a locally brewed coffee. The swaying ivy clings to the heritage building in which the cafe dwellers hold on to their warm beverages, but when inside the cold air is defeated by the warm scent of coffee brewing and pastries baking, it’s a welcome reprieve!
Sat at a cosy table is Geoff Woodley, Detour’s Director of Coffee sipping at one of the blends available at the cafe. After introducing himself he offers a brief history of the company. Detour was born when one of the founders was in Wellington, New Zealand and noticed the vibrant coffee culture that ran through the city. That gave him the idea to start sourcing and brewing his own coffee back in Ontario. Woodley explained that the founders bought their first roaster off eBay and drove all the way to Seattle to pick it up. Once set up, they were ready to go. In 2009, Detour sold its first bag of coffee from the backdoor of the same building that now holds the cafe.
Things soon took off, and before they knew it, they had grown out of their small facility and were on the look out for new premises. This took them to Burlington, where they now have a warehouse that enables them to produce enough coffee to keep their fast-growing customer base fulfilled. In 2011, the cafe opened up its doors and what was the small room that housed the original roaster, became the kitchen for their delicious lunches and cakes that are the perfect accompaniment to the various tea and coffee choices.
Coffee culture has exploded in Canada and all over the
world. The first recorded evidence of a culture built around coffee dates back to the 14th century in Turkey. Europe has since become the hub for using coffee as a source for social meetings and gatherings. Coffee is more than just caffeine and water, coffee is about spending time with yourself or your loved ones. High quality coffee is just like a fine wine – it takes time and love to produce, and so it should be enjoyed with the same amount of care and time. A coffee tree takes around three years to produce its fruit, and that’s just the beginning of the process, but Detour do their best to get your coffee from farm to cup as quickly as possible.
Detour has taken this as its focus. Coffee is not just a pick-me-up to them, it is a slow and delicate process that must be sourced from farmers that take their industry seriously. Detour is conscious to ensure that the coffee is farmed ethically and always pay a fair price for their product. They want the best coffee for their customers and that requires the best product.
Recently, Detour launched a subscription service that offers customers a service that provides fresh coffee delivered to their door as frequent as the customer wishes. You can choose to receive two bags of coffee every week, two weeks or monthly, and you can choose which style of coffees you would like. This is the ideal gift for your favourite coffee lovers.
Detour is a small, local company, and it is taking the Canadian coffee culture by storm. It’s incredible how a clear vision and a bit of determination can create such a personal and forward-thinking culture. Thanks, Detour, for the inspiration and the delicious cup of coffee.
Photos by Jarrett Ford Photography