If I had to list the things I’m thankful for during this pandemic (besides the most important: health), discovering Cafe Con Leche Espresso Bar would be one of them. Located at 1571 Dupont Street, Cafe Con Leche has been apart of the Junction Triangle since 2012.
As someone who didn’t spend a lot of time at home pre-pandemic, and with the two coffee shops closest to me currently closed, Cafe Con Leche has recently become my go-to coffee shop. I had no idea I would fall in love with a coffee shop only 10 minutes away from me. Two months ago, I never visited this café; today, I couldn’t imagine it not in my life.
Cafe Con Leche is a neighbourhood coffee house that not only serves coffee and pastries, but a congregation of local goods (think like a little market). Some of the merchants they carry include: Boylan Bottling, Alchemy Pickle Company, Soup Girl, Nomz, Petit Huet (who supplies their baked goods, G for Gelato, amongst others.
The shop also sells No. 7 Hot Sauce, a Canadian hot sauce company which is actually owned and produced by the café’s owners, Sandra & Carlos.
It seems there’s always something new to try at the café. I like to make an effort to try their new products, but my typical order (and the one I would recommend to anyone) is their almond butter salted caramel latte. Its syrup is made in-house and it’s delicious both hot or cold!
Whenever I stop by for coffee, it’s hard not to get a baked good along with it. The coffee shop’s pastry display always has a range of tempting goodies. My favourites include their doughnuts, coffee cake muffins, and gluten-free chocolate zucchini muffins.
Due to the pandemic, coffee shops around the city have had to decide to close or remain open for take-out. Cafe Con Leche has decided to stay open to continue serving its community. They're open Monday-Saturday 8am-4pm*.
It is evident that Sandra & Carlos care deeply about their community and neighbours. This can be seen in the way they interact with their guests, the frequency of their regulars’ visits, the number of partnerships they have, their addition of local deliveries during this time, and their current menu/hours. Many menu items have been requested by customers to continue selling (ex. breakfast burritos). As for pricing, the café is committed to keeping its menu affordable so everyone can afford to treat themselves to a coffee during this time of financial unpredictability.
Along with its take-out only platform and local deliveries implementation, the café has transformed its previous seating areas to house more inventory. These include selling more grocery items like chips, salsa, and almond/oat milk. As for the amount of people in the café’s space, 3 are allowed at a time. Given the café's popularity, you'll often seen people queuing outside the shop. It's worth the wait: once inside, you’ll be sure to receive a warm welcome from Sandra & Carlos.
You can continue supporting Café Con Leche by purchasing coffee/food/goods from the shop. You can call ahead to order, reach out to them on Instagram, or order on Ribitt. You can also purchase a gift card to the shop, or donate to the café on Distantly.
The coffee shop’s mission is literally written on their wall: “Café Con Leche is a space where people can come together, hang out, work & build community while enjoying a coffee & treat. We strive to provide a comfortable family friendly environment and are proud to be a part of the Junction Triangle.”
It is evident they do just that everyday. I am so thankful to live so close to such a wonderful café, and I hope when this is over, you can visit them as well.
P.S. The café has a booming online presence. They are very active on social media, including Facebook & Instagram. Not only do they post their daily offerings on these platforms, but you also get a behind-the-scenes look at the café & a glimpse into the owners’ lives. I’m definitely guilty of checking their Instagram stories to see if their doughnuts are in stock.
*Given the COVID-19 pandemic, hours depicted in this post may be skewed as businesses adapt to better serve its staff, customers, and community.