I open the door and at once smell the welcoming odor of coffee brewing and hear the delightful chatter of fellow patrons excited about this new cafe opened in the heart of Rothesay. A quiet playlist is singing in the background at the right volume– not too loud and not too quiet. The diverse clientele being served fascinates me. Two friends enjoying coffee, a couple on a date, a group of new moms with their babies, a mother nursing her baby enjoying a coffee date with a friend, young people meeting up and other students looking for a quiet place to study. Buzzing with clients, this spot is garnering lots of attention.
Cheryl & Andrea enjoying coffee at Garden Grove Cafe
Parked next to the popular Rothesay Commons, Garden Grove is a convenient spot to grab a beverage (or meal) after skating with your kids, attending a community event or passing on though. A skip, hop and a jump away. Originally built in 1840, this heritage home has served as a gardener’s cottage, cobbler’s shop and housed families over the years. Restoring this property while respecting its’ heritage held importance for Brittany & Jeff Kitchen.
But what I am searching for is a place to become lost in writing: whether for school or business. A place to focus on my needs–a little piece of home without the distraction of laundry, housework, kids and everyday meanderings. Garden Grove Cafe meets the need and I know I will be a repeat customer.
Sara is on a sabbatical from work to focus on her studies. Garden Grove Cafe is her new study spot!
What I appreciated during my visit to Garden Grove was the focus placed on local artisans’ work. You can find paintings and pottery for sale throughout the cafe. The art is proudly displayed on the walls and shelves of Garden Grove offering a beautiful gallery feel.
I ordered “Chicken + Brie + Bruschette” for lunch. The ingredients were fresh and generous. Garden Grove Cafe promises simple, fresh and delicious options to meet the needs of the consumer. Sweets & treats, desserts to share, a simple breakfast menu and a trio of sandwiches offered– Garden Grove Cafe is sure to meet your needs. In keeping with the theme outlined above– everything is locally made!
I opted to try the house blend coffee! To my delight almond milk was available besides the more traditional milk and cream. The coffee was smooth and satisfying. Staff were attentive and quick to offer a refill! My experience as a customer was highly regarded at Garden Grove Cafe.
Part owner Brittany kitchen took some time to meet with me! Committed to the deliverance of an authentic cafe experience, Brittany also took the time to engage with her customers.
“Reflection” A photo of owner Brittany Kitchen engaging with customers at Garden Grove Cafe
Owner Brittany chatting with customers Ross and Willo
Brittany was gracious enough to answer some questions!
1) What inspired you to open a cafe? As a business owner in construction and real estate it seems like a unique business to choose.
“When we purchased 2 Grove Avenue 18 months ago we didn’t have an immediate intention to open a café. We knew we needed additional office space as our team of 10 was feeling squeezed working within 300 square feet. It was after a few months of plotting the commercial development that we dug into the history of the building and realized its roots run deep, back to 1850 actually. Throughout the 1950’s this property was formerly a general store and a cobbler shop run by Ethel Starr. This sparked us to think, what is our area missing, what could enhance lifestyle, what would be responsible? Which lead to reinstating the community’s connection back inside this property by opening a charming cafe. Our very own remix of Ethel Starr’s business.”
2) Can you tell me a bit more about your business partner. How did you connect? What makes her an integral part of your endeavor?
“Once we came to terms on dedicating one third of 2 Grove Avenue to a café we knew where our experience and skills could take it; but more importantly we knew our limitations. And it was a big one. Jeff and I had zero food and beverage experience. We needed a partner on the café, one who would be involved from the ground-up, so it was a part of them too.
In came Jessica Reid a long-time friend, fellow Rothesay Netherwood School alumni. Jessica and I graduated together and were on teams alongside one another, now we are on the most important team together (well, to us). Jessica is an industry expert. She’s managed, she’s hustled, she grew up in the heart of Rothesay, she is a good human. Jessica is very integral, she is the heartbeat of Garden Grove and poured herself into every single detail down to the authenticity of the New Brunswick lupins in the logo.”
3) I was inspired by the local pottery and artwork for sale. How does this fit into your business plan? Are you going to expand on this?
“We will absolutely expand on this. We are small business through-and-through and aim to be community engaged. In fact, many small businesses already have their hands in Garden Grove. We feature New Brunswick brands including Moosehead, Yip Cider, Crosby’s Molasses, all of our handmade food is locally created. Touches throughout the space such as the design, materials and artwork are from local businesses and artisans. We hope to continue this and grow more by offering a “general store” section.”
4) I noticed you serve your beverages in glassware. Is this an intentional “green” approach to service delivery?
“It sure is. Throughout the entire product sourcing process, Jessica selected recyclable items, eliminating food waste is a priority too that is why we have efficient menu offerings. The floorplan is maximized, every square inch is useable space for us and our customers. Our café approach is quality over quantity in many respects.”
5) Where do you see your business in five years?
“We see ourselves doing exactly what we’re doing now – enhancing and working on our design/build, real estate and café businesses. Adding to the client and community experience in an area we whole heartedly believe in. Visiting places near and far that inspire us and applying practices locally.”
A big thank you to Brittany for taking the time for Hollyshustle! I will certainly be back!
Where can you find the gem? I have attached Garden Grove Cafe’s map below! Visit them. I promise you will not be disappointed.