With the same chain coffee shops dominating just about every street corner, we’ll forgive you for thinking one is as good as another. After all, how different can they really be? Well, the answer to that question is… you need to come to Durham Region.
We have some of the most dedicated operators of independent cafés, boutiques and bakeries whose passion is to offer you the best taste experience possible. Customer service is not simply a tagline for our awesome cafés—when you’re here, you’re family. Let us show you how quality, care and heart combine to set our wonderful Durham Region cafés miles above your generic, on-the-go coffee shop.
19 Brock St. W., Uxbridge
Nestled in the quaint township of Uxbridge is the Nexus Coffee Company, an independent establishment where the beverage is first and foremost. “Our reason to exist, what we’re chasing and what we strive to be is the best coffee in Durham Region,” says proud owner Arthur Field. “We’re not a café. There is no café in our vernacular. We’re focused on drinks.”
At Nexus, quality shines in every aspect of the business. Whether it’s staff training, the ingredients used, how the beverage is served or the ambience offered, no detail is too small. True, it might be an easy thing to claim and a much harder thing to deliver on. But Nexus, which has been open for business for just over three years, has received an enormous amount of positive feedback on social media. “We’re over the moon,” Arthur says. “We keep getting five stars on staff, product quality, ambience, cleanliness—all the things that matter to us.”
To ensure the best possible coffee experience for its customers, Nexus works with one of the most celebrated coffee roasters in the nation to not only source its beans but also train its staff. Direct trade ensures there is a relationship with the farmers of Africa and Central America so that every bean comes with its own story.
“The fact that we prioritize coffee attracts the same type of people who go to micro breweries, or who research wines before they buy them,” Arthur says. “We try to lead with that approach—that each bean and each region has a different taste profile, and there’s a joy in getting to know the different varieties.”
58 Brock St. W., Uxbridge
Also in Uxbridge, Tin Cup Caffé is about more than just the coffee, teas and specialty drinks. Here, you’ll find that the beverages, with ingredients lovingly selected and brewed, are offered with the warmest of welcomes.
“People love to come here because it feels like home,” says manager Jennifer Crowe. “They’ll sit and talk, have little meetings, or see friends they haven’t seen in a while. A lot of our regulars, they’re like family now.”
Tin Cup Caffé is known for its soups, salads and paninis, and offers an assortment of drinks hot and cold. If your sweet tooth needs satisfying, you will also find decadent desserts like carrot cake, oversized cookies and turnovers.
And of course, you can expect the best of all your familiar café beverages at Tin Cup. Only the best Italian beans are used to make their lattes, cappuccino, and espressos. You will also find favourites which are less prolific in the chain cafés, like Italian sodas. “We have a matcha tea latte that is very popular,” Jennifer says. “And then we’ve got winter favourites like hot chocolate. We do everything you love in our old-fashioned small town.”
65 Albert St., Oshawa
In Oshawa, Felicio’s Cake Boutique is Durham’s premier Brazilian café and bakery. Products are lovingly crafted with whole ingredients and infused with Brazilian culture.
The café was founded in 2012, and its warm, friendly atmosphere where visitors are treated like family is located in the heart of the city’s downtown core. “I like to treat Felicio’s like it’s my home,” says owner Alessandra Felicio. “When I’m at home, I want to bring the best quality to my family. It’s no different here. Our clients are like friends. We take the time to get to know them, and the more they come in, the more we learn about them.”
Fresh, wholesome ingredients are the focus of Alessandra’s kitchen. Nothing is pre-made or pre-mixed. Soups, cakes, jams—even the bread for the paninis are made from scratch at Felicio’s. “One hundred percent of what we sell is made in-house because I like to have total control of what goes into our display and comes out of our store. We don’t use anything with dyes or preservatives, because I wouldn’t serve that to my family.”
It is that philosophy, that care and attention to detail, which has customers coming back time and again. Felicio’s Cake Boutique—which also has a full, made-to-order lunch menu—is admittedly not ideally situated to pick up random walking traffic. “The street we’re on is not busy,” Alessandra says. “People come because we are a destination. We wanted to create something different with Felicio’s. Something you can’t find on any street corner.”
Written by: Katherine Ryalen