elm café finally opens!

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Regular listeners of the show will know that we had local retaurantrepreneur Nate Box on the show last episode. We wanted to talk with Nate about his latest business venture, elm café — an approximately 200 sq. ft. café just a block and a half south of Oliver School west of the downtown core. After a few delays — some self-imposed, others inflicted by higher powers (including a ceiling collapse which thankfully harmed nothing except the open date) — elm café (#100, 10140 117 St) quietly opened its doors bright and early Monday morning at 7am.

I stopped in because I wanted delicious morning coffee… and I wanted to be their first customer. Sadly, I wasn’t early enough. I was merely customer #2, as the owner of the building grabbed a cup of joe on his way into work. Still, I was greeted with true warmth. Besides, I prefer to think of myself as #1 all the same — not unlike Commander Riker, who was second only to Captain Picard.

I spoke briefly with Nate and Claire (his wife) about their new project in between sips of what I would call, without hyperbole, one of the best lattés I’ve ever tasted.


Claire grabs a muffins from Duchess for me... They're heavenly

Right now, elm café is carrying Duchess Bakeshop muffins as well as panini which is pressed and heated for you once you order it. Otherwise, the keystone of the café is its namesake (no, you fool not elms! cafés!). While the food will change periodically, coffee is the shining star. Nate picked 49th Parallel coffee beans, sourced in British Columbia, as his ingredient of choice.


Coffee beans from a parallel dimension... or, you know, BC

The café itself is pristine and minimalist. Light grey concrete countertops, white cabinetry and a lovely, simple menu board make the café feel larger than it is. The whole east wall is a series of windows, which definitely helps to open up the space as well.


This month at the café, images from photog Jessica Fern Facette

elm café will feature artwork and photography from local talent, which will change every month. This month (and for the next 6 weeks, according to Nate, due to the delayed opening) photographs of Mexican wrestlers taken by Jessica Fern Facette adorn the walls.


Owner Nate Box's smiling visage reflected in the café huge espresso machine

I can safely say I’ll be making elm one of my regular morning stops, if only to see the smiling faces of some of Edmonton’s talented restaurantrepreneurs… There aren’t enough of them in this town.

Edit: Check out Kelly’s review of elm café… much more in-depth than mine!

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10 Responses to “elm café finally opens!”

  1. Adam Snider
    June 15, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    I fully plan to check it out sometime this week or next. It’s just tough to get down in the early part of the week, because of their hours (closing at 5 is an unfortunate inconvenience for those who don’t work or live nearby). I’m hoping to get down on Thursday or Saturday.

    • Adam Rozenhart
      June 15, 2010 at 10:13 am #

      You won’t regret it… I’m going to try and get there one morning a week. LOVE their coffee (and Nate, Claire and Doug – I believe his name was – are all awesome people).

  2. Kelly
    June 15, 2010 at 10:37 am #

    I beg to differ Adam- your post was much more in depth than mine. Great info. Thanks for the shout out though.

    • Adam Rozenhart
      June 15, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

      Too kind, Kelly. I can’t believe I didn’t know about your site. Or your Twitter. Glad to “meet” you!

  3. Miss Sarah
    June 15, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    Can’t wait to taste the Nate food on Sunday! And also, to go visit elm asap. Don and I are trying to plan some sammies for our wedding anniversary.

    • Adam Rozenhart
      June 15, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

      “The Nate food.” I think that’s something different, Sarah 😛

      You’ll love the space, and you’ll love the service. I predict a long life in Edmonton for the elm café!

  4. Jeff
    June 15, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    I LOVE the fact they’ve got Duchess Bakery food, art from a local photographer on the wall, (And is that Kerstin’s Chocolates chocolate I spot?) mixed in with their offerings. It’s collaboration of a foodie kind!

    Also, way to put your money where your mouth is an actually be there right when they opened. Kudos, sir.

    Good luck Elm Cafe!

  5. Jessica Fern
    June 15, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    Thanks for mentioning my photographic contribution!

    • Adam Rozenhart
      June 15, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

      No worries, Jessica. The photos are great… do you sell prints?


  1. Tweets that mention elm café finally opens! | The Unknown Studio -- Topsy.com - June 15, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Adam Rozenhart, Brittney Le Blanc and Alyssa N, Darren Tonn. Darren Tonn said: great review by @unknownstudio about @elmcafe http://bit.ly/aqdQiz #yegfood […]