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A Hidden Gem – CC’s Corner Coffee & Curios

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]It is off the beaten track but then it is off-beat by design too, in a nice sort of way! It is one of those unique gems in Richmond that you have to experience to appreciate.  It is CC’s Corner Coffee & Curios located just off Perth St. at 6 Lennox St. Be prepared for the best coffee in town as well as visual and taste treats too.

Try cut-coffee, a pour-over, an espresso, americano or coffee concoction of your choice.  Pair it with a local pastry from bakeries like Stitttsville’s Sweet Room Bakery Botique or Kemptville’s Crusty Baker.  How about a skor bar, brownie with walnuts or bacon butter tart? On saturdays, Ottawa’s famous SuzyQ Doughnuts are a special treat. Bring along a friend and just enjoy!

Cameron Kallos, who manages the shop along with his wife Savannah, subscribes to the P.T. Barnham strategy “If your different maybe they will remember you and come back”. That strategy no doubt went a long way towards establishing the business. 

Well, it is different, you will remember it and you will likely come back. The place is not only a lot of fun but it feels right. It is the kind of place you like to linger as you sip your brew of choice. Savannah also works the counter when she isn’t helping her mom Cecile at Tony’s Chip Wagon, another Richmond favourite celebrating 20 years in business this year.

When Cameron and Savannah first opened CC’s Coffee & Curios business was slow. The business location wasn’t very visible. They placed a massive sign outside Tony’s Chip Wagon on Perth Street to draw customers in. That turned out to be an interesting study in the value of signs. Virtually every customer who came in suggested they erect a sign on Perth, obviously nobody was seeing the sign. Word of mouth, great coffee and that “je ne sais quoi” has firmly established the business now in it’s 3rd year of operation.

Cameron hails from out west and credits Savannah with bringing him to Richmond from Victoria 6 years ago.  Their original intent with the business was to sell a lot of the curios. Cameron had collected curios for years … things like a 1940’s era electroshock therapy kit!  A lot of that stuff has now sold and now people are donating things, most of which is not for sale.  The business model has now evolved into more of a coffee shop. But that is not to say there isn’t a stunning array of curiosities on display.

Mini the Mermaid

You only need to check out “Mini the Mermaid” —part cat, horse, iguana, duck and fish — rumoured to have been pulled from the Jock in 1902 or, “Ralphus the Alligator Boy” caught poaching goats in the Jock in 1952 to see that there is some quirky fun afoot!

When asked about expansion space available next door Cameron isn’t keen. He feels his type of establishment will only ever appeal to a small segment of the population and that is OK.    He wants to keep the space small and simple. He doesn’t want to become a sit down restaurant. “What I like is I can see and talk to all my customers from anywhere in the room”.

While there aren’t any big expansion plans in the works you might find more ice cream and shakes this summer. Or, maybe a walk up window so people can come with their dogs.  Keep your ears and eyes open for the occasional special event too like car and motorcycle shows on the May long weekend and perhaps another just before Halloween.

Next time you feel the need for a great cup of coffee, just drop by CC’s. You might even join CC’s Corner Caffiend Club!