Serving Calgarians for nearly 11 years, The House Coffee Sanctuary has earned a reputation as Kensington’s only non-profit coffee shop.
The House became enmeshed in Kensington’s tight-knit community largely through the local art scene, featuring community art on the walls and live local musicians on-stage three times a week.
“I really enjoy the unique atmosphere here,” said first-time customer Michael Benci.
“The music is great too.”
The House is located in the heart of Kensington (http://www.visitkensington.com) and runs a variety of events and programs for the community. The cafe is funded by the First Alliance Church in the city and is owned and operated by locals.
Its purpose is to connect with Calgarians by serving the community and offering great coffee and even better experiences to their customers.
“We’re encouraged to socialize and build relationships with our customers,” said Josh McAuley, a part time barista at The House.
McAuley first heard about the job opening through his girlfriend and accepted the position despite the fact he already had a full time job as a youth pastor.
“I didn’t realize that making espressos was such a delicate art,” said McAuley.
“It’s a lot to learn, but I like my job.”
The House has attracted many returning customers as a result of their growing relationship and involvement with the community over the years.
“We definitely have a lot of regulars who come in,” said McAuley.
“Unlike other coffee shops that are more focused on earning profit, we encourage our customers to hang out and stay for as long as they like.”
But despite 11 strong years of business, the House Coffee Sanctuary doesn’t appear to be everybody’s cup of tea.
“I don’t think I would recommend The House to others,” said Will Cowie.
Cowie is a second year student attending SAIT and has lived in Calgary for approximately 15 years.
“I go there two or three times a week because my place of work is close by,” said Cowie admitting that the prices at the House are cheaper than most other coffee shops.
“The prices are fine, but service there is not very good,” said Cowie.
“My favourite part about The House Coffee Sanctuary is walking out the door.”
The House Coffee Sanctuary, thehousecoffee.ca , is located at 126 10th St. N.W. It is open Sunday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.