Drinking good coffee is wonderful. But drinking good coffee while also doing good for the well-being of others is a no-brainer.
It was for that very reason that the moment I heard about Lighthouse Mission Cafe I knew I needed to pay them a visit. So I braved the morning rush hour this week to make my way down for right when they opened. My energy was sapped from an hour long commute in less than ideal driving conditions, but nothing was going to stop me from getting my coffee!
Once I arrived and walked through the doors my eyes were awakened to the glorious smell of coffee brewing! And not just was it the smell of coffee that got me excited, the cafe itself is gorgeous! Walls clad with rustic barn board, lots of seating with incredible solid wood tables, and a great communal seating table in the centre of the cafe, you’ll love the time you spend here. There are outlets everywhere, with Wi-Fi available so you can spend some time getting your work done! And one of the best parts of Lighthouse Mission Cafe is that there is ample FREE PARKING! I can only think of one or two other cafes in this city that can say that.
I had the chance to sit down to chat with Heather while I was there and asked her a few questions to get the inside-scoop into this great new addition to the Calgary coffee community.
Introduce yourself to our readers and share a bit about what your role is here at Lighthouse Mission Cafe. And maybe share a bit about your backstory in specialty coffee.
My name is Heather and I’ve been in the coffee industry for almost a decade now. I began at Starbucks (as quite a few baristas do) and transitioned into the specialty coffee industry about five years ago when I started working at Monogram Coffee. I immediately fell in love with the coffee industry and grew so much as a barista over those five years. I love coffee (obviously) and became fascinated with the science behind it. I also love people, so cafes often provided the best backdrop for me to meet new people and connect with them on a personal level.
How long has Lighthouse Mission Cafe been open? Where are you located? What are your hours?
We’ve been officially open for a few weeks now! It took a while to get our food program up and running but we’re fully open and offering fresh coffee, tea, pastries and some other food options (toast, yogurt, oats…etc)
Our hours are Monday to Friday from 8am to 2pm. As we grow our business we’ll expand our hours so keep an eye out for that as well.
You can find us located in the Calgary Dream Centre building. The cafe is accessible by driving around the back side of the building and you can’t miss our big sign. The address is 4510 Macleod Trail SW.
I noticed that you chose to go with Monogram Coffee for the cafe, what was the decision behind that? Where do you source your baked good from?
The decision behind it was twofold. Obviously after working for Monogram for almost five years I have a loyalty to them. They are an amazing Calgary company that is doing really good work in the coffee industry and I wanted to support them in whatever way I could. Secondly, I believe them to be one of the best roasters in Canada, so it was really a no brainer!
Our baked goods are made in-house by our baker, Tyler. He completed the Dream Centre’s program last year and has been working here ever since. He has over a decade of culinary experience and is an incredibly talented baker & chef. We are so thrilled to be able to offer our baked goods from right here on site. You can’t get any better (and fresher) than that.
Tell our readers more about what makes Lighthouse Mission Cafe different than many other cafes here in Calgary. You say that its focus is social enterprise, so what does that look like?
Lighthouse Mission Cafe was created by The Calgary Dream Centre which works with individuals struggling with addiction. The cafe is a social enterprise venture which means that we have specific social objectives that really drive our business. I’ll put forth three main social objectives we hope to achieve in this cafe.
- The first is creating a space for people (our clients, our staff, and our community) to connect.
- Secondly we’re here to create employment opportunities for our clients who have struggled with addiction. Understandably, individuals who have faced addiction can have barriers to employment so we hope to create a healthy work environment in which our clients can learn new skills and gain experience. Currently we have two clients employed at The Lighthouse – one is a barista and the other bakes all of our pastries and helps to develop our food menu.
- Lastly, all profit made at the Lighthouse will go back into our addiction programming. It really is a unique concept that we are extremely passionate about. Every purchase continues to help the Calgary Dream Centre serve those facing homelessness and addiction.
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
If you have any special requests to book the cafe outside of our operating hours we can definitely facilitate that, so do not hesitate to contact me. We’re really hoping that the coffee community in Calgary will come make a home in our cafe!
Hours: Monday to Friday (8am-2pm)
Address: 4510 Macleod Trail SW.
I want to thank Heather for taking the time to sit down with me to share more about Lighthouse Mission Cafe. I am really excited to see a cafe open here in Calgary with strong focus on social enterprise. While it’s not the first of its kind, it is certainly a welcomed addition.
While I was there I ordered a traditional cappuccino to stay which was spot-on. A perfect temperature, velvety-steamed milk, with a great tasting espresso. They currently are using the Guatemala San Pedro Necta. With tasting notes of brown sugar, chocolate and orange it’s a very approachable espresso that will be enjoyed by all. I also grabbed a 12oz of their batch brew to go. When I was there they were brewing up the Regalito–also a Guatemalan coffee with notes of praline, caramel and dried fruit. Definitely a coffee that anyone would like.
You can bet that I’ll be back next time I’m down in that part of the city. So what are you waiting for…go grab yourself some good coffee and do some good at the same time!